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Meet Becky Diamond
Photo by Jill Segerman
With a background in journalism and library science, Becky Libourel Diamond has had a varied career combining writing and research. Her first book, Mrs. Goodfellow: The Story of America's First Cooking School (Westholme Publishing) was published in May 2012. Ms. Diamond is currently working on her next book - The Thousand Dollar Dinner - about a culinary challenge between Philadelphia pastry chef and restauranteur James Parkinson and the Delmonico family of NY. The result was a luxurious 17-course feast that helped launch fine restaurant dining in America as we know it today. Each chapter in the book will cover the wide variety of interesting foods and wines that were served - stay tuned!
Before there was Martha Stewart, Philadelphia had Mrs. Goodfellow
Elizabeth Goodfellow is credited with creating lemon meringue pie. Eggs whipped into a foam were commonly used in her day to make the baked goods rise. Image of lemon meringue pie via ShutterStock
NewsWorks, WHYY Radio
November 20, 2012 | By Lari Robling
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As home cooks around the region are heating up their kitchens for Thanksgiving, many will wish they had taken a class to learn how to make a meal that inspires thanks. And what few know is that Philadelphia was home to the first cooking school in the country.
Young women came to learn from the Martha Stewart of the 1800's - Mrs.Elizabeth Goodfellow. Becky Diamond of Yardley, Bucks County, wrote the biography, "Mrs.Goodfellow: The Story of America's First Cooking School" and she says in today's world of food obsession heralding fresh, local ingredients, that's not such a new trend. Mrs.Goodfellow was doing it two hundred years ago.
"Goodfellow was an advocate for American foods, or what we think of now as American — like cornmeal, tomatoes, squashes things that were grown here in the New World," said Diamond. "She would incorporate them into the Old World recipes." (Read more...)
Philadelphia Daily News:
April 05, 2012|By Beth D’addono: Welcome to Philadelphia, a city renowned for its vibrant, seasonally centric dining scene and colorful farmer's markets. You'll find some of the finest dishes on any table here, and confections that rival those served in the patisseries of Paris. Here, too, there is a culinary school geared to producing top-quality cooks as well versed in pastry as they are in producing savory delights.
No, we're not talking about Philly's contemporary gastronomic scene, as fabulous as it is. It's Philadelphia of the early 1800s we're invoking - when the city was arguably the best place to wine and dine in the new America. And the original Ace of Cakes, Mrs. Elizabeth Goodfellow, was in the thick of it all. (Read more...)