Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard... MORE

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Do the Beans Matter?

Stopped in at The Little Jewel of New Orleans Grocery and Deli today, to get some gumbo to go. It may be one of L.A.'s best bargains- a really righteous bowl of gumbo, a side of rice, along with toast and butter for about ten bucks. A fantastic dinner. Haven't tried anything else here, although I'm thinking those muffalettas would...

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Notes from Chi Spacca

That's Nancy Silverton, serving the focaccia di Recco at Chi Spacca, which may be the most irresistible thing I've eaten this year. Think crisp, paper thin layers of dough. Rich stretchy cheese. Olive oil. Salt. The play of textures is arresting - you focus on the amazing things happening in your mouth - and then you just stop thinking altogether...

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Eating Words

There are too many food blogs. We all know that; it's impossible to keep up. But I've just stumbled on another one that's really worth the time. Paper and Salt examines the favorite foods of literary icons, which is, of course, a whole new way to get to know your favorite authors. It's a fascinating look at writers as diverse...

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