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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Beaten biscuits

I just dusted off Virginia Cookery, a plastic-spiral-bound cookbook I found at Bonnie Slotnick's antique cookbook shop right before she moved to the East Village. Like many great cookbooks of it's kind, this one is a self-published compilation of recipes from (mostly) church-going women. The recipes in these books often vary in quality, but at the very least they make...

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My Dinner at Dill

This was probably my favorite course at Dill. It doesn't look like much - but Icelanders are understated, so that's typical. It tastes like it looks - bland as snow - until you encounter intense little bursts of flavor that are the best version of butter you've ever eaten. And if you admire butter as much as I do, that's...

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Notes from Iceland: Part 2

First, a confession. I agreed to teach at The Iceland Writer's Retreat for only one reason: Susan Orlean told me she had so much fun last year that I'd be a fool to turn it down. Thank you Susan. It was a memorable week; I'm sorry to say I probably learned more from the students I worked with - they...

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