by Kathleen Hill

Frances Kennedy Fisher was an American food writer. She was a founder of the Napa Valley Wine Library. Over her lifetime she wrote 27 books, including a translation of The Physiology of Taste by Brillat-Savarin. Fisher believed that eating well was just one of the “arts of life” and explored this in her writing. Her books include “The Art of Eating”, “The Gastronomical Me“ and “M.F.K. Fisher’s Provence [*].

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Jacques Pepin and M.F.K. Fisher

According to M.F.K. Fisher’s daughter Kennedy Golden, Susie Allen, Kennedy and her husband Vinnie made lunch for Jacques Pêpin’s visit to his late old friend’s home in Glen Ellen. Kennedy said, “Our goal was to have something that guess who might have served. I believe we hit it out of the park. Fresh French baguettes from Les Pascals Patisserie in Glen Ellen made into Railroad Sandwiches.

Susie Allen, Last House program coordinator, “made a beautiful green salad partially from her garden, with a great vinaigrette (complimented by Chef Jacques), as well as a wonderful cheese board.”

“The Art of Eating” by M.F.K. Fisher Book CoverVinnie and Kennedy made the Railroad Sandwiches, which he graciously sat upon (per M.F.K. Fisher in “With Bold Knife and Fork,” and written about by Chef John Ash in the Press Democrat). The sandwich usually includes sweet butter and sliced ham, along with cheese and mayonnaise in some cases. Fisher prescribed that someone sit on the sandwiches for an hour to warm them with their body heat, just to soften things up. According to Kennedy, the guests included chefs Jacques Pêpin and Michael Howell of Devour. “We were a table of eight, a small private luncheon, with two wonderful toasts by chef Pêpin to M.F.K. Fisher. Here as honoree of the Sonoma International Film Festival, Pêpin’s visit to Last House and Sonoma coincided with the launch of the third annual M.F.K. Fisher Last House Writing Contest.

*Quotation above is taken directly from the website cited and is the property of that source. It is meant to inform the reader and to give credit where it is due.

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