A Sorrowful Loss to the Food World

Marion Cunningham, who died last Wednesday at age 90, was one of the most beloved people in our profession. You may have learned about this in the press but I wanted to add this link to the New York Times that offers an excellent description of Marion and her many contributions.On a personal note, I rarely visited San Francisco without getting together with Marion either in her home in Walnut Creek or in a restaurant. She will have many pages in my memoirs but for now I want to share two special stories. One took place at a dinner many years ago at the restaurant Fifth Floor. Chef George Morrone had just opened the restaurant and chefs from as far as Los Angeles (including Wolfgang Puck) were there to support him. One by one each chef came to our table to kiss Marion's hand. The last time Marion was able to come into the city, escorted by another dear colleague and friend Marlene Sorosky, we dined at one of our favorites: Zuni Café. She had begun to lose her memory but none of her charm or graciousness. I brought along a book for her to which I had made a contribution, called Chefs and Their Mothers, and wrote along with my signature and love: To Marion, mother to us all.