Every so often in life we get to meet people who make a difference. Marcella was one of them. I was first introduced to her at her apartment in Florida. I remember bending slightly to kiss her cheek, and in that instant, as I greeted her, I caught the most amazing smell of white truffles. I just couldn’t believe that I was meeting Marcella Hazan and that she smelled of truffles!
We sat together, enjoyed some wine and ate carta di musica with bottarga, a dish I would later put on my menu at the John Dory Oyster Bar in New York City. I was shocked I had never eaten it before, it was so gloriously tasty.
Marcella, who passed away Sept. 29 at 89, changed the way Americans and Britons (including me) view Italian food. Through her precise and informative cookbooks, she made learning fun. Spending time with her was a humbling experience, and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity. Once when I was cooking a veal shank, I asked her how she thought it tasted. In a strong Italian accent, she said it needed more salt. She was right; she was always right.
Bloomfield is chef at two Michelin-starred restaurants in New York City, the Breslin and the Spotted Pig
Next Richie Havens