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Subject: Pastry Chef Maida Heatter "Queen of Cake"

Dies at 102
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Date Posted: Friday, June 07, 07:15:02am

Maida Heatter, the queen of chocolate desserts, dies at 102

Maida Heatter, known for most of her life as “the Queen of Cake,” was first put in the national spotlight in 1968 not solely for her confections but also for her wry sense of humor: She had her husband put elephant-meat omelets on the menu at his restaurant just as the Republican National Convention pulled into town.

And so America was introduced to a baking powerhouse who would go on to write cookbooks that were classics of the genre.

The legendary baker, cookbook author and pastry chef died Thursday. She was 102. The news was confirmed by Little, Brown and Co., Heatter’s book publisher.

“Like many of my generation, I credit Maida Heatter’s books with teaching me how to bake,” said fellow baker, author and authority Dorie Greenspan, who wrote the foreward to Heatter’s last cookbook.

“Baking from her recipes was like having her with you in the kitchen, her voice was so present, so wise and so generous,” she said. “Indelible, really – even now, there are moments when I can hear her in my head telling me not to worry when the batter curdles or the top of the cake cracks.”

Born in 1916, Heatter was the daughter of Gabriel Heatter, a well-known radio commentator. She was raised on Long Island and at tony addresses in upper Manhattan.

Although Heatter trained as a fashion designer and illustrator, baking was her calling. She entered the American culinary lexicon after Craig Claiborne wrote about her in his 1968 New York Times story and championed the idea of her sharing her recipes in cookbooks (she devised the desserts for Inside, her husband’s Florida restaurant where Claiborne wrote about the omelets).

“Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts,” originally published by Knopf in 1974, was well received, and by 1976 she was teaching classes across the country — including at the cooking school attached to Wolfgang Puck’s Ma Maison restaurant in Los Angeles.

“She was amazing,” said Ruth Reichl, former editor of Gourmet magazine and The Times’ Food section. Though she didn’t know Heatter well, “I was on the receiving end of many of her exuberant letters — written by hand and always including a recipe.”

Heatter published her final cookbook this year. Its title is a fitting epilogue to her life and what she taught so many people: “Happiness is Baking.”


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Subject Author Date
She's no "Creator of the Green Bean Casserole" (NT)Sad just the sameFriday, June 07, 05:03:35pm
"She had her husband put elephant-meat omelets on the menu at his restaurant just as the Republican National Convention pulled into town." - today's pic (NT)RussSunday, June 09, 06:43:10am

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