My mother loved to eat and, despite her meat-and-potatoes upbringing, became an adventurous cook. We moved to California when I was in fifth grade, and she jumped into West Coast cooking, made her first tacos and became a devotee of the excellent cookbooks put out by Sunset Magazine. It’s Favorites edition is by far the most splattered on her shelf.
When I was in junior high we moved back to the East Coast, and Pierre Franey had started his 60-Minute Gourmet column in the New York Times. My mother learned how to deglaze a pan; our lives changed. Soon his cookbooks lined my mother’s shelves, and Pierre became almost another guest at the table.
Then I moved to the East End and met Jacques Franey, Pierre’s son, who had opened a wine shop in Springs, where his father lived on Gerard Drive. My mom got a kick out of that, hanging out with the Franeys.
Jacques now owns a wine shop in East Hampton and has, with his sister, started a website honoring his father, celebrating his life and sharing his recipes. The French chef started small in Paris and eventually ended up in East Hampton to run the kitchen at the Hedges Inn. More books and TV fame followed. Franey acolytes can sign up for the website’s newsletter and get a new recipe each month. And don’t skip reading about the $4,000 meal Pierre shared with Craig Claiborne at Chez Denis in Paris.