Marcella Hazan, Famed Italian Cookbook Author, Dies at 89

Marcella Hazan died at her home in Flordia

Marcella Hazan with her son, Giuliano.

Marcella Hazan, history-making author of The Classic Italian Cookbook, died Sunday at her home in Florida. She was 89.

“Marcella, my incomparable companion, died this morning a few steps away from her bed. She was the truest and best, and so was her food,” her husband, Victor Hazan, announced on Facebook this morning.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Marcella Hazan was born in Italy and came to the U.S. with a Ph.D. in natural sciences and biology. She initially cooked for her husband, then she began teaching Italian cooking classes out of her New York apartment, and those classes went on to become a lifelong career for both the Hazans. Hazan wrote The Classic Italian Cookbook in 1973, which earned her a reputation for being the Julia Child of Italian cooking.

She went on to write five more books and open cooking schools in Bologna and Venice. The Hazans' son, Giuliano, continues the family tradition by teaching online and out of his cooking school in Verona. His latest cookbook, Hazan Family Favorites, came out earlier this year.

Marcella Hazan's cooking is famous for its commitment to freshness and simplicity. In 2000 she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the James Beard Foundation.  

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“I am never bored by a good old dish and I wouldn’t shrink from making something that I first made 50 years ago and my mother, perhaps, 50 years before then,” she wrote. “I don’t cook ‘concepts.’ I use my head, but I cook from the heart, I cook for flavor.”