Food Memories Filled Nora Ephron's Memorial

Remembering the great director, producer, and writer involved more than just movie clips

We recapped the best of Nora Ephron’s food moments when the rom-com queen passed away June 26. This Monday night, Ephron was remembered by her family, her friends, and some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Famous faces and classic Ephron favorites like Bette Midler, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, Meg Ryan, Steven Spielberg, and more were in attendance to talk the about the romance enthusiast and food lover. 

Between the memories and the anecdotes were recipes and stories of bountiful dishes. In the program was a recipe for brisket, "prepared with garlic cloves, olive oil, diced tomatoes, red wine, carrots, and just the right amount of salt and ground pepper to taste," Women's Wear Daily reports.

One would think that many of Ephron’s former actors would recount classic scenes or witty behind-the-scenes banter, but what they really talked about was her love for food. Butter, Ephron’s chosen religion, was referenced a number of times, as was a fondness for fresh pineapple juice, terrible pizza in Naples, and Ephron’s ongoing issue with hazelnuts in European chocolate. 

Martin Short recalled his wife Nancy’s passing and how Ephron responded: "Nick [Pileggi, Ephron’s husband] and Nora showed up with food and commiseration, and they did the second night, and third night," Short said. "On the fourth night, she arrives with a giant plate of fried chicken. I said, 'Nora, it’s just the kids tonight and we have so much food already.' She handed me the platter and said, 'And now you have more food.' That was Nora’s style." 

Her son Jacob Bernstein said that amongst all the things he will miss about his mother are "her roast beef with Yorkshire pudding" and "the way she had at least 10 different kinds of jam in her refrigerator." 

Other speakers included Meryl Streep, Rosie O’Donnell, and Ephron's sister Delia, who talked about Ephron’s skills at eating a tomato. "My first memory of us, Nora bit into a tomato in such a perfect way as to be able to squirt the juice into my eye," she said. 

More than just a sad memorial, the gathering was filled with hilarity, sarcasm, food memories, and a celebration of a film legend, a great friend, and a fabulous cook.