Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dorian Leigh...and Pancakes

Dorian Leigh, one of America's first supermodels, passed away earlier this month. Dorian was said to be the inspiration for "Holly Golightly" in Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. She led a stormy and often scandalous life until her son's suicide in 1977 triggered a religious conversion. Dorian also ran a catering business and wrote two cookbooks. According to Under the Gables:
As her modeling career drew to a close, she cultivated another of her talents: cooking. Having moved to Paris in 1959, she studied at the Cordon Bleu cookery school in Paris and opened a successful restaurant, Chez Dorian, in southern France. In the 1970s she returned to New York, where she set up her own catering business and, according to her son, worked with Martha Stewart, developing recipes.

When one of her sons committed suicide at the age of 21 in 1977, Ms. Parker became a born-again Christian and, one presumes, mended her ways. She wrote an autobiography, published in 1980, called The Girl Who Had Everything. "I really wrote it for Kim [her deceased son], who will never read it. But perhaps other Kims and their parents may learn from my unhappy experiences."

She published two cookbooks, Doughnuts and Pancakes: From Flapjacks to Crepes. It is hard to imagine two cookbooks more at odds with being a supermodel. From the introductions to the recipes in Pancakes, it seems that Ms. Parker did ingest each kind she writes about. A native of Texas, she dedicates the book "To my sisters, Florian, Georgibell, and Suzy, in memory of those Texan women, our valiant forebears."

If you love pancakes, and I do, this is the book for you. Ms. Parker includes a short history of pancakes and their ubiquity in civilized life over the ages and personal reminiscences of pancakes cooked by her father (who disapproved of her modeling), and offers recipes for three types: breakfast, savory, and dessert. They all looked great to me!

1 comment:

Terry Nelson said...

Good post - thanks - I noted her death as well but never posted on it.