Quick Recipes and Easy

Art Buchwald Lives On In Jewish Celebrity Cookbook

When Art Buchwald contributed a recipe for a wonderful gourmet dinner with an accompanying anecdote to a Jewish celebrity cookbook just four months before he entered a Washington, D.C., hospice last February, he did so in typical Buchwaldian fashion. The author and columnist who died on Wednesday night , January 17, wrote, “Go to Zabar’s or similar delicatessen in your neighborhood. Take number for your turn at the counter.”

Buchwald’s “recipe” advises ordering chicken matzo ball soup, brisket with red horseradish, potato latkes and applesauce, noodle cake, and apple strudel. His “cooking” instructions call for taking the dishes home, putting each separately in the microwave oven, taking each out “at the buzzer,” and arranging them “on your best china dishware.” The entry concludes, “Serves three. If more guests unexpectedly show up at the last moment, go back to Zabar’s.” He also suggests serving the meal with “an honest, chilled Dr. Brown’s Celery Tonic or cream soda.”

His anecdote about the recipe was small and sweet: “This is the way I like to cook. Thousands of people in New York cook the same way.”

The biography that accompanied his entry really was an autobiography. In it, he claimed that, although he wasn’t a war hero, “he looked very excellent in uniform.” It went on to describe the start of his writing career: “While attending a French language school in Paris, Mr. Buchwald landed a job with VARIETY magazine. In January 1949, he took a trial column, called “Paris After Dark,” to the offices of the European edition of the New York Herald Tribune. Buchwald sold the Tribune on the fact that he was qualified to write about the restaurants and nightlife of Paris because of the food he had eaten in the Marine Corps. They never checked his credentials, and, in time, he was considered the best-fed newspaperman in Europe.”

Buchwald described himself in the biography as “the Charlie Chaplin of the international set. He was constantly being thrown out of parties and off yachts. He even traveled to the Soviet Union in a chauffeur-driven limousine to let the Soviet people see what a capitalist really looked like.” Additionally, he claimed, “He went to Africa to find a white hunter so he could be considered a right-blue writer in a class with Hemingway.” In conclusion, Buchwald wrote, “He is a workaholic and has no leisure activities.”

Today, this bio might include the fact that Buchwald entered the hospice after losing part of a leg because of circulation problems and refusing dialysis treatment. He was expected to die in the hospice. Instead, he rallied his strength and lived another 11 months on Martha’s Vineyard entertaining friends and writing one last book. He attributed his prolonged life to eating McDonald’s parfait’s every day and to the corned beef sandwiches that were brought to him while he was in the hospice.

After his death, the New York Times Web site aired a video taken of him prior to his death, and Buchwald’s last column, written prior to his death, was released on January 18th by Tribune Media Services. Given his like of food and his desire to be heard and read after he had passed on, he surely would have loved having his recipe shared postmortem as well.

Nina Amir, an acclaimed journalist and often-requested motivational speaker, compiled Celebrity Nosh! 90 Jewish Celeb’s Share the Dish on their Favorite Recipes. For more information on Celebrity Nosh!, Amir’s other books, teleseminars and classes, to book a speaking engagement or to preorder Celebrity Nosh!, E-mail her at mailto:namir@purespiritcreations.com namir@purespiritcreations.com, visit her website at



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