A C O M M O N PA S S I O N
TO C O O K
“Ich nehme die Angst aus der Küche.”
“I take the fear out of cooking.”
Susanna Foo met both Perrier and Tell at the 1980 Chaine dinner that Tell hosted at his restaurant in Chestnut Hill. Foo attended because her noted skills as a cook had come to the attention of both Russell Baum and Jack Rosenthal, who invited her to join the Chaine. During the course of the evening, standing between the two chefs for a photo-op thrilled Foo; however, the food that was served impressed her more.
“Chef Tell—his food was really good, really unbelievable,” Foo recalled.
At such professional functions, members made time to relax after dinner. They repaired to the bar for drinks and lit cigars, especially the Europeans, and often traded passels of ribald jokes. At such a time, a married woman with children like Foo would have little choice than to retreat to her hotel room for the rest of the evening. But the night turned 122
Baum and Rosenthal joined Tell and Foo and talked about the role of the Chaine in Philadelphia. Foo averred that she could see how Chaine dinners opened opportunities for members to meet and help each other, as well as observe and experience the foods that other chefs prepared.
While Baum and Rosenthal lead the charge to get Foo to join the group by encouraging her to take up the challenge of hosting one of the annual Chaine dinners, Tell harbored another reason for her to join. Peking duck was his personal favorite, and Foo’s notable Peking duck dish was on his mind.
Although unlike Chef Tell’s journey, Foo’s way into the kitchen was just as fascinating.
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