Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mrs. Madoff’s Secret

Reaching into the Low Blow Department, the New York Times’ Alison Leigh Cowan yesterday revealed that while Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff was cooking the books, his wife Ruth wasn’t cooking as much as she said she was. Cowan’s piece suggested that Mrs. Madoff might not actually have cooked any of the recipes in the 1996 cookbook to which she contributed her name and face:
Wearing plain aprons and standing in front of a dishwasher, Ruth Madoff and her friend look like two homemakers ready for serious work in the kitchen.

But like so much to do with the Madoff family, all is not as it appears in the photo.

The picture comes from a 1996 cookbook called “The Great Chefs of America Cook Kosher: Over 175 Recipes From America’s Greatest Restaurants.” Mrs. Madoff and her friend, as co-authors, wrote in the book of a high-minded mission: exposing kosher palates to new sensations by collecting dishes from famous restaurant chefs that could be prepared in keeping with Jewish dietary restrictions.
Karen MacNeil, the editor of the book, however, told The Times that she “had no evidence that Mrs. Madoff, who received a master’s degree in nutrition in 1992 from New York University, ‘ever cooked any of the recipes.’”

Cityfile New York reports that there’s another reason the book is no longer in print: the “Great Chefs” moniker had been copyrighted several years earlier and wasn’t available for use.

One thing’s certain: with Bernie Madoff currently under house arrest, it’s quite possible the book is coming in handy. Cowan’s piece is here.


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