Maria Guarnaschelli, Book Editor Who Changed What We Cook, Dies at 79
“Maria was an important contributor to how cookbooks are transformed,” said Nax Waxman, founder of the Manhattan cookbook store. Kitchen art and letters And Ms. Guarnashele’s co-worker, her first publishing job as an editorial assistant at Harper & Row Publishers. He held senior positions at William Morrow, Scripper and WW Norton; She retired in 2017.
Refusing to make his work easy to reach a large audience of American home cooks, Mr. Waxman said “he squeezed the great work of his writers.”
Maria DiBendetto was born on 18 April 1941 in Brookline, Mass. His father, George DiBedetto, was a refrigeration salesman, and his mother, Horatia Alice (Peabody) DiBedetto, was a housewife. She graduated from Emanuel College in Boston and a master’s degree in Russian literature from Yale University, where she met her future husband, John Guernaschi, a history professor. He died in 2018.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by two brothers, George and Stephen DiBadetto; A sister, Lucia DiBadetto; And a granddaughter.
For five knotty years in the 1990s, Ms. Guernschel presided over a project that became a public debacle: “Joy of Cooking”, the best-selling cookbook in American history. A self-published St. Louis housewife in 1931, the book by Irma Rombauer and her daughter, Marion Rombauer Baker, the book sold thousands of copies every year, but had not been adequately updated since 1975.
In support of publishing giant Simon & Schuster, where she was senior editor and vice-president of Scripper Imprint, Ms. Guarnachelli persuaded dozens of eminent cooks to reintroduce the book into the modern culinary Bible.