The Grumpy Genius of Marcella Hazan
In an era of finicky foodies and celebrity chefs, Marcella Hazan never troubled herself with the rough-and-tumble of branding. Not sexy like Nigella Lawson, not colorful like Emeril Lagasse, not adorable like Rachael Ray -- not even eccentric like Julia Child -- Hazan nailed Italian cooking in a uniquely grumpy way.
Her great 1973 work, "The Classic Italian Cook Book," is a humor-free zone of clear instructions on black-and-white pages. Do as Marcella says and you can't fail.