Author Diana Kennedy, a leading expert on Mexican cuisine, checks a draft of her newest book while working in her kitchen at her home in Zitacuaro, Mexico. Sparkling brown eyes, sharp tongued and hilarious, at 87, Kennedy has a new cookbook coming out, "Oaxaca al Gusto," featuring more than 300 recipes gathered over decades. (Associated Press).
ZITACUARO - If the grand dame of Mexican cooking were a foodstuff, Diana Kennedy might be a pickled pepper. Absolutely indispensable at the table. But be careful. A little chili habanero goes a long way.
Three hours west of Mexico City, we pass happily up the cobblestone drive of her home tucked into a forested hill outside a sleepy little pueblo in the wilds of Michoacan. But when Kennedy spots an unexpected guest, a fellow reporter just along for the ride, she recoils in fury, points, and demands, "What is she?"
"I am very, very annoyed," Kennedy says, and turns on her heel.
There is a difference between hospitality and gastronomy, and Kennedy is much more about the latter and is famous for her tart tongue, quick temper and withering appraisals of competitors.
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