The Clean Plate Club, Episode #15: Alex Witchel (Author of “All Gone”)

When I had the opportunity to interview New York Times writer Alex Witchel about her beautiful new memoir All Gone, I spent a whole day reading the book and I positively tore through it, I found it so moving and powerful. The book details Witchel’s mother’s decline into dementia and Witchel’s struggle to recreate the recipes she knew and loved from her mother’s kitchen. What’s so original about the book is that, unlike so many food memoirs, it doesn’t pretend that food can cure all ills–in many ways, as Witchel discovers over the course of the book’s journey, it simply distracts us from our harsh reality. But it’s not all bleak: there are bright spots, including bits about Witchell’s marriage to columnist (and former theater critic) Frank Rich, how she became a writer for The New York Times, and–most amusing to me–her lunch with Elaine Stritch.

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