How the Women Behind The Silver Palate Cookbook Continue to Inspire Our Recipes

Drawing inspiration from a classic American cookbook. 

Published Mar. 21, 2023.

When The Silver Palate Cookbook was first published in 1982, it signaled a change in how mainstream America viewed dinner. 

The book, by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, featured recipes from the pairs’ buzzy—and busy—takeout food shop on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (and illustrations from Lukins). It was an immediate hit. 

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If you were at a dinner party in the 1980s or early 90s, chances are you were being served tapenade, pasta puttanesca, curried butternut squash soup, chicken Monterey, or any number of other flavorful dishes from the book. 

Their cooking style was “good, simple food with bold flavors” and a broad range of cultural influences. Through the book, Rosso and Lukins helped bring ingredients such as saffron, capers, fennel, artichokes, French cheeses, and fresh herbs into the mainstream. 

Was the book perfect in every way? No, but is any book? There were complaints by some reviewers that certain recipes didn’t turn out as advertised, and looking back with the benefit of today’s perspective, we see that the authors could have done more with recipe attribution. But 1982 was a different time, and the Silver Palate’s impact was extremely positive and influential to America’s food culture. 


Braised Pork Marbella

We update a classic recipe by swapping rich pork for the chicken.
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Here at Cook’s Country, we were inspired by the Silver Palate’s recipe for Chicken Marbella, which was the first main-course entrée to be sold at their takeout shop. The recipe was based on food they ate in Spain and features chicken quarters braised in white wine with prunes, olives, and capers. 

We created a version made with richer pork butt, which holds up well to the bold braising liquid. If you give our recipe a try, give a nod to Rosso and Lukins, two pioneering women who we all owe a debt of delicious gratitude. 

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