The James Beard Foundation joins the culinary community in mourning the loss of award-winning French cookbook author, chef, and restaurateur Madeleine Kamman, who passed away peacefully in her home in Vermont on July 16, at the age of 88. Kamman was best known for the series of successful cooking schools she owned and operated in both the U.S. and France over the course of her career, as well as her PBS cooking Show, Madeleine Cooks, which ran from 1984-1991. She was an outspoken advocate for the increased recognition of the importance of cuisine des femmes, or the cooking done by women in the home, and argued for a place for women in the professional kitchen.
“At a time when many were celebrating, championing, and translating French cuisine for an American audience awakened to the pleasures of the table, Madeleine Kamman instead trained a generation of chefs and food lovers to understand and appreciate the authentic cuisine of her native country,” said Mitchell Davis, JBF's chief strategy officer. “She was serious about technique and passionate about flavor, and we eat better for her commitment to the craft of the kitchen.”
Kamman was the winner of multiple James Beard awards, including Cookbook of the Year, and the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. She will be deeply missed.