The Long(er) Story

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Marah’s road to a culinary career began immediately after she graduated from college, but she hardly knew to call it a “career” until many years later. In the early 1990s Marah moved to Paris. The reasons for this are hazy in her memory, but friends recall assertions that it would be a good place for a French major to practice her French. In retrospect it’s clear that Paris is one of the best places on earth to look busy while trying to figure out what to actually do with oneself.

For a little more than a year Marah worked at the West Side Cafe, a cool, retro-chic “café americain,” where she learned by way of her own occasional experiments on the café’s clientele that the French don’t care for cinnamon nearly as much as Americans do and that vache qui rit wedges are a passable stand-in for cream cheese in an American-style cheesecake — but the 45 individual wedges required for such an endeavor will not unwrap themselves.

La Varenne

Recognizing that a bit of classical education might be in order, she moved to the Château du Feÿ in northern Burgundy, by then the home of the incomparable Anne Willan and the culinary school she founded, La Varenne. There Marah helped Anne draft and test recipes for two books, several articles, and multiple television and print projects. Marah also helped organize and translate for the courses and student gastronomic excursions at La Varenne.

New York

After more than two years at La Varenne, Marah moved to New York where she joined Maria Guarnaschelli at Scribner and author Ethan Becker to produce the 1997 edition of the Joy of Cooking. Soon after Joy was published, Marah became an Editor in the trade paperback division of Simon & Schuster. For several years she enjoyed acquiring and editing a wide variety of health, parenting, and lifestyle books, as well as a few novels.

Onward and upward…

The birth of her first child motivated Marah to launch a freelance career, first primarily as a consulting editor on projects such as the 75th anniversary edition of the Joy of Cooking and a number of titles in the Joy of Cooking: All About… series and then as a cookbook writer and collaborator.

Marah’s first collaboration was a “cocktail cookbook” with Nick Mautone, former Managing Partner at New York’s Gramercy Tavern. Since then Marah has worked with Outstanding in the Field founder Jim Denevan; the Golden Door spa and then-Executive Chef Dean Rucker; nationally acclaimed fitness expert Jillian Michaels; actress and restaurateur Eva Longoria; and Sam Beall and the unparalleled chefs and artisans of Blackberry Farm in East Tennessee.

In 2014 Marah worked with Alona Pulde, MD, Matthew Lederman, MD, and the revolutionary Forks Over Knives organization on a transition guide to a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle that also includes 100 recipes. These days, she’s working on their next collaboration, a lifestyle guide and cookbook for whole-food, plant-based families that will be published in September 2016.

She was thrilled to team up with celebrity chef and Top Chef Masters winner Floyd Cardoz on a fabulous home-cooking book due out from Artisan in April 2016.

Marah’s books include James Beard and IACP cookbook award finalists, New York Times bestsellers, and Washington Post best cookbook of the year selections.

Marah lives in the Washington, DC metro area with her family.


“Keep your knives sharp. Above all, have a good time.”

– Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck

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