Andy, Jeffrey, and Woody Do Julia

For years Dorothy Zinberg has regaled me with tales of the three incomparably brilliant grad students who cooked out of Mastering and changed the world. Now that Julie & Julia is out, the truth can come out too--though it's not shocking, just marvelously entertaining, a dining-out story one can endlessly dine out on.

I know two of the three main characters, and you will too--there's no way anyone remotely interested in food and health won't recognize them. But hearing of their early hijinks, done in the deadly earnest competitiveness that fueled a great deal of cooking from Julia in the 1960s and '70s, reveals how early and fully the characters we know were formed. And they did it with equal brio and brilliance and sly wit, which defined their characters too--and was too often missing from the early Julia marathons.

You might be surprised at what Andy cooked and ate in those days. You won't be surprised about Jeffrey. Just entertained, as usual.