I’m waiting to meet Dana Cowin, editor-in- chief of Food & Wine magazine, for lunch at Aureole in midtown
Manhattan. I was her assistant at the magazine early in my career, but I haven’t seen
her in almost 11 years. When she walks in, she looks the same as I remember her.
She’s still charming and enthusiastic, and, today, she’s excited to talk about her
latest project, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen (Ecco), a cookbook all her own,
after many years spent working with food, restaurants, and chefs.
Cowin is credited as the editor of several Food & Wine cookbooks, but this one,
she says, “feels like the first one.” She can be humble, in spite of her enormous
success: her new book is all about mistakes. In the book’s intro, she writes, “I am
going to be honest: I am not a great cook. I come by my incompetence geneti-
cally. I am descended from a long line of non-cooks.”
Cowin was born and raised on New York’s Upper East Side, and still lives there
with her husband, Barclay Palmer, and her two children, Sylvie and William. She
BY RUBY CUTOLO
WITH THE MASTERS