as pulling kids in to make the frosting, to
make it feel like the kid is the focus and in
on the fun. … I think the benefits go well
beyond food. It helps slow time down.”
Griffith followed her parents’ lead and
built bonds with her own children at the
stove and around the table. When it came
time for Griffith to seek a new path after
her career as a senior editor at Reader’s
Digest ended, it was her daughter Kathleen
’04 who gave her the “kick in the pants”
She suggested her mother dedicate her
energies to her love of travel and food by
leading cooking-school trips to France.
Though reluctant at first, Griffith in
2007 took her first group to study in the
Provence kitchen where Julia Child cooked
and wrote the second volume of Mastering
the Art of French Cooking.
“It was just such fun to take people
there and cook in Julia’s kitchen — the
same peg boards, the same outlines of uten-
sils on the wall,” she said.
Not only did Griffith find herself reinvigorated, she saw others become ignited
by Child’s own sense of fearlessness in life
and the kitchen. She since has led cooking-school tours to Paris and Italy’s Amalfi
Coast and has plans to take a group to
The collection of recipes, stories and
her father’s sketches that comprise The
Virtues of Cooking would no doubt make
her parents proud. But Griffith thinks they
would be puzzled that their approach to
food and family might be regarded as novel
in today’s iPhone-fueled, fast-casual world.
“I think it came very naturally to
them,” she said. “I think they would be
sort of surprised that there was anything
unusual about it. Today when you think
about raising kids and values ... honestly,
in some ways, they wouldn’t make a big
deal about it.”
— Amber Nimocks ’ 94
Griffith says she felt like the center of
attention when helping her father bake.
“I think parents don’t realize something even
as small as pulling kids in to make the frosting ... The benefits go well beyond food.”
Left: One of her father’s drawings of a busy
kitchen, used in her cookbook.