Our contributor Shauna Sever is a fantastic baker who didn’t have to think for even a second when we recently asked her who she's a super fan of. Her answer: Maida Heatter. Heatter's cookbooks have inspired countless home bakers and pastry chefs. She was over 100 years old at the time we recorded this interview with Shauna, and sadly, Maida passed away a few weeks later. But Shauna's love for her lives on! She talks with Francis Lam about why she was drawn to Maida's work and her recipes, and about the meandering path Maida took to baking excellence. Maida can still guide your hand in the kitchen. Her last cookbook, a kind of greatest hits, is called Happiness is Baking. We have one of her absolute classic recipes from it, East 62nd Street Lemon Cake.
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Francis Lam is the host of The Splendid Table. He is the former Eat columnist for The New York Times Magazine and is Editor-at-Large at Clarkson Potter. He graduated first in his class at the Culinary Institute of America and has written for numerous publications. Lam lives with his family in New York City.