So large a national icon is Delia Smith in the United Kingdom, that the wonder is that she remains unknown across the pond in America or Canada. She focusses on British classics, while being open to new approaches and ingredients.
Founded by Swiss immigrants in 1824, Delmonico's Restaurant was the first luxury restaurant in New York, and for almost 100 years defined haute cuisine in America. Dishes invented at Delmonico's include Baked Alaska, Delmonico Potatoes, Delmonico Steak, Eggs Benedict and Lobster Newburg.
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"Eating takes a special talent. Some people are much better at it than others. In that way, it is like sex, and as with sex, it's more fun with someone who really likes it. I can't imagine having a lasting friendship with anyone who is not interested in food."
-- Alan King (American Comic. 26 December 1927 – 9 May 2004)