Sheila Lukins, the store owner and cookbook author who helped change how America eats, has died. She was 66.
Lukins died Sunday at her Manhattan home, according to longtime colleague Laurie Griffith. She had been diagnosed with brain cancer three months ago.
Born in Philadelphia, Lukins got her education in the fine arts, graduating from New York University with a degree in Art Education. But in the 1970s, after she had spent some time at the Cordon Bleu in London and had worked with some chefs in France, she returned the New York and started a catering business. In 1977, she co-founded The Silver Palate, a shop on Manhattan's Upper West Side that introduced people to flavors from places such as Greece and Morocco.
"She had a wonderful flair for putting together interesting combinations of flavors," said Griffith, who worked with Lukins for many years on her cookbooks.
"I think she changed the way we eat."
In 1982, "The Silver Palate Cookbook" was released, one of a number of cookbooks Lukins would work on, including "All Around the World Cookbook" and "The New Basics Cookbook." Her books have sold several million copies.
Lukins also was the food editor at Parade magazine. She was inducted the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America in 1992. She sold her interest in The Silver Palate in 1988, and the store was closed in 1993.
Lukins is survived by two daughters, Annabel Lukins Stelling and Molly Burke; two grandchildren, and two siblings.