September 30, 2005

Cookbook sale to benefit Children’s Hospital

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Cookbook sale to benefit Children’s Hospital

The Friends of Vanderbilt Children's Hospital has published a cookbook featuring 240 recipes from renowned local chefs, Vanderbilt faculty and staff, community members and even patients and their families. All proceeds from the four-color, hardbound cookbook, “Entertaining with Friends,” will benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Abby McLemore, aspiring pastry chef and current patient at Children's Hospital, tested hundreds of recipes along with her mother, Claudia, who was also on the Friends cookbook committee.

“The cookbook is not only a beautiful book full of delicious recipes and stunning photography, but all of the proceeds from sales of the cookbook go directly back to the hospital,” Abby says. “This means that Children's Hospital can become an even better and more advanced hospital in fighting childhood illness.”

Abby, who plans to attend culinary school in New York on a scholarship next fall, even has a few of her own recipes featured in the cookbook.

“I don't know how many exactly we tested, but it was hundreds and hundreds,” said Abby, who is being treated for a third bout with cancer. Often friends from Abby's school would test the creations as part of a “sample group” to help determine which recipes would make the cut.

“Once we made 10 recipes and invited all our friends over for a big dinner to give their opinions,” Abby said.

In addition to the McLemores, the committee was headed up by Susan Basel, Peggy Franks and Terrie Purser.

"We are so excited about this cookbook," says Peggy Franks, the cookbook chair. "It is truly coffee-table quality and something even the non-cook would be proud to display.

"No only does it feature recipes from some of the area's best cooks and most notable restaurants, but it also gives secrets from the pros on how to entertain," she added. "And so that no one forgets the reason for the book, we've included a section about the hospital's history and the Friends' organization."

Gracing the cover of the cookbook is 4-year-old Julianne Marlar, who spent some time in Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit along with her twin brother, Nicholas, as preemies.

“I loved Vanderbilt so much that after I finished nursing school, I got a job here,” said the twins' mother, Nicole Muoio, a nurse in the adult hospital. “I was so happy for Julianne to appear on the cover. It was our little gift to give back.”

The cookbook can be pre-ordered for $29.95 until Oct. 14, and will cost $35 afterward. Entertaining With Friends includes a variety of colorful and tasty appetizers, entrees and desserts. For more information, or to order, visit