Please note this letter is actually from B. Wayne Maness
Dear Mr. Smith,
As I made Chicken with Leeks and Cream tonight for the 150th time, I thought of you. I hope that this note finds you doing well.
I write at this time because I wanted to thank you for the fine education
that you gave me. I was in high school when your show first appeared
in our area and I
was just beginning to cook for myself. Your shows and books continued to inspire me through my college days and the years after. So much of what I know
about cooking and food came from you. You deserve my deepest appreciation. You taught me how to chop, peel, and sauté and all the other basics that you
covered so diligently. You taught me a great deal about Chinese food which has come in handy as I have traveled there frequently for my career. You taught me
how to stock a panty and which utensils to buy. I still have the same Susi/Zyliss garlic press I purchased about fifteen years ago upon your recommendation.
I could go on and on but I think you get my point.
Many years ago I wrote to you about a particular recipe. In that
letter I detailed how my friends referred to me as "the Frugal Gourmet's
Disciple." They struggled
to find books that you had written which I did not already own to give to me as gifts. I referred to you constantly and impressed my friends with my new skills.
They were always interested to see what I had conjured up in the kitchen whenever they came over for dinner parties. "I wonder if Wayne will have more ducks
hanging from the kitchen cabinets this time?" When I think now of that time I realize that you taught me about how to live as well as how to cook.
You will always occupy a special place in my memory. I send you my sincere gratitude and respect.