Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Helen Corbitt - Dallas Really Does Love You!

So in my quest for information about Helen Corbitt, I may have emailed my city councilwoman (Hey Linda!) asking if the city had ever officially recognized this early pioneer of quality cuisine. It must have been passed along, because last week an email from a mayoral intern included a prototype of a recognition statement. Half wondering if this was some joke, I made a few recommendations for improvement, and emailed the young lady back.

Yesterday in the mail, came a beautiful navy blue folder, enclosed within was a City of Dallas Special Recognition for Helen Corbitt, with a gold seal, red ribbons, the whole shebang. It states:

City of Dallas
Special Recognition

, Helen Corbitt was born in New York and moved to Texas in 1931 from her job as dietitian at Cornell Medical Center in New York City to manage the tearoom at the University of Texas; and

WHEREAS, she was lured to the Houston Country Club before operating the tearoom at Joske's department store in Houston and had started her own catering business when the Driskell Hotel called her back to Austin; and

WHEREAS, Stanley Marcus "courted" Helen Corbitt for eight years until she finally accepted his offer to direct his Dallas store's lunchtime oasis; she then dazzled celebrities and dignitaries who flocked to the famed Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus for tantalizing cuisine; and

WHEREAS. Helen also authored five cookbooks; her first cookbook Helen Corbitt's Cookbook has sold over 350,00 copies since it was published in 1957, and her cookbooks brought nation-wide recognition to the Dallas food scene as one of the earliest "culinary stars"; and

WHEREAS, in 1961, Helen Corbitt became the first woman to ever win the food service industry's highest honor, the Golden Plate Award, give to the food operator of the year from the Institutional Food Manufacturers' Associaiton; and

WHEREAS, Helen Corbitt made a lasting positive impact on the city of Dallas and throughout the state of Texas with her renowned cooking that was well-known for new and unusual flavor combinations; the finest and reshest ingredients; and served with impeccable style.

NOW, THEREFORE, I TOM LEPPERT, Mayor of the city of Dallas, and on behalf of the Dallas City Council, do hereby extend special recognition to


for her excellent service to Dallas, Texas (Signature) (seal).

Next week I'm contacting the librarian at the University of Dallas to see if this could be added to the Helen Corbitt collection they received from her estate.

No comments: