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Photo by Paul Miller

Chef Linda Hampsten Fox Shares Her Most Beloved Kitchen Item

The Bindery’s head chef reflects on her inherited cookbook collection.

Photo by Paul Miller

Linda Hampsten Fox, owner and head chef of the Bindery restaurant, recalls a kitchen drawer in her childhood home. It held her mother’s collection of recipes—some of which had traveled with her ancestors from Slovakia; others came from Fox’s father’s Polish family. “From this drawer,” Fox wrote in her 2019 cookbook, The Bindery: A Collection Of Recipes, “grew my family tree.” One of the most-used tomes in the beloved collection? A 1951 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. Fox remembers her mother tucking her own food-splattered recipes between the red-gingham-print covers, adding them to the book’s lessons on meal preparation and nutrition. Some of that advice lives on at the Bindery: “I remind my employees of the book’s third rule: ‘The eye eats first,’” says Fox, who inherited many of the dog-eared recipe books when her mom died in 2010. Today, the collection lives in Fox’s home office, ready to remind her of where she’s come from—and to inspire the Bindery’s menus in the future.

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