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Soups, Stews & Stories: At Book Party, Secrets of Roux Revealed

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrew Schneider knew the path to a rich roux for folks who mix fat and flour in the quest for luscious sauces.

“You must stir the roux constantly, never leaving the pot, not to pee, yell at the dogs or answer the door until the roux is a dark rich mahogany in color. Anticipate a wonderful aroma when the roux is nearly just perfect.”

So read Kathleen Best, left, co-author with the late Schneider of Soups, Stews & Stories: An Investigative Reporter’s Global Quest to Nourish the Soul, from their newly published book at a gathering in Silver Spring, Md., on Sunday, Jan. 29..

The event marked the formal release of a combination cookbook and tribute to a renowned sleuth, who was collecting recipes while on assignments across the globe and in every quarter of America.

It was sponsored by Best and New Bay Books and hosted by Jackie Koszczuk and Joe Sobczyk at the inviting and eclectic National Park Seminary.

Schneider, who died in 2017, was the son of a Miami chef. He specialized in a special brand of investigative journalism that focused on victims of environmental crime and regulatory failure. He was shot, beaten, hacked with a machete and had his thumbs broken in a long career for the Associated Press and major newspapers that twice scored the Pulitzer Prize.

“Andy started working on this cookbook

more than a decade ago, writing stories about the places he visited and the people who cooked for him in the course of covering news stories around the world. But there were too many stories and too little time,” Best said.

The audience including noted journalists from the Washington region, among them Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, and Rafael Lorente, the college's associate dean for academic affairs.

“This is not a book about fine dining,” said Best, director of U-MD’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. “The recipes come from the people Andy covered — the mushroom pickers, the soldiers and sailors, the fishermen, the rescue workers, or from the people he grew up with.”

The event featured samples from four of the dozens of recipes in the book: Forest Wild Mushroom Soup; Great Italian Grain Salad; Guantanamo Chile; and Holiday Hazelnut Brittle.

The book is available at New Bay Books.

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