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Spending a Day in Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks

Inside the most interesting cookware shop in the city

Joanne Hendricks: Cooking is fundamental.
Staci Schwartz

Joanne Hendricks: Cooking is fundamental.

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Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks
488 Greenwich Street, 212-226-5731

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One afternoon, Joanne was talking to me while standing over her antique ceramic stove, on which a chicken simmered in a pot for soup. I asked her why she thought old cookbooks held such an appeal for her. She poked the chicken thoughtfully with a wooden spoon. "I'll tell you a story," she said. "One time, up in Cape Breton, I went to a clam shack out by the water. And I saw a young girl sitting alone, maybe 16, with a huge pile of steamers in front of her. She was eating them one by one, scooping them from the shell and dipping them in yellow drawn butter with a look of concentration on her face. And I thought: Nabokov could have written a story for her. That's what I'm drawn to—food that weaves itself into stories and imaginings. It's probably why I like old cookbooks so much."

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