Today I made Fay Wray's favorite Caesar Salad with her daughter and granddaughter!
Fay Wray began her career in silent film and landed her first major role in Erich von Stroheim's "The Wedding March". At the dawn of sound she starred in a series of popular horror films including "Mystery of the Wax Museum", "Doctor X", "The Vampire Bat" and the classic "King Kong". In addition to film, she worked in theatre and television in a career that lasted over fifty years. She was married to Oscar winning screenwriter Robert Riskin ("It Happened One Night") and their daughter Victoria Riskin is a writer and producer.
I found a ton of recipes attributed to Fay Wray in newspapers, magazines and cookbooks. Her daughter Victoria said that none of them were authentic. Instead she suggested we make the Caesar Salad that was served at the famed Romanoff's Restaurant. She emailed me a scan of Fay Wray's well worn copy of the recipe on official restaurant letterhead.
Here is my typed out version in case the picture above is hard to read:
Ingredients for 4
Cut romaine & lettuce
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon of mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of black whole pepper, chopped fine & course
2 cloves of garlic (either mixed with oil to give taste or crushed and mixed after)
2 eggs (coddled just less than 1 minute)
4 filets of anchovies, chopped fine
1 whole toast, cut in small croutons
1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
Lea & Perrins sauce (optional) very little
Crushed anchovies in salad bowl
Chopped whole pepper
Garlic (if not, with oil)
Cut romaine & lettuce
Toss salad and mix with ingredients.
Top with croutons & grated cheese, and toss again.
Victoria Riskin is an award-winning writer and producer. She served as President of the Writers Guild of America West, representing screen and television writers through the organization that her father helped create three-quarters of a century earlier. Riskin also served twelve years on the International Board of Human Rights Watch and chaired its Hellman-Hammett Committee that distributed funds to persecuted writers around the world.
The Final Product
The salad was crisp, tasty and perfect for summer! If you'd like to order Victoria's book "Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir", click here and use the code FA20 to receive a 20% discount on the paperback edition.
As we discussed in the video, there are many Fay Wray films on DVD and BluRay. You can also find her films on Amazon Prime, Kino Lorber and Turner Classic Movies.
There are also several interviews with Fay Wray on Youtube including this British TV appearance.