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50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #11 Patricia Wells - Wedge Salad with Buttermilk-Lemon Zest Dressing

In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
the "Gourmet" prompt...
11. Patricia Wells-  Milwaukee–born Wells gave us France, spreading the bistro love as the Paris–based restaurant critic of L’Express and the Herald Tribune. She taught us—and reminded the French—about Provençal cooking, and… quoi? An American woman is telling the French what to eat? Oui.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. who runs her own cooking schools in Paris and Provence.  Former New York Times reporter...only foreigner and only woman to serve as restaurant critic for a major French publication, L’Express.  Global restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune for more than 25 years.  Recipient of several James Beard Awards.  Oh yeah, she definitely deserves her slot in the "top 50".

I love Patricia Wells cookbooks.  I don't actually own any, but I check them out often from my library.  I always keep them for as long as I can (renew...use a different card and renew again...) so that I can page through and dream of making a simple country dish from Provence, a traditional Italian pasta, or a heavenly salad.  One day I would LOVE to attend her cooking school in Provence.  Or Paris.  I'm not picky.

Wedge Salad w/ Buttermilk-Lemon Zest Dressing
from Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season by Patricia Wells
serves 4 (& ~⅔ c. dressing)

2½ oz. (~¾ c.) smoked bacon, julienned
1 medium head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into wedges
1 Tbs. minced fresh chives
6 oz. (~1½ c.) chilled bleu cheese, crumbled
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Buttermilk-Lemon Zest Dressing
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
½ c. buttermilk
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
salad:  Cook bacon until done and transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.  Combine chives, bleu cheese, and bacon with dressing* and spoon evenly over lettuce wedges.  Season with salt and plenty of pepper.  Serve.

*dressing:  Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake to blend.  Let stand for an hour to allow flavors to blend, or up to three days in the fridge.  Shake before using.
Patricia Wells (November 5, 1946 - present)
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?

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