Paula Wolfert Fights Fading Memory with Food

This author of nine cookbooks is world renowned for her culinary palate. At age 78, she shares her struggles with dementia in a candid interview from her own kitchen in Sonoma, California. She is no longer able to taste the difference between a walnut and a pecan. Once a linguist of eight languages, she maintains only English and expresses regret that forty-percent of the words she once knew have evaporated.

Despite her losses, she remains vibrant in spirit and “her insatiable drive” is easily visible. “What am I going to do, cry about it?” she shared sarcastically, as she began to describe the active approaches she takes to battling her memory decline. She has resolved a diet from theories she culled together from deep internet research, her physicians, other dementia patients she networks with, and valuable conversations with friends.

She granted this interview to celebrate the debut of her biography “Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life” which is interwoven with fifty of her favorite recipes. The work is authored by Emily Kaiser Thelin, Ms. Wolfert’s former editor at Food and Wine, and close personal friend. Her college and peer Mario Batali calls the book “a brilliant summation of the resilience, exuberance, and expertise that we know and love of Paula Wolfert.” Read the full NY Times interview HERE.

Memory loss is a journey many face with optimism and courage. At OPICA we support passionate living through all stages of memory loss and our staff is specially trained to support family CAREgivers who travel alongside dementia pioneers. We thank Ms. Wolfert for her inspiration and for bringing awareness to dementia. For more information about OPICA’s Adult Day Program and other services, click HERE.

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