Goodbye to an old friend


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When I started at the Times Food section, it ran on Thursdays, it was regularly more than 70 pages long, I had a full head of hair, and Donna Deane was the backbone of the Times Test Kitchen. The ensuing 20 years have changed many things, but until recently, not Donna Deane. And now, she’s gone, too — one of the 150 editorial casualties of the last round of budget cutting.

It’s impossible to overstate how much Donna has brought to the section and through how many changes she has kept the kitchen sailing smoothly. Just one measure: She outlasted six different Food editors, including Betsy Balsley, Ruth Reichl, Laurie Ochoa, me, Michalene Busico and Leslie Brenner.


Noelle Carter remains in the kitchen and is extremely capable. As ever, we’ll continue to test, refine, retest and perfect every recipe before it runs in the newspaper. That’s an obligation that too few newspapers (and even cookbooks) honor these days. But it won’t be the same without Donna Deane.

If you’d like to post your appreciation for the 28 years Donna worked at the Test Kitchen, please post them here. If you’d prefer to keep them private, send them to

— Russ Parsons