Irma Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking in 1931 with the small insurance payout she received after her husband committed suicide during the Great Depression. Suddenly, society wives who used to enjoy a kitchen staff no longer had the money to employ them and began cooking for themselves. The instruction "stand facing the stove" was a bit more pragmatic than we realize. In 1936, the first commercial edition was published by Bobbs-Merrill. Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma´s daughter, joined the Joy dynasty and revised and updated each subsequent edition until 1975. That edition was the first after Irma´s death and was completely Marion´s. Her son, Ethan Becker, has returned the book to the family´s voice, revising the 1975 edition for the 75th Anniversary Edition.
Ethan Becker is the son of Marion Rombauer Becker and the grandson of Irma S. Rombauer, the original author of The Joy of Cooking. He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, but learned how to cook from his mom. An outdoors-man, he is a master of the grill and at cooking game. His outdoor gear and survival and combat knives are sold internationally under the brand Becker Knife and Tool. Ethan and his wife, Susan, a writer, editor, and artist, live in East Tennessee at their home, Half Moon Ridge. His website is TheJoyKitchen.com.