Our friend Gina Mallet has died.
What a loss to the writing community and what a loss of a truly interesting person.
As two single British women, Gina and Diane were friends and from time to time Gina asked her to be her guest when she went out incognito to do her devastating restaurant reviews. Later I tagged along – she jokingly dubbed us the OMC: old married couple.
Here are links to some of our favourite reviews. We went with her to Morgan’s on the Danforth, where she was kind to the neophyte chef. We accompanied her to The Hot House on Front and Elle ma dit, on Baldwin. We discussed the merits of fresh truffles at the Niagara Street Café and there were more over the years. Always we were amazed how she could write such plangent reviews, with a few notes scribbled on the back of an envelope. Her memory for what she had observed was impressive, considering how much fun we always had – and how much wine we finished off. We loved her for her quirky British humour and her vast intelligence. There wasn’t a subject she couldn’t tackle and write about like an expert. And about food she really knew her stuff. A true journalist.
She came sailing a few times, and always brought home-made sandwiches. In later years she found it hard to get on and off the boat. We always imagined she was a contemporary, not one much older than us, but already her strength was fading. At her house, at one of her inimitable dinner parties, where a dozen of us crammed into her Rosedale bachelor flat around a makeshift table on mis-matched chairs, she passed around a photograph of herself as a young woman. The picture was taken by her former school chum Lord Snowdon. She was heartbreakingly pretty. I wonder if she ever broke a man’s heart, for as far as we know, she never married. We mourn that girl of long ago and our wonderful writer friend of later years. She was my inspiration and we will miss her sparkling company.
Here’s a link to her National Post obit.