Eliane Ame-Leroy Carley of Darien died on Dec. 18 at the age of 91. Born in Paris, France and the daughter of a distinguished French diplomat, she had been a resident of Darien since 1961.

Up to the age of 18, she lived at embassies in Geneva, Switzerland, Munich, Germany, Oslo, Norway, and Lisbon, Portugal. She immigrated to America in 1940 after her father, the French ambassador to Portugal, was recalled by the German-controlled Vichy Government for “insubordination.” A charming, versatile, and gifted woman, she was the author of Classics from a French Kitchen, a cookbook detailing the history of French dishes, her family said. Published by Crown in 1983, it was reviewed in Time magazine as one of the finest cookbooks of the year. She received the honor of being selected for membership in Les Dames d’Escoffier after its publication. In the late 70’s, she lectured at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York and had given French cooking classes in the 1960’s in Darien. Also in the 60’s, she was a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, writing articles on French cuisine. She studied French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris as well as learning from the staff chefs when she had lived at various French embassies.

She was also a top children’s dress designer in the 1950’s for the company, Cinderella. Vice-President Richard Nixon’s two daughters wore one of her designs. She also, studied at the Art Students League in New York City in the 1940’s under well know artist George Bridgman, who was impressed with her talent. She was married from 1957 to 1965 to Robert G. Carley an advertising executive and vice-president at Young & Rubicam. In her latter years, however what meant the most to her was her strong Christian faith. She used any opportunity to share the Gospel as well as to write letters to the editor on moral issues of the day.

She attended St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien as well as Grace Faith Assembly Church in Danbury. She is survived by her son Robert of Darien, and a daughter, Viviane of Cambridge, Mass. Her grandchildren include; Dylan, Dustin, and Zoe Bennett.

— by The Darien Times