LYDIA ESTELLE BRAVO: A Passion for
night before the planes hit, Lydia Bravo cooked a pot of
ribollita, the Tuscan stew of beans and greens. She and
her fiancé, Anthony Bengivenga -- "she called me
Antonio" -- opened a bottle of Sangiovese. They had just
returned from a week in Mexico. Ms. Bravo, a nurse at
Marsh & McLennan, returned to work on Tuesday,
They would have been together 11 years this month, Mr.
Bengivenga said. Both had been married before, both had
grown children. They had found in each other a passion
for all things passionate -- the films of Pedro
Almodóvar, flamenco music and food. All kinds of
Ms. Bravo, 50, was a devoted cook. She had taken
classes at Peter Kumps. She had hundreds of cookbooks --
some picked up at flea markets, others on trips abroad.
Whenever they went to Italy she peeked into kitchens and
chatted up the cooks. At home in Dunellen, N.J., she
cooked elaborate meals.
"That was really her forte," Mr. Bengivenga said. "I
would help. I enjoyed being in the kitchen with her." She
taught him a few things, but not nearly enough, he