Although Joan claims the best chicken soup with matzah balls is made by her own mother, there are many competitors since it seems like everyone loves this popular dish. Even in the private dining room at the MGM studio, chicken soup with matzah balls is served everyday. The original recipe, so the story goes, came from the mother of Louis B. Mayer himself.
"Here the joy of eating grandfather's matzah balls was exposed to the gentile world and even some of the Jewish world," recalls Daniel Selznick, grandson of Mr. Mayer. "I often went to the executive dining room to have lunch with my grandfather. He would send back the soup if it didn't include fresh killed chicken. He had a very developed palate, maybe it was because his father-in-law was a kosher butcher and much attention was paid to the preparation of food in his home."
Like other Hollywood moguls, Mayer also ate at the prestigious Jewish Hillcrest Country Club in western Los Angeles. "At the club he ordered the freshest marinated herring and sour cream, the freshest chicken livers, the best in the entire community, but he didn't order chicken soup there," said Mr. Selznick. "Gentiles used to ask their Jewish friends to bring home the Hillcrest herring, pastrami, and chopped chicken livers." Opinionated on most things, Mr. Mayer did not approve of oversized corned-beef sandwiches. He advised anyone eating with him to have boiled chicken instead.
Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls