Thursday, July 2, 2009

"The Most Revolting Dish Ever Devised"

If I had to name a culinary heroine, it would be Elizabeth David. Hers were the first 'serious' cooking books I read, in my early twenties, & I immediately fell under the spell of her tart, vivid, authoritarian style. I have almost all her books, a couple of biographies about her, even a novel based on her relationship with Norman Douglas. Her writing about food stands the test of time (still better than anyone else, I think), and I still find myself wondering "What would Elizabeth David think of this?" as I put together a meal, or even scan the contents of my fridge. This may be a bit pathetic sounding, but it's actually quite helpful. That ED was beautiful, difficult, private & rather discontented just makes her even more fabulous. This week Tim Hayward, writing in The Guardian, describes a visit to the London Guildhall library to look at her annotated collection of cookery books. Good stuff.

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