In the 1950s, Elizabeth David helped transform British attitudes to cooking and eating with the publication of Mediter­ranean Food. This biography takes the reader behind the hints of autobi­o­graphy in her own titles, and reveals the cookery writer’s life.


THE INDEPENDENT (2 December 1998) — Elizabeth David’s final recipe: take one culinary saint, two rival books, add wine and sex and stir to boiling point»

This thoughtful, metic­u­lously researched biography illuminates the life and times of one of the most influ­ential women of our century…An extraordinary talent, an extraordinary life, expertly unravelled in a biography worthy of its subject.’ — Elisabeth Luard, THE TIMES

‘The book has the serious purpose and sense of balance of the historian infused with sympathy and the warmth of admiration for what Ms David stood for and what she achieved. It respects her without being respectful…A remarkably rounded and convincing portrait.’ — GUARDIAN

‘This book provides a fuller and better appre­ciation of Elizabeth David’s work than has previously appeared anywhere. The author’s background in the arts, besides her enthusiasm for food and cookery, give her insights which few other writers would be capable of matching… Lisa Chaney, sympathetic but candid throughout, has done a fine job and has drawn a full and convincing portrait of an extraordinary personality.’ — Alan Davidson, EVENING STANDARD

‘Chaney writes partic­ularly well throughout on the roots of Elizabeth David’s interest in food, and on how her writing is about so very much more than food.’ — Minette Marrin, LITERARY REVIEW

‘Worthy of its subject, well-written and quite brilliantly researched.’ — Anne Scott-James, THE OLDIE

‘Fascinating reading’ — Katherine Whitehorn, OBSERVER

‘Chaney’s biography has enough detail to satisfy the most demanding David-worshipper…and is keenly alert to the wider cultural framework in which her subject operated.’ — D.J. Taylor, MAIL ON SUNDAY