Elizabeth David CBE (née Elizabeth Gwynne, 26 December 1913 – 22 May 1992) was a British cookery writer of articles in newspapers and magazines, as well as several books. She wrote about European cuisine and traditional British cuisine. She is known for her influence on British cookery from the 1950s onward.
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- Those who make an occasional marketing expedition to Soho or to the region of Tottenham Court Road can buy Greek cheese and Calamata olives, Tahina paste from the Middle East, little birds preserved in oil from Cyprus, stuffed vine leaves from Turkey, Spanish sausages, Egyptian brown beans, chick peas, Armenian ham, Spanish, Italian, and Cypriot olive oil, Italian salame and rice, even occasionally Neapolitan Mozzarella cheese, and honey from Mount Hymettus. These are the details which complete the flavour of a Mediterranean meal, but the ingrediens which make this cookery so essentially different from our own are available to all; they are the olive oil, wines, lemons, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and the aromatic herbs and spices which go to make up what is so often lacking in English cooking: variety of flavour and colour, and the warm, rich, stimulating smells of genuine food.
- ... I went on a short trip to Turin and Alba, to see an exhausting exhibition of Piedmontese baroque at Stupinigi, the former palace of the royal house of Savoy, and more enjoyably, to eat white truffles and fonduta, white truffles with risotto, white truffles and scrambled eggs, white truffles spread on bread and butter. My article Trufflesville Regis, was written rather hurriedly for the Spectator, and contained any number of Italian spelling mistakes. Nobody complained except the Italian friend I had been with on the trip. In due course she corrected them for me, and a second version of the article was published by Cyril Ray in his Compleat Imbiber.
Quotes about Elizabeth David
- Simon Hopkinson first met Elizabeth David in 1984, or thereabouts, at Hilaire, the Chelsea restaurant of which he was chef. She came for supper with Valerie Eliot, and the widow of the poet was wearing – he remembers it vividly – a polka-dot dress. "I was very excited," he says. "Because I was a fan." ... at the end of her lunch, the young Hopkinson left his kitchen, clutching a copy of An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, David's collected journalism and the book of hers that he loves the most. She duly signed it for him, and so began a friendship that would last until she died in 1992.
- Simon Hopkinson as quoted by Rachel Cooke in: (7 December 2013)"The enduring legacy of Elizabeth David, Britain's first lady of food: She led British cooking from the greyness of austerity to an exotic world of fresh herbs and garlic. On the eve of Elizabeth David's centenary, we celebrate her life and books.". The Guardian.
- The Elizabeth David recipe that I love and remember the most is the delicious ragu from her Italian Food book. It's just so different from all the traditional Bolognese sauces we're used to, but I actually think it's loads better. Using chicken livers to give a lovely earthy base to the sauce is genius, and I seem to remember she also did a variation with veal, which surprised me, but really works. There's butter in there instead of olive oil, which would mortify a few Italian nonnas, and also ham, but it's a fascinating way of recreating a classic sauce. All through my career, I've been inspired by female cooks – Rose and Ruth at the River Cafe, of course; Stephanie Alexander, Alice Waters, Delia – and Elizabeth David is up there with the best.
- Jamie Oliver, as quoted by Caroline Boucher in: (8 December 2013)"Classic Elizabeth David recipes: Chefs and food writers choose their favourite recipes by Elizabeth David and explain why they work.". The Guardian.