"Elizabeth David discovered her taste for good food and wine when she lived with a French family while studying history and literature at the Sorbonne. A few years after her return to England she made up her mind to learn to cook so that she could reproduce for herself and for her friends some of the food that she had come to appreciate in France. Subsequently Mrs David lived and kept house in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India, as well as in England. She found not only the practical side but also the literature of cookery to be of absorbing interest and studied it throughout her life."
This, her first book, appeared in 1950:-
'With this selection of Mediterranean dishes, I hope to give some idea of the lovely cookery of those regions to people who do not already know them, and to stir the memories of those who have eaten this food on its native shores, and who would like sometimes to bring the flavour of those blessed lands of sun and sea and olive trees into their English kitchen' E.D. London 1950.
Interspersed with charming black and white illustrations, the ED notes make this a hard book to put down, as it is such a delight to read. It is so easy to get absorbed into the life of this fascinating woman. This is not just a 'cookery book', but an insight into the pleasure to be found in food. Definitely worthy of a place on the kitchen bookshelf!
Rick Stein recommends Elizabeth David as I am sure most discerning chefs and gastronauts would do. These books set the context of the receipes which somehow allows the reader to gain a greater insight and appreciation of all the delicious receipes on offer. Great food does not date, likewise great writing - this book has both in equal measure - defo worth a read.
I am just replacing my original copy which was in hardback. Elizabeth David opened the door to all the masses of cookery books available today. Her enthusiasm was very inspiring in those early days. With thanks.