Jane Grigson was an English cookery writer. In the latter part of the 20th century she was the author of the food column for The Observer. She wrote numerous books about European cuisines and traditional British dishes. Her work proved influential in promoting British food.
About Jane Grigson in brief
Jane Grigson was an English cookery writer. In the latter part of the 20th century she was the author of the food column for The Observer and wrote numerous books about European cuisines and traditional British dishes. Her work proved influential in promoting British food. She was awarded the John Florio Prize for Italian translation in 1966, and her food books won three Glenfiddich Food and Drink Awards and two André Simon Memorial Prizes. Her writing put food into its social and historical context with a range of sources that includes poetry, novels and the cookery writers of the Industrial Revolution era, including Hannah Glasse, Elizabeth Raffald, Maria Rundell and Eliza Acton. She also campaigned against battery farming and for animal welfare, food provenance and smallholders. In 1988 she took John MacGregor, then the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to task after salmonella was found in British eggs. In 1959 she had a daughter, Sophie, who later became a food writer and television presenter. She had a conviction that cooking is a central part of life as it should be written as carefully as it was written about in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and it was there, according to the dictionary, that she developed a conviction about cooking. She died of a heart attack at the age of 80 in 2009. She is survived by her daughter Sophie, her husband Geoffrey and a son-in-law, David, and a daughter who is now a TV presenter and cookery teacher.
She has also a daughter and a step-son, both of whom have died in recent years. She wrote a book about the history of the British fish industry, The Fish Cookery Cookery, which was published in 1967. She and her husband co-wrote Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery in 1967, and she continued to write for the Observer until 1990. In 1953 she became an editorial assistant at the publishing company Rainbird, McLean, a position she held for two years. After university she travelled around Italy, and lived for three months in Florence. She began writing art reviews for the Sunderland Echo, covering subjects such as fine pottery, the Renaissance and the work of Clarkson Frederick Stanfield. She worked in a junior capacity in an art gallery on Bond Street; she thought the watercolours were old-fashioned, and later said that she wished to rip everything off the walls and hang up Ben Nicholson. She later had a relationship with the poet and writer Geoffrey Grigsson, with whom she had one daughter. In 1985 she had another relationship with her husband, who died in 1985, and the couple had a son, David. In mid-1950s she changed her name by deed poll to Jane McIntire, and in the mid- 1950s, she changed the name to Heather Mabel Jane. She lived in Sunderland, in North East England, before studying at Newnham College, Cambridge. She then moved to Broad Town, Wiltshire, where she worked as a translator of Italian works.