Mention Claudia Roden's name in food writing circles and eyes will inevitably light up at the thought of this grand-dame of the the genre, who masterfully conjures the history of the world in her dishes. Her instincts as a story teller, combined with her Syrian Jewish heritage and a youth spent in Cairo lead her to seek out the comforting familiarity, the rooted sense of place that eating a meal based on treasured family recipes provides. Indeed, her first title: 'A Book of Middle Eastern Food', published in 1968 is often described as a love letter to her Egyptian homeland and one of the greatest literary expressions of homesickness ever written.
With over 19 books to her name and a career spanning 50 years, Claudia has influenced countless chefs and cooks the world over. She worked as a ‘gastronomic foreign correspondent’ for several national newspapers, provided menus and recipes for restaurants and overhauled the food and menus at Guy’s hospital. She has also run cookery classes and given seminars and master classes for chefs based in several countries.
In 1987 Ms Roden worked on the BBC TV series Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean Cookery and wrote the book of the series. In I989 she wrote the series The Taste of Italy for the Sunday Times Magazine. Her books, (including The Book of Jewish Food and most recently The Food of Spain) have won her many international awards.
In 2010 Ms Roden was a Visiting Fellow at Yale University and she is co-chair of the trustees of the Oxford Symposium of Food and Cookery.
We have been honoured to host some of the following guest chefs at Ballymaloe Cookery School over the years.