Food Writers of the 20th Century

Monday, February 20th 2023

Here are ten prominent food writers of the 20th century and their significance:

  1. Julia Child - Considered the doyenne of American food writing, Child brought French cuisine to American audiences with her book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and her long-running TV show "The French Chef." She is widely credited with inspiring a generation of home cooks to explore and experiment with new flavors and techniques.

  2. M.F.K. Fisher - Fisher's writing combined evocative descriptions of food with musings on love, life, and art. Her books, including "The Art of Eating" and "How to Cook a Wolf," remain classics of the food writing genre.

  3. James Beard - Beard was a chef, cookbook author, and teacher who helped to popularize American regional cuisine. He also founded the James Beard Foundation, which recognizes and supports culinary talent.

  4. Elizabeth David - David's books, including "Mediterranean Food" and "French Country Cooking," introduced British readers to the flavors and techniques of European cuisine in the post-World War II era. She is credited with influencing the development of the British food scene and helping to popularize the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients.

  5. Craig Claiborne - Claiborne was a food critic for The New York Times for many years and helped to establish the role of the restaurant critic as a cultural figure. He also wrote several influential cookbooks and was a champion of the emerging American cuisine of the 1960s and 70s.

  6. Alice Waters - Waters is a chef and restaurateur who founded the legendary Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. She is also an advocate for organic and sustainable agriculture and has been a leading voice in the farm-to-table movement.

  7. Claudia Roden - Roden's books, including "A Book of Middle Eastern Food" and "The Food of Italy," introduced British readers to the cuisines of the Mediterranean and Middle East. She is known for her meticulous research and documentation of traditional recipes.

  8. Marcella Hazan - Hazan was an Italian-American chef and cookbook author who helped to popularize authentic Italian cuisine in the United States. Her books, including "The Classic Italian Cookbook" and "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking," are considered essential references for anyone interested in Italian cuisine.

  9. Laurie Colwin - Colwin's writing combined recipes and memoir in a warm, witty style that won her a devoted following. Her books, including "Home Cooking" and "More Home Cooking," celebrate the joys of cooking and eating at home.

  10. Anthony Bourdain - Bourdain was a chef, author, and television personality who brought a punk-rock sensibility to the world of food media. His books, including "Kitchen Confidential" and "A Cook's Tour," offer a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant industry, while his travel shows, such as "No Reservations" and "Parts Unknown," explore the intersection of food, culture, and politics.

These ten writers represent some of the most significant voices in the world of food writing in the 20th century.