Diana first got a taste for cooking at age six in Northern Ireland, where she grew up. An exchange trip to France in her teens only increased Diana’s love for cooking as she learnt how to make ‘a proper vinaigrette’, lacy crêpes and pot-roast rabbit but a career in food had never occurred to her.
After reading English Literature at Oxford, Diana moved to London to do post-grad studies in journalism but the world of food was calling. Suddenly Greek and Turkish shops were on her doorstep and the Middle Eastern cafes of the Edgware Road were just a tube stop away. “With food, I discovered, you could go anywhere while standing in your kitchen. I felt the whole world was at my feet.”
While working at the BBC as a TV Producer, Diana spent her weekends devouring Claudia Roden’s A New Book of Middle Eastern Food, Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Anne Willan’s Observer French Cookery School. At 30, Diana enrolled at Leith’s School of Food and Wine intending to only do one term. A year later she had left the BBC and completed her Leiths diploma course. She went back to work as a television producer and later started writing full time when her first child was born.
Diana is now a food columnist for the Sunday Telegraph and the author of eightcookbooks. Her first book, CRAZY WATER, PICKLED LEMONS (Mitchell Beazley, 2001) was shortlisted for the Glenfiddich Cookbook of the Year. In 2003, Mitchell Beazley published THE GASTROPUB COOKBOOK, which was followed up in 2004 by ROAST FIGS, SUGAR SNOW. Mitchell Beazley have since published COOK SIMPLE: EFFORTLESS COOKING EVERY DAY (2007), THE GASTROPUB COOKBOOK – ANOTHER HELPING (2008) FOOD FROM PLENTY (2010) (which was shortlisted for both the André Simon Award and the Guild of Food Writers Award for Cookbook of the Year), and SALT, SUGAR, SMOKE (2012) (which was shortlisted for the Fortnum & Mason Award and The Guild of Food Writers Award for Cookbook of the Year). Diana’s latest book, A CHANGE OF APPETITE: WHERE DELICIOUS MEETS HEALTHY, was published by Mitchell Beazley in March 2014 and her latest, the best-selling A BIRD IN THE HAND, was published in March 2015.
Diana won the James Beard Award for Single Subject in April 2016. SIMPLE was published in September of the same year.
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