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Elisabeth Luard is a British food-writer, journalist and broadcaster specialising in the traditional cooking of Europe and Latin America (though she’ll take a swing round Africa and India if asked), placed in its social, geographical and historical context. The step-daughter of a British diplomat, her early schooling was in Uruguay, Spain, France and Mexico.

Mirroring her own childhood, she brought up her family of four children (with husband, writer and conservationist Nicholas Luard, founding-proprietor of satirical magazine Private Eye) in Andalusia, Languedoc and London. Later, with children grown, workplaces switched to the island of Mull in the Hebrides, Nicholas’s home territory, before, some 20 years ago, they moved to a remote farmhouse in the wilds of Wales. Widowed five years ago, Elisabeth continues to live and work in Wales.

As a journalist, she writes every month in the UK’s Country Living, and has a cookery-column in The Oldie - a tongue-in-cheek magazine edited by Richard Ingrams, founding editor of Private Eye - and for anyone else who offers employment. Among books-in-print (or available on the re-tread market) are European Peasant Cookery (US: The Old World Kitchen. 1985 and still in print), Festival Food (1988, reprinted 2009), The Food of Spain and Portugal (2004), Classic French (2006, includes her own illustrations) and Classic Spanish (2007, includes her own illustrations). The Latin American Kitchen (2003), Sacred Food (2001), Truffles (2006), Food Adventures (2006, a cookbook for children written with daughter-in-law, Frances Boswell, sometime food-editor at Martha Stewart Living).

Elisabeth LuardOther publications include autobiographies-with-recipes Family Life (1996), Still Life (1998) and My Life as a Wife (2008). As for the rest, well, she admits to a couple of doorstopper novels: Emerald (1993 - Thumping Good Read Award) and Marguerite (1995). To come: A Year in a Welsh Farmhouse Kitchen (Bloomsbury, scheduled spring 2011), The Oldie Cookbook (Oldie Publications, due Oct 2010, includes her own illustrations).

Elisabeth’s early career as a natural-history artist led to work as an illustrator, and while she no longer exhibits in London’s Tryon Gallery, she still takes travel-notes with watercolours and sketchbook. Her watercolour illustrations can currently be seen in Country Living. Sketches from her travel-notebooks are being used to illustrate her recipes in The Oldie Cookbook. As a proud granny of seven - two in New York and five in London -she visits regularly and cooks with her grandchildren whenever she can. website:

Ruthene women. Credit: Elisabeth Luard

Easter is a moveable feast in both Eastern and Western church traditions -- quite literally, since the date can vary by several weeks whether

A group of chefs at work in Barcelona. Credit: Elisabeth Luard

Nine years ago, Ferran Adrià of elBulli, the most féted chef on the planet, came to London to demonstrate his extraordinary techniques to an

Haggis and whisky, the staples of any Burns Night supper. Credit: Elisabeth Luard

Jan. 25 is Burns Night, as anyone with even the most tenuous connection with the land of haggis and whisky (no "e" in Scottish

A Scottish Hogmanay celebration. Credit: Elisabeth Luard

Hogmanay, as the last day of the old year is known in Scotland, is celebrated with an enthusiasm unmatched south of the Border in

Provencale Christmas crib figures called santons. Credit: Elisabeth Luard

Christmas in Provence, that sunny wedge of southern France that runs along the edge of the Mediterranean from the Italian to the Spanish border,

The round, red chilies traditionally served with Romanian sour soup. Credit: Elisabeth Luard

Rolled-up leaves stuffed with rice, papery phyllo pastries layered with nuts and soaked in syrup -- the cooking of the Balkans owes as much


Cloudberries are shy little plants. They grow so low to the ground you might not even notice the juicy golden fruits balanced on delicate


Salamanca, one of the most beautiful cities in all Spain, has a reputation for some of the best tapas bars serving the best ham