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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:

The croqueta, Spain's elegant answer to the French croquette, reaches perfection in the hands of the housewives of Andalucía. The cooks of Andalucía, says


Mothering Sunday, also known as Mother's Day, is celebrated this year (in Britain at least) on April 3. It has its origins in a


The popular uprisings that are drawing the world's attention to North Africa evoke memories of another exciting time in the continent's recent past. When


Christmas is the magical season when the white Piedmont truffle, valued in Italy above all others, overlaps with the black Périgord truffle, the prized


The elegant city of Sibiu is an anomaly in Romania—a romantic, well-restored medieval city whose ethnic German population long stood apart from the rest


A salty little inducement to order another glass at the counter, the tapa in the bars of Andalusia is, in its traditional form, no


Air-dried, cured by the salt breeze from the sea without the benefit of salt or smoke, Viking longships never left home without it. Leif

Clootie Dumpling

It's all in the name. The clootie, as anyone of Scots descent knows well enough, is a cloth. And the dumpling, as prepared in