Catching up with Diana Kennedy

Diana Kennedy Nothing Fancy book cover

Diana Kennedy reigns as one of the top authors in the EYB Library, holding two of the top ten spots in the Mexican genre. NPR's The Salt recently interviewed Kennedy, who is as feisty as ever at age 93. 

Born in England, Kennedy moved to Mexico in the 1950s. Once there, she began to chronicle Mexican cooking and plant life. This exploration sparked the publication of a cookbook, Cuisines of Mexico, plus eight others. Kennedy has been honored by both the Mexican government (Order of the Aztec Eagle) and the British government (Order of the British Empire).

It would difficult to imagine anyone who has as much passion for Mexican cooking as does Kennedy. Her cookbooks are the result of years of travel and study within the country, both of its food and its plant life. Although she's often referred to as a "culinary anthropologist," she prefers the term "ethno-gastronomer". Earlier this year Kennedy re-released her memoir Nothing Fancy: Recipes and Recollections of Soul-Satisfying Food, which has been expanded with new and revised recipes, additional commentary, photos, and reminiscences.   

Her forthright manner--bordering on bluntness--has put off some people, including one reporter who described her as "prickly". But Kennedy's proclamations are a reflection of her intense desire to get everything exactly right. And at age 93, after decades of study and publication, she has earned these strongly held opinions. 

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