Claudia Roden was born and brought up in Cairo. She finished her education in Paris and later studied art in London. Starting out as a painter, she was drawn to the subject of food partly through a desire to evoke a lost heritage – one of the pleasures of a happy life in Egypt. The local delight in food, like the light, colour and smells and the special brand of hospitality, warmth and humour, has left a permanent impression.
With the publication of her bestselling classic, A Book of Middle Eastern Food in 1968, Claudia Roden revolutionized Western attitudes to the cuisines of the Middle East. Since then she has published nine other books, including the award winning classic, The Book of Jewish Food, and has won no fewer than six Glenfiddich awards for her writing. In 2005, her book Arabesque: A taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon won the Andre Simon Award for the best cook book of the year. Claudia Roden’s latest book, The Food of Italy, was published by Square Peg in 2014