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(Xavier) Marcel Boulestin (1878–1943) by Marcel Gromaire, 1925 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016

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Boulestin, (Xavier) Marcel (1878–1943), restaurateur and writer on cookery, was born at Poitiers, France, where his mother, the daughter of a former lycée teacher, shared the house of his widowed maternal grandmother. Boulestin grew up and attended school in Poitiers, developing strong interests in music and the theatre. He visited his father, who maintained a largely separate existence, only for a month each summer, at the property that he owned at ...

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Briggs, Richard (fl. 1788), writer on cookery, was for many years at the Globe tavern, Fleet Street; the White Hart, Holborn; and the Temple Coffee House, Fleet Street, London. His book, The English Art of Cookery, was first published in 1788 and by 1798 it had gone into several editions in ...

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Bukht, (Mirza) Michael John [pseud. Michael Barry] (1941–2011), broadcasting executive, television presenter, and cookery writer, was born on 10 September 1941 at Ynysarwed Farm, Resolven, Glamorgan, the elder son of Mirza Jawan Bukht (1908–1973), an Indian (later a Pakistani) diplomat, and his wife, ...

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Robert Carrier (1923–2006) by Barry Marsden, 1998 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Carrier, Robert (1923–2006), writer on cookery and restaurateur, was born Robert Carrier McMahon on 10 November 1923, at Tarrytown, New York state, USA, the third son of a wealthy property lawyer of Irish descent. His mother was of German descent, and also from a wealthy background. (His middle name, later his assumed surname, was that of one of his grandmothers, chosen because it looked good in print and was easy to pronounce in French.) When his parents lost their money following the ...

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Crewe [formerly Dodds], Quentin Hugh (1926–1998), writer on food and travel, was born at 27 Welbeck Street, London, on 14 November 1926, the second son of Major (James) Hugh Hamilton Dodds, British consul in Tripoli, and his wife, formerly Lady Annabel Hungerford O'Neill (...

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Davidson, Alan Eaton (1924–2003), diplomatist and food historian, was born on 30 March 1924 at Garden City, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, the only son and elder child of William John Davidson (1899–1959), inspector of taxes, and his wife, Constance, née Eaton (1889–1974). His father was Scottish, which ...

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Dolby, Richard (fl. 1826–1833), writer on cookery, of whose early life little is known, was cook at the Thatched House tavern, St James's Street, London (c.1826–c.1832). He was registered by the Vintners' Company as a freeman by servitude on 5 April 1826. His residence was the ...

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Driver, Christopher Prout (1932–1997), journalist and writer on food, was born in India on 1 December 1932, the son of Arthur Herbert Driver, a Presbyterian medical missionary, and his wife, Elsie Kathleen Shepherd. When the family returned to England, Dr Driver ran Book in Hand...

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Georges Auguste Escoffier (1846–1935) by unknown photographer © reserved

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Escoffier, Georges Auguste (1846–1935), master chef and writer on cookery, was born on 28 October 1846 in Villeneuve-sur-Loup (later Villeneuve-Loubet), Alpes-Maritimes, 15 kilometres from Nice, the son of Jean Baptiste Escoffier (d. 1909), farmer and village blacksmith. At thirteen Auguste was apprenticed to his uncle ...

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Farley, John (1755/6–1827), cook and writer on cookery, is a figure about whom little is known apart from his highly successful book, The London Art of Cookery published in 1783; it went into twelve editions by 1811. It includes a handsome and youthful likeness of ...

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Floyd, Keith (1943–2009), restaurateur, food writer, and broadcaster, was born at Folly Farm, Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on 28 December 1943, the younger child and only son of Sydney Albert Floyd (1915–1985), a meter repairman for the electricity board, and his wife, Winifred Phyllis Lorraine, ...

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Keith Floyd (1943–2009) by Inge Yspeert, 1990s © Inge Yspeert / Corbis

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Francatelli, Charles Elmé (1805–1876), chef and writer on cookery, was born in London, an Englishman of Italian descent. His father was Nicholas Francatelli, a steward. He trained in Paris under Antonin Carême, the founder of French haute cuisine, returning to England at a time when it was becoming fashionable to employ French cooks. He worked for many years as ...

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Frazer, Alastair Campbell (1909–1969), pharmacologist and food scientist, was born at Fairhaven, Lower Road, Farnborough, Orpington, Kent, on 26 July 1909, the second son of Wilson Ray Frazer, civil servant in the Local Government Board, and his wife, Grace Haldane, née Robbs. He was educated at ...

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Harben, Philip Hubert Kendal Jerrold (1906–1970), television chef and writer on cookery, was born on 17 October 1906 at 40 Perham Road, Fulham, the son of Leonard Hubert Storey Harben (1878–1941) and his wife, Mary Jerrold Allen (1877–1955). His parents were both actors, known as ...

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Hardy, Sir William Bate (1864–1934), biologist and food scientist, was born at Erdington, Warwickshire, on 6 April 1864, the only child of William Hardy, of Llangollen, Denbighshire, and his wife, Sarah, eldest daughter of William Bate. As a boy Hardy was sent to sea with the ...

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Ambrose Heath (1891–1969) by Howard Coster, 1939 © National Portrait Gallery, London