Before Elizabeth David died in 1992 she and her editor, Jill Norman, had begun work on a volume of "The Best of" but then her health deteriorated and the project was shelved. The idea was revived in 1996 when chefs and writers and Elizabeth's many friends, were invited to select their favourite articles and recipes. Some sent notes explaining their choice, others provided an anecdote or a recollection about her, others sent lists of recipes they had been using for years. This book is the fruit of that harvest of recommendations and the names of the contributors, who number among them some of our finest food writers such as Simon Hopkinson, Alice Waters, Sally Clarke, Richard Olney, Paul Levy and Anne Willan, appear after the pieces they had chosen along with their notes. The extracts and recipes which make up South Wind Through the Kitchen are drawn from all Elizabeth David's books, namely "A Book of Mediterranean Food", "French Country Cooking", "Italian Food", "Sumer Cooking", "French Provincial Cooking", "Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen", "English Bread and Yeast Cookery", "An Omelette and a Glass of Wine", and "Harvest of the Cold Months".
There are over 200 recipes in the book organised around courses and ingredients such as eggs and cheese, fish and shellfish, meat, poultry and game, vegetables, pasta, pulses and grains, sauces, sweet dishes and cakes, preserves, and bread, all interspersed with extracts and articles making it a delightful compendium to dip into as well as cook from.
About the Author
Elizabeth David lived and kept house in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India, learning the local dishes and cooking them in her own kitchens. Her first book, Mediterranean Food, appeared in 1950. In 1951 French Country Cooking was published and in 1954, after a year of research in Italy, Italian Food. This was followed by Summer Cooking (1955), French Provincial Cooking (1960) and Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen (1970). In 1973 Mrs David severed all connection with the business trading under her name and concentrated on study and experiment for English Bread and Yeast Cookery, for which she won the 1977 Glenfiddich Writer of the Year Award. An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, a selection of her journalistic work, was published in 1984 and Harvest of the Cold Months, her book on the use of ice and the making of ices was edited by Jill Norman and published posthumously in 1994. She was honoured with many prizes, made Chevalier de l'Ordre du Merite Agricole by the French in 1977, awarded the OBE in 1976 and the CBE in 1986. Honorary doctorates were conferred on her by the universities of Essex and Bristol. In 1982 she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She died on 22 May 1992.