#RespectYourElders: Diana Kennedy (born 1923) is a renowned British chef and author that specializes in Mexican food. She is known for popularizing Mexican cuisine in the United States by providing access to recipes, interviews and extensive research about Mexican ingredients that were previously unknown to many in the U.S.
While originally from England, her natural wanderlust fueled her desire to learn about other cultures and explore other countries at a very young age. During her travels — which began after she entered the Women’s Timber Corps — she fell in love with Paul Kennedy, who was a New York Times correspondent. She moved to Mexico City with him during the 1960s and found her true passion: Mexican cuisine.
Upon her move to Mexico, Kennedy quickly noticed that the best food often wasn’t at expensive “fusion” restaurants, but prepared by the locals with a distinct flavor. This idea fascinated her endlessly. From there, she set out to travel across Mexico and speak directly to these connoisseurs to bring these recipes to the rest of the world. She has published nine works and earned numerous awards for her thorough understanding of Mexican food. Many liken Kennedy to Julia Child, calling her the “Julia Child of Mexican Cuisine.”
In a recent interview with NPR, Kennedy says of her newest book, “Nothing Fancy,” “It’s not just another cookbook. It’s research and my years in Mexico, how it’s changed.” See the full article here.