Delia Smith

A national (culinary) treasure...

18/05/1941 -

Delia Smith biography and information

Delia Smith was born in Woking, Surrey, and left school at 16 without any qualifications. She tried out hairdressing, being a shop assistant, and working for a travel agency before getting a job in a tiny restaurant called The Singing Chef in Paddington at the age of 21. She worked her way from washing-up to being able to do actual cooking, reading recipe books at the British Museum in her spare time.

Smith was taken on as a cookery writer for the Daily Mirror's new magazine in 1969. In 1972, she began writing a column for the Evening Standard, and continued doing so for 12 years. It was during this time that she began hosting cookery shows on television.

Smith's 1998 television series, Delia's How to Cook, caused a 10 percent increase in egg sales, coining the term the "Delia Effect"--describing a run on a previously underselling product recommended by a high-profile face. This was seen again with her 2008 book, How to Cheat at Cooking.

Perhaps best-known for television series (and book) Delia's Complete Cookery Course, Smith's cookery books quickly become bestsellers. Delia's Winter Collection sold two million copies in hardback.

Book and writing awards

CBE (2009) in recognition of her contribution to television cookery and recipe writing.

Similar authors to Delia Smith

Mary BerryNigella Lawson, and James Martin.

Books by Delia Smith