Alford was from Laramie, Wyoming and he graduated from high school there in 1972. He earned a master's degree in creative writing at the University of Wyoming. After leaving Wyoming, he lived in Ireland and traveled the world.
He met Duguid on a bike trip in Tibet in 1985, and they were married in early 1986. They had two sons, and lived in Toronto, Canada. The couple separated in 2009, and Alford now lives in a small village in Northern Thailand.
- Flatbreads and Flavors: A Culinary Atlas (ISBN 0-688-11411-3, 1995)
- Seductions of Rice (ISBN 1-57965-234-4, 1998)
- Hot Sour Salty Sweet (ISBN 1-57965-114-3, 2000)
- Home Baking: Sweet and Savory Traditions from Around the World (ISBN 1-57965-174-7, 2003)
- Mangoes and Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent (ISBN 1-57965-252-2, 2005)
- Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China (ISBN 1-57965-301-4, 2008)
- Smith, Andrew F. (2007). The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 154–155. ISBN 978-0-19-530796-2.
- Meitus, Marty (14 December 2005). "Jeffrey Alford, an outsider cooking in". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 16 May 2014.
- Chapman, Sasha (2005). "Spice World:Canada's most acclaimed cookbook writers on their almost accidental success". Toronto Life (November). Archived from the original on 17 June 2007.
- Alford, Jeffrey (12 August 2009). "Rainy season". Jeffrey Alford.
- Kramer, Jane (24 November 2008). "Profiles: The Hungry Travellers". The New Yorker 84 (38): 100–106.