Dame Alison Margaret Holst DNZM CBE QSM (née Payne, born 1938), is a best-selling New Zealand food writer and television chef. Her first television programme premiered in 1965. The following year she published her first cookbook. Since then (as of 2010) her cookbooks have collectively sold more than four and a half million copies of 100 titles, and she has appeared on numerous other television and radio shows as well as writing newspaper columns and magazine articles.
She describes the style of food in most of her books as 'everyday food' and the recipes are generally written for home cooks and intended to be easy and reasonably cheap to make, as well as nutritious. Since 1994 she has marketed a brand of bulk wholefoods under the name Alison's Choice through the Foodstuffs supermarket company.
Holst graduated from the University of Otago, then a constituent college of the University of New Zealand, with a Bachelor of Home Science and subsequently spent a year at Teachers' College. She then began lecturing in the Foods Department at the School of Home Science before starting her television career.
In the 1987 New Year Honours she was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to home science. In 1997 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Otago.
Since 1990 she has co-written several cookbooks with her son, Simon Holst. In November 2010 Holst appeared on Radio New Zealand's afternoon programme to deny rumours that she had been asked to be the next Governor General of New Zealand.
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