Bee Wilson

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Plenary chair at the Oxford Food Symposium

Beatrice Dorothy "Bee" Wilson (born 7 March 1974) is a British food writer, journalist and historian and the author of five books on food-related subjects.


Wilson is the daughter of the writer A.N. Wilson and the academic Katherine Duncan-Jones. Her sister is the classicist Emily Wilson. She attended Trinity College, Cambridge,[1] and it was from Cambridge University that she received her doctorate for a dissertation on early French utopian socialism.[2]

For five years from 1998, Wilson was the food critic of the New Statesman magazine, where she wrote about subjects such as school meals.[3]

After that, Wilson wrote the "Kitchen Thinker" column in The Sunday Telegraph's "Stella" magazine for twelve years.[4] For the column, she was named the Guild of Food Writers food journalist of the year in 2004, 2008 and 2009.[5]

Wilson has written book reviews and other articles for The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Times Literary Supplement.[6][7] She has written "Page Turner" blogs for The New Yorker on ideas about the recipe.[8][9] She has contributed articles to the London Review of Books, on subjects such as film, biography, history and music.[10]

In 2016, her book First Bite: How We Learn to Eat won the Special Commendation Award at the Andre Simon Food and Drink Awards[11] and Food Book of the Year at the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards.[12] That book was described in the Financial Times as being "about the pleasure of eating and how we can reconnect with this".[13]

Wilson is chair of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery.[14]


According to The New Yorker writer Jane Kramer, "Bee Wilson describes herself as a food writer. That's half the story". In Kramer's opinion, Wilson writes on food as it relates to history, ideas and human life.[15] In The New York Times, Dawn Drzal described Wilson as "a congenial kitchen oracle".[16]


  • The Hive: The Story of the Honeybee and Us, John Murray, 2004
  • Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee, John Murray and Princeton University Press, 2008
  • Sandwich: A Global History, Reaktion Books, 2010
  • Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat, Basic Books, 2012 (history of kitchen technology, from fire to the AeroPress)[17]
Translated into Spanish as La importancia del tenedor. Historia, inventos y artilugios en la cocina, Turner, 2013
  • First Bite: How We Learn to Eat, Basic Books and Fourth Estate[18]
Translated into Spanish as El primer bocado. Cómo aprendemos a comer, Turner, 2016
  • The Way We Eat Now. Strategies for eating in a world of change., Harper Collins, 2019
Published in the US as The Way We Eat Now: How the Food Revolution Has Transformed Our Lives, Our Bodies, and Our World, Basic Books, 2019


  1. ^ "Dr Bee Wilson (1992)". Alumni Profiles. Trinity College, Cambridge. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  2. ^ Raymond Sokolov. "Back to the Chopping Board". Consider the Fork: A History of Invention in the Kitchen (book review). Literary Review, London. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  3. ^ Bee Wilson "Food", New Statesman, 17 March 2002
  4. ^ "Telegraph website". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Guild of Food Writers". Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  6. ^ Bee Wilson, Bee "The Baguette is Back", Times Literary Supplement, 6 June 2007
  7. ^ Bee Wilson "Smell the Coffee", Times Literary Supplement, 31 October 2007
  8. ^ Wilson, Bee. "Pleasures of the Literary Meal". The New Yorker. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  9. ^ Wilson, Bee. "The Allure of Imagined Meals". The New Yorker. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  10. ^ London Review of Books. "Bee Wilson". London Review of Books. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  11. ^ "2015 Awards: Food". Andre Simon. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Food and Drink Awards 2017". Fortnum and Mason. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  13. ^ Russell, Polly. "First Bite: How We Learn to Eat by Bee Wilson". Financial Times. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  14. ^ Duguid, Naomi. "Report on the Oxford Symposium 2015". Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  15. ^ Kramer, Jane (18 March 2013). "A Fork of One's Own". The New Yorker.
  16. ^ Drzal, Dawn. "The Science of Sizzle". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  17. ^ Poole, Steven. "Consider the Fork Review". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  18. ^ Finney, Clare. "It's Not Naughty. It's Not Virtuous. It's Food". Borough Market. Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. "We don't have an instinct that tells us what to eat... It's not a moral thing. It's a skill we learn".

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