Claudia Roden

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Claudia Roden
Claudia Roden 2012 (cropped).jpg
Roden in the chair at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, 2012
Claudia Douek

1936 (age 84–85)
Cairo, Egypt
Occupationcookbook writer and cultural anthropologist
Spouse(s)Paul Roden (divorced)
RelativesEllis Douek (brother)

Claudia Roden (nee Douek, born 1936) is a British cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist.[1][2][3][4][5] She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and Arabesque—Sumptuous Food from Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon.[2][3][5][6][7]

Early life[edit]

Roden was born in 1936 in Cairo, Egypt, the daughter of Cesar Elie Douek and his wife Nelly Sassoon.[1] Her parents were both from Syrian-Jewish merchant families, and she grew up in Zamalek, Cairo, with two brothers, the surgeon Ellis Douek, and Zaki Douek.[8][9] She was Egypt's national backstroke swimming champion at the age of 15.[8]

In 1953, she went to a boarding school in Paris, and then to London to study at Saint Martin's School of Art.[10][6][8]


Besides her numerous cookery volumes, Roden has also worked as a food writer and a cooking show presenter for the BBC.

She is co-chair with Paul Levy of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. She is an Honorary Fellow of the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London.[10]

Personal life[edit]

In 1959, she married Paul Roden, a clothes importer, and they separated after 15 years. [8]

They had three children.[8][11]

She has lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb since the early 1970s.[11]

Activities and awards[edit]

Roden is a Patron of London-based HIV charity The Food Chain.[12] In 1999 Roden was honoured with a Prince Claus Award from the Prince Claus Fund, an international culture and development organisation based in Amsterdam.

In 1997, Roden was awarded the National Jewish Book Award in the Sephardic and Ashkenazic Culture and Customs category for The Book of Jewish Food[13]

Claudia Roden (right) and Paul Levy (centre) among panellists at the Oxford Symposium, 2006


  • 1968: A Book of Middle Eastern Food, ISBN 978-0-394-71948-1 (reprint)
  • 1970: A New Book of Middle Eastern Food, ISBN 978-0-14-046588-4 (reprint)
  • 1981: Picnic: The Complete Guide to Outdoor Food, ISBN 978-0-14-046920-2 (reprint)
  • 1981: Coffee, ISBN 978-1-85793-341-3
  • 1986: Middle Eastern Cooking, ISBN 0-7445-0653-0
  • 1987: Mediterranean Cookery, ISBN 978-0-14-027278-9 (reprint)
  • 1990: The Food of Italy, ISBN 978-0-09-927325-7 (reprint)
  • 1992: Claudia Roden's Invitation to Mediterranean Cooking: 150 Vegetarian and Seafood Recipes, ISBN 978-0-330-39169-6 (reprint)
  • 1996: The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand and Vilna to the Present Day, ISBN 978-0-14-046609-6 (reprint)
  • 1999: Coffee: A Connoisseur's Companion, ISBN 978-1-86205-283-3
  • 1999: Tamarind and Saffron: Favourite Recipes from the Middle East, ISBN 978-0-14-046694-2 (reprint)
  • 2000: The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, ISBN 0-375-40506-2
  • 2001: Picnics: And Other Outdoor Feasts, ISBN 978-1-904943-17-4 (reprint)
  • 2003: Claudia Roden's Foolproof Mediterranean Cooking, ISBN 978-0-563-53496-9
  • 2003: Foreword to Traditional Moroccan Cooking by Madame Guinaudeau, ISBN 1-897959-43-5 (reprint)
  • 2004: The Arab-Israeli Cookbook: The Recipes, with Robin Soans, ISBN 978-0-9515877-5-1
  • 2005: Arabesque - Sumptuous Food from Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon, ISBN 978-0-7181-4581-1
  • 2006: Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon, ISBN 978-0-307-26498-5
  • 2007: Simple Mediterranean Cookery, ISBN 978-0-563-49327-3
  • 2011: The Food of Spain, ISBN 978-0-06-196962-1


  1. ^ a b "Claudia Roden | Jewish Women's Archive". 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  2. ^ a b Rachel Cooke (2012-03-18). "Claudia Roden: interview | Life and style | The Observer". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  3. ^ a b "YaleNews | Renowned Food Writer Claudia Roden To Serve Up Lecture at Yale". 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  4. ^ Camas, Joanne. "A Conversation with Claudia Roden at". Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  5. ^ a b "Activities". Prince Claus Fund. 2011-12-17. Archived from the original on 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  6. ^ a b Claudia Roden (2010-03-24). "Claudia Roden from HarperCollins Publishers". Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  7. ^ Weigel, David. "Claudia Roden's new cookbook, Arabesque, an excellent primer on the Middle East. - Slate Magazine". Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  8. ^ a b c d e Pownall, Elfreda (13 July 2014). "Claudia Roden: an interview with the champion of Middle Eastern food". Retrieved 2 April 2018 – via
  9. ^ "Jews of Egypt, with Dr Ellis Douek". 17 August 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  10. ^ a b Ms Claudia Roden, Honorary Fellow, SOAS, University of London. SOAS. Accessed July 2013.
  11. ^ a b Lewis, Tim (18 May 2014). "Claudia Roden: 'My kids preferred beans on toast to hummus and pitta'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  12. ^ "our patrons". The Food Chain. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  13. ^ "Past Winners". Jewish Book Council. Retrieved 2020-01-25.

External links[edit]