Diana Kennedy

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Diana Kennedy
Diana kennedy 2010.jpg
Diana Kennedy at the 2010 Texas Book Festival.
Born (1923-03-03) 3 March 1923 (age 92)
Loughton, Essex, United Kingdom

Diana Kennedy is an author and authority on Mexican cooking. A native of the United Kingdom, she started traveling in Mexico in 1957 with her husband, Paul Kennedy, who was a correspondent for the New York Times. She has been called the "Julia Child of Mexican Cuisine" and has spent 45 years traveling through Mexico researching cooking techniques and the history of Mexican cuisine. Her first cookbook was published in 1972.[1]

Kennedy was awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle, by the Government of the Republic of Mexico for her contributions to the documentation of regional Mexican cuisines.


  • 1923: Born 3 March in Loughton, Essex, United Kingdom.[2]
  • 1941: Joined the Women's Timber Corps.[2]
  • 1953: Emigrated to Canada.[2]
  • 1957: Arrived in Mexico to marry Paul P. Kennedy, foreign correspondent for the New York Times.
  • --?--: Started to study and record Mexican recipes and ingredients informally.
  • 1966: Moved to New York, United States, where Paul died in 1967.
  • 1969: At Craig Claiborne's (food editor of New York Times) urging started to give Mexican cooking lessons in New York and spent more than half the next 7 years travelling intensively to do research for future books.
  • 1972 to present: Since the publication of the first book, The Cuisines of Mexico, until the present day, giving cooking lessons in classical Mexican cuisine, in practically all the principal cities of the United States and Mexico, including special programmes in Atlanta, Aspen, Hawaii, Monterey, San Diego, Vail, and Washington DC, many of them for the Mexican government. Has given classes and illustrated lectures on the foods and markets of Mexico in Canada, the UK, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Illustrated talks on the edible plants of Mexico to the Society for Economic Botany, and the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

Books and magazine articles published[edit]

Articles in the following magazines

Gastronome, Cooking, Clipper, Conde Nast Traveller, Sabor, Mexican Food Magazine, Amistad (American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico), Intercambio (British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico), México Desconocido (a series of illustrated articles on little-known recipes), CIDAP, Artes de Mexico, Food & Wine.

Books published
  • The Cuisines of Mexico, Harper & Row, 1972, revised HarperCollins, New York, 1986 (ISBN 9780061814815)
  • The Tortilla Book, Harper & Row 1975, revised Harper Collins, New York, 1991 (ISBN 9780060123475)
  • Recipes from the Regional Cooks of Mexico, Harper & Row 1978, revised as Mexican Regional Cooking, Harper Collins, New York, 1990 (ISBN 9780060123482)
  • Nothing Fancy (a book of personal recipes) Dial Press 1984, paperback North Point Press 1989, Ten-Speed Press, Berkeley, 1999 (ISBN 9780385278591)
  • The Art of Mexican Cooking, Bantam Books 1989/ re-issued by Clarkson Potter 2008 (ISBN 9780307383259)
  • My Mexico, Clarkson Potter, New York 1998 (ISBN 9780609602478)
  • The Essential Cuisines of Mexico (a compilation of the first 3 books), Clarkson Potter, New York 2000 (ISBN 9780307587725)
  • From My Mexican Kitchen—Techniques and Ingredients, Clarkson Potter, New York 2003 (ISBN 978-0609607008)
  • Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy, University of Texas Press, Austin 2010 (ISBN 9780292722668)


  • Las cocinas de México, Harla, Mexico, 1991, (edition cancelled)
  • El arte de la cocina mexicana, Editorial Diana, México, 1993
  • México – Una Odisea Culinaria, Plaza y Janés, México, 2001
  • Lo esencial de las cocinas mexicanas, Plaza y Janés, México, 2003
  • Recetas del alma (Nothing Fancy), Plaza y Janés, México, 2006


  • 1971 – Silver Medal from the Tourism Secretariat for the promotion of Mexican culture through its foods
  • 1980 – Amando Farga Font special award from the Mexican Food Writers Association
  • 1981 – Decorated with The Order of the Aztec Eagle by Mexican Government
  • 1984 – Award of The Jade Molcajete from Tourism Secretariat and Holiday Inn hotel chain
  • 1991 – Amando Farga Font special award from the Mexican Restaurant Association
  • 1992 – Named Academic Researcher by the Mexican Society of Gastronomy
  • 1995 – Recognition by the Domecq Cultural Institute
  • 1999 – Recognition by the Mexican Restaurant Association
  • 2000 – A special Gold Medal Award from the Mexican Restaurant Association
  • 2001 – Special recognition in La Feria de Puebla by the Mexican Cultural Secretariat and the Tourism Secretariat.
  • 2001 – A silver medal from CANIRAC – The Mexican Food and Beverage Industry
  • 2002 – Awarded an MBE – Member of the Order of the British Empire – by the British Government for furthering cultural relations between the UK and Mexico
  • 2003 – Life Achievement Award from the International Association of Cooking Professionals
  • Recognition for work in sustainable foods by the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Recognition by Club de la Buena Mesa, Guadalajara, Jalisco
  • 2011 – James Beard Foundation Award – Cookbook of the Year Oaxaca al Gusto


  1. ^ Diana Kennedy @ eCookBooks.com at the Wayback Machine (archived December 24, 2004)
  2. ^ a b c "Author Interview: Diana Kennedy". The Cookbook Blog. Retrieved 20 February 2012.