Claudia Roden brought the delights of Middle Eastern cuisine to the kitchens of post-war Great Britain with her thoughtfully researched and inviting cookbooks and food writing. Born to the respected Syrian-Jewish Douek family, Claudia studied in London to become a painter before becoming engrossed by the stories and recipes of Britain’s expatriate Egyptian community. She began researching the first of dozens of award-winning books, interviewing relatives, her parents’ friends, and even people on line at the embassy. In 1970, her Middle Eastern Food was as remarkable for the history, ethnography, and human stories it contained as for its recipes of the Arab world, a cuisine ignored by cookbook authors at the time. In 1979, after divorcing Paul Roden, whom she had married in 1959, Roden supported her three children by teaching Middle Eastern cooking in her kitchen. She later served as a food correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, traveling and researching the cuisine of Italy and the Middle East, and hosted Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean Cookery on the BBC. Her 1997 The Book of Jewish Food—An Odyssey from Samarkand and Vilna to the Present Day was remarkable for being the first cookbook to include a balance of Ashkenazic and Sephardic recipes.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Claudia Roden." (Viewed on March 3, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/roden-claudia>.