Profile signs biography of Churchill's cook

Profile signs biography of Churchill's cook

Profile Books has acquired the biography of Churchill’s cook from food historian and broadcaster Annie Gray.

Rebecca Gray, editorial director at Profile Books, acquired Victory in the Kitchen: The Story of Churchill’s Cook by Gray – the star of BBC Radio 4’s "The Kitchen Cabinet", and BBC Two’s "The Sweetmakers and Victorian Bakers". Profile published Gray's first book, The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria, in May 2017. 

Victory in the Kitchen is a culinary biography of Churchill’s cook, Georgina Landemare, set against the backdrop of the changing food scene of the 20th century. It will also provide a "fresh perspective" on Winston Churchill, a man who was "notorious for his expensive tastes and love of fine food", said the publisher. "Through one eager eater, and one skilled cook, Victory will contextualise the recent history of British food through two figures who were both intimately involved with it", it added.

Annie Gray said: "I'm really thrilled to be working with Profile again. They did a fabulous job with The Greedy Queen and after looking at the life of a queen among eaters, I'm raring to get my teeth into the tale of a queen among cooks. Georgina Landemare's recipes are as full of flavour as her life, and I'm excited to be able to bring the story of a working-class woman who rose to the very top of her profession to life. She's without doubt one of the greatest chefs most people have never heard of."

Louisa Dunnigan, editor at Profile Books, said: "Annie Gray has an amazing talent at bringing the past alive through its food, and those who cooked and ate it. We’re delighted to be publishing this second book with her, in which she brings this period in history - and Georgina’s own remarkable story - vividly to life. It’s well known that Churchill loved his food, but what’s less well known is his valued cook. Georgina is as wonderful a character as she was a cook, and it’s time that she came out from the kitchen shadows to stand next to Churchill in the limelight."

Gray is an historian, cook, broadcaster and writer specialising in the history of food and dining in Britain from around 1600 to the present day. She has worked at Audley End amongst other historical kitchens and gives lectures all over the country. She presents history documentaries and is the in-house food historian on BBC Radio 4's "The Kitchen Cabinet". She lives in East Anglia.

Profile Books acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights from Tim Bates at PFD.

Victory in the Kitchen: The Story of Churchill’s Cook will be published in Autumn 2019.