was born on a sheep farm in Australia, and grew up with good, fresh, no-nonsense home-cooking. Then I became more and more obsessed with food, travelling the world to eat in three-star restaurants and explore regional cuisines, eating whatever I could get my hands on and learning all the time. At home, I would cook Michel Guerard's quail with grapes one day, and Shanghainese beggar's chicken the next; the quintessential eighties and nineties foodie.
Somewhere along the way, I segued from writing ads for fashion stores and cars to writing about my true loves: food, restaurants and cooking. I was the cookery editor of the Sydney Morning Herald for six years before moving to London in 2000 to become the cookery editor of The Times (The Times Cook) for the next six years. In 2002, the British Guild of Food Writers presented me with the British Cookery Journalist of The Year Award.
Now I'm a happy little freelance food writer, concentrating on my magazine columns and cookbooks. I have written fourteen cookbooks, including Simple Food (2002), Very Simple Food (2004), Totally Simple Food (2006) and Good Cooking, The New Basics (2005). I did the photography for the 'Simple' books myself, and really enjoyed it, but now I let the professionals do the job so I can concentrate on the food.
My latest book, Lighten Up, is, perhaps, an Australian's response to the heavier, creamier food of the northern hemisphere, although I feel we could all benefit from moving our cooking and eating to a lighter, healthier place. I think of it as 'foodie goes healthy' - how to love your food but not be punished by it.
I also write regular columns for 'delicious' magazine in Australia, UK, and The Netherlands; Taste magazine in South Africa; and in various UK food magazines such as Waitrose Food Illustrated; and do regular guest chef appearances on British television, most recently on ITV's Saturday Cooks and UKTV's Market Kitchen.
I live in London with my husband Terry Durack, the only person I know who is more obsessed with good food than I am, and return regularly to Australia for Butter Menthols, cold beer, decent coffee, and to keep mum happy.
About Terry Durack
was born in the back streets of Richmond, Melbourne, Australia, and I think I've been hungry all my life. Now I'm the restaurant critic for the Independent on Sunday in London, but like Jill, I started as an advertising copywriter and creative director. I suspect I became more famous for my long lunches, however, than my long headlines.
When we got together we travelled the world indulging ourselves, then came home to write about it, in great Australian food and travel magazines such as Vogue Entertaining and Gourmet Traveller. Then we moved from Melbourne to Sydney in 2004, where I was the restaurant critic for the Sydney Morning Herald, and together, we edited the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for 6 years.
I write a regular column on restaurant issues in the UK’s perky Olive magazine, a recipe column for Australia’s Good Weekend magazine, and travel features for Travel & Leisure. Every now and then I get off my backside and write a book ((Yum, A Voyage Around My Stomach; Hunger, Noodle), or co-author a book with Jill, such as the world’s first cookbook and compact disc combinations, Hot Food Cool Jazz, and Allegro Al Dente.
Nigel Slater of The Observer called me ‘probably the sharpest, greediest, funniest food writer alive’, but I probably shouldn’t say that about myself. I am also honoured to be the current Glenfiddich Food & Drink Restaurant Critic of The Year (2007).