Writer Betty Fussell - Biography

November 2011

It’s no surprise Betty Fussell was an inductee to the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America at the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards. Fussell is a prolific cookbook writer and food historian, specializing in American food culture, from the corn fields and pasturelands of American farms to the seminal figures of American culinary culture. As a cook, she likes recipes that are simple, improvisatory, and tasty—things anyone could do with no more than a sharp knife, a skillet, and a few good, fresh ingredients. Her many cookbooks reflect these interests, from her first, Masters of American Cookery (1984), to her most recent, the James Beard nominated Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef (2008).

But Fussell has published many titles in between first and last, many among them ambitious and comprehensive studies of the landscape of American culinary culture, from The Story of Corn (for which she won the International Association of Culinary Professional's Jane Grigson Award) and I Hear America Cooking to A Slice of Life and Masters of American Cookery. As if her CV weren’t already stuffed to the gills, Fussell has contributed regularly to major publication. Her articles have appeared in publications like the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Travel and Leisure, Cosmopolitan, Food Arts, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, and Vogue.