Born: Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Gillian Duffy's summers as a teenager were spent with various families in Normandy, France, where she developed her love and knowledge of food and cooking. Marketing with her hostess, she learned how to choose the ripest and best ingredients -the smell of a melon when it is perfect, and how to select the various vegetables and fruits. Their cook tended to prepare simple Norman dishes, and the flavors still linger in her memory. Returning to England, where her father farmed in rural Sussex, she would pick vegetables from the garden minutes before they were to be cooked for lunch or dinner, cooking them in the French manner, rather than traditional soggy British!
After finishing school in London, Gillian joined advertising agency Papert Koenig Lois, as art buyer, where she worked with Peter Mayle before his Year in Provence. Her work organizing all the photography for print and television was to subsequently stand her in good stead, with her New York Magazine food issues. After marrying David Duffy, a Captain in the Royal Artillery, she found herself at age 20, in Germany presiding over dinner parties for senior officers and their wives, at least twice her age. Fortunately during this period she developed a taste for cooking and entertaining, with plenty of time to indulge it. She remained in Germany for nearly two years, travelling all over Europe, sampling the cuisine of different countries, and becoming more expert and adventurous with her own cooking. Leaving the army, she and her husband lived for the next year on a 70ft charter yacht on the Spanish island of Ibiza. He was the captain and she did all the cooking! She says " I always gave the charterers huge delicious lunches, with lots of wine, so that they would siesta for the whole afternoon and leave us in peace!" Marketing was a daily challenge, when sometimes supplies from the mainland would fail to arrive. However, local produce, though limited, was very good in those days,. Returning to London, she rejoined PKL briefly, as Art Buyer, before moving on to become a partner in a London design studio, where she remained for some years, until her husband moved to the US in 1978.
In 1980 she joined New York Magazine, running the 'Cue' restaurant and nightlife section. It was a wonderful opportunity to explore the food and restaurant scene in New York, and eventually she started working on the Food & Entertaining issues. She found her previous design and photography backgrounds a great asset, and still does.
Gillian says " I work very closely with the chefs for these issues, developing and personally testing every recipe that appears in the magazine, and directing the photographer and stylists on the photo shoots. In a city that is probably experiencing the most exiting food development in the world, I am constantly exposed to the latest food trends." Currently the Culinary Editor for New York Magazine, she also writes a 'Food in 15-minutes' column for Marie Claire Magazine, and has also written for 'Allure', 'House Beautiful', 'In Style', and Microsoft 'V-Style'.
Morrow & Co published her book 'Hors d'oeuvres' in November 1998.
She now lives in Weston, Connecticut with her husband David, an institutional stockbroker.
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