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Delia Smith was born in Surrey, England in 1941 and was brought up in Kent. When she was 16 she dropped out of school without any qualifications and went through a few jobs before washing up at a restaurant. Following her boyfriend's constant talk of his ex-girlfriends's skills in the kitchen she started learning to cook.

As everyone does, she made mistakes in the kitchen. One of them being the Great Rice Pudding Disaster where she forgot to add an ingredient - sugar

Now Delia Smith is the author of quite a few cookbooks (her first, How to Cheat at Cooking, was published in 1973), a columnist (Sunday Mirror (1969) and the Evening Standard (1972-84)) and has her own cookery shows. She places quite a bit of importance on eggs - sizes, freshness and cooking them. She also focuses on the basics - equipment, methods and ingredients. She's been cooking for over 40 years. Apart from being a cook, she is also a big football fan. She is a director of the Norwich City FC.

In my house her Complete Cookery Course was (and still is!) something of a Bible for when one was wondering about how to make something or for basic information about ingredients or conversion between metric and imperial systems. From what I can gather online, her word goes for most of Britain - according to Biography.Com the noun and adjective "Delia" was added to the 2001 edition of the Collins English Dictionary because it had passed into everyday useage.

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