I’m Jenny Ridgwell, an author of over 70 books about food. Most are textbooks for schools – part of a secret world of food writing, not lauded in newspapers and magazines, or shown in bestseller lists, but I’ve sold over 1 million copies so somebody out there must have read them!
I Taught Them To Cook is a memoir of teaching home economics in an east London comprehensive in the 1970s which led to a commission to write my first book Finding Out About Food for OUP in 1980 which became a really popular food textbook, selling 120,000 copies. That was a surprise for the publisher and myself when she unearthed the data!
I taught home economics/food technology in London comprehensive schools for 20 years, then wrote a series of food and textiles textbooks for Heinemann, and well used GCSE textbooks for Food and Nutrition. In 1989 I set up Ridgwell Press to publish GCSE food textbooks and train food teachers around the country in the new food technology curriculum. Meanwhile I was a chief examiner and worked for O level, GCSE and A level. My online Nutrition Program is used by thousands of students around the world to analyse recipes, diets and meals, and we have some food writers and food producers on board as it is so easy to use.