May 18, 2011
Delia Smith CBE (born 18 June 1941) is a British cook and television presenter, known for her interest in teaching basic cookery skills. She is the UK's best-selling cookery author, with more than 21 million copies sold.Born to a Welsh mother in Woking, Surrey, Smith attended Bexleyheath School, leaving at the age of 16 without a single O-level. Her first job was as a hairdresser, and she also worked as a shop assistant and in a travel agency before starting her career in cookery.When Delia was 16, her boyfriend often complimented her, saying how good her food was.
This was the nudge forward that made Delia take that step into cookery. At 21, she started work in a tiny restaurant in Paddington called The Singing Chef. She started as a washer-upper, then moved on to waitressing, and then was allowed to help with the cooking. She started reading English cookery books in the Reading Room at the British Museum, trying out the recipes on a Harley Street family with whom she was living at the time.