Theodora FitzGibbon was born in London and educated in England and France. She was the author of more than thirty books, most of which were about food, and included her encyclopaedic The Food of the Western World, which took her fifteen years to complete and covered some thirty-four countries and thirty-two languages. Probably her best-known book is A Taste of Ireland. Her Saturday column in The Irish Times, which appeared for twenty years and became as legendary as everything else about her, was witty, pithy, filled with extra-curricular food knowledge and as avidly talked about as it was read. She had an unfailing instinct for putting both recipes and sentences together, and knew more than anyone how to be entertaining while doing both. She published two volumes of autobiography, With Love in 1982 and Love Lies a Loss in 1985, which are combined in the new publication A Taste of Love. She died in 1991.