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Fanny Cradock

Fanny Cradock was an English television chef and a newspaper columnist, besides being a restaurant critic. She was one of the first celebrity chefs of England and her popularity rose with her endless television shows and her stage performances turning theatres into restaurants. She has written atleast 100 cook books and was known to host cooking shows on television with Major Johnny Cradock, who later married her.

Chef Cradock’s Professional Life

Fanny Cradock had a difficult childhood and a struggling youth. She worked in various capacities before turning into a celebrity chef. She used to sell vacuum cleaners from door to door, work in a dress making shop and then worked in various restaurants before finally carving out a niche for herself. While working at the restaurants she learned many a usefull skill of French cooking, popularised by famous French Chef Auguste Escoiffier. Fanny, along with Major Johnny Cradock, was responsible for writing a newspaper column titled “Bon Viveur” for The Daily Telegraph. For this assignment they were required to visit the country after war, and pick up the best restaurants.

Noteworthy Contributions of Chef Cradock


  • Fanny Cradock wrote a series of novels for which she was the winner of the National Listening Library Award.
  • Her cost effective recipes shown in the post World War II era earned her the title of ‘Queen of Cuisine’ and ‘First Lady of Food’.
  • She was also known as the first celebrity chef on television.


Cooking with Bon Viveur and Bon Viveur Recipes were published in 1955 and 1960 respectively. These books were both based on recipes featured in her regular column with The Daily Telegraph.

Fanny & Johnnie Cradock’s The Cook Hostess’ Book was published in 1970 after the popularity of their television show together. The book featured many recipes prepared on the show.

Common Market Cookery : France had recipes made famous by Fanny, most of which were inspired by the French Chef Auguste Escoiffier.

Popular TV Shows

Fanny Craddock was known as the First Lady of Food or the Queen of Cuisine on Television. All this popularity grew from her endless appearances as hostess and otherwise on innumerable television shows. It started with her pilot cooking episode for BBC television in 1955 which became a huge hit with the British housewives. The series was called ‘Fanny’s Kitchen’. She is also known for her other popular shows namely Chez Bon Viveur in 1956; and together with Johnny Cradock – The Cradocks in 1962, Giving a Dinner Party in 1969, Fanny Cradock Invites and Cradock Cooks for Christmas in the 1970s.


  • Fanny Cradock was born as Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey.
  • She was alienated by her mother when she was one year old, and Fanny herself alienated her own children later.
  • Fear of Fanny and Doughnuts like Fanny’s were two popular works of drama based on life of Fanny Cradock.
  • Fanny Cradock wrote her autobiography titled ‘Something’s Burning’.