The Cook Who Changed Our Lives

The Cook Who Changed Our Lives


This documentary is actually about a 91-year-old Italian called Anna Del Conte. Nigella is Anna’s number one fan and fervently believes anyone who claims to know their focaccia from their fusilli should be in possession of her cookery books. When Anna came to England as a young woman in 1949, olive oil was something Brits bought at the chemist’s if they had a dicky ear. By the 70s, she’d had enough of our macaroni cheese and spag bol (which aren’t Italian dishes at all) and started writing, inspiring a culinary revolution in her readers’ kitchens. As well as tributes from other TV acolytes and some lovely recipes, there’s a sprinkling of archive footage, revealing how far we’ve come since the days of limp tinned ravioli.


Nigella Lawson narrates this profile of Milanese cook and food writer Anna Del Conte, now aged 91, whose recipe books changed Britain's attitudes to Italian food at a time when olive oil could only be bought at the chemist. With contributions from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Antonio Carluccio, Prue Leith, Loyd Grossman and Tom Parker Bowles.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Nigella Lawson
Director James Nutt
Executive Producer Paula Trafford
Producer Caroline Walsh
Education Food