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Food of Love: Cooking Up a Life Across Gender, Class and Race

Out now!

Sylvia Vetta’s Food of Love is a joy to read — warm and familial, full of lovely sketches and archival photographs. It is a unique journey — deftly articulated — weaving the personal and the public, providing a socio-cultural landscape that is still relevant. There is much to learn from here — digest, eat and imbibe these words with love.

Sudeep Sen, author of EroText and The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry

Vetta takes us on a lively and delicious journey through her varied and culturally rich life. Her open-mindedness and generosity shine through. And she completely understands how food and memory are inextricably linked. The recipes are great too.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, London Evening Standard

The Food of Love is a personal history while at the same time it is an honest portrayal of the post Second World War period. We are faced with our attitudes to class, education, gender, religion, race, politics and the expectations of people’s position in society. It is a serious social comment as well as being amusing and entertaining. The way food is used to link the chapters is brilliant.

Diana Bell, artist

Ms Vetta is a burning fuse on the score of an Oxfordshire cabaret. We can trace here the sweet unrelenting energy which has impacted the collective heart and mentality of its stakeholders and citizens. A Woman for All Seasons.

Haldi Ravenna Sheahan, writer/editor

Food for Love is a testimony of zest for life, and compassionate anger at the many forms of injustice in post-war England. Sylvia Vetta's story takes us through her many lives, as she reinvents herself time and time again, rising from the ashes of prejudice, misogyny, racism and greed to renew herself. Whilst it is a story of England's hidden everyday evils, it is a story too of what can be achieved with a life steered by passion, integrity and courage.

Dr Jane Spiro, Professor of Education and TESOL, Oxford Brookes University

A wonderful read with insight into Sylvia Vetta's background and how the impact of having access to books at an early age empowers social mobility. The story resonates with my own background growing up in a remote rural community in western Kenya, an area of extreme poverty with no access to a library. Sylvia's passion for creating access to books for the next generation is inspiring as she mobilises others to share her vision and is now fundraising to build a community library in western Kenya in partnership with the Nasio Trust.

Nancy Mundenyo Hunt, Founder and CEO of the Nasio Trust, Winner of The UK NatWest Bank Most Inspirational Woman Award 2015

Food of Love: Cooking Up a Life Across Gender, Class and Race


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With food comes love, and with love comes hope. 

Boomer Britain transformed itself. It went from white to multicultural, class ridden to social mobility, empire to empireless. Throw in a female PM and it’s a nation reinventing itself. Sylvia Vetta's life mirrors those changes. 

Peppered with facts, stirred with love, sprinkled with insight, this is a life story at the crossroads of sex, class and race. But with recipes.

Also by Sylvia Vetta

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