Foreword by Lee Durrell
One book Gerald Durrell embarked on but never finished was a cookbook. He appreciated good food, but more than that he loved preparing food and serving sumptuous meals. He learned to cook at his mother’s knee, and as she grew up in India, he excelled in curries, complementing them with a vast array of “small, small things”. He spent his childhood in Greece and much of his adulthood in southern France, so Mediterranean dishes featured highly in his repertoire.
Wherever he travelled, he took a practical interest in the cuisine of the country, from groundnut chop in West Africa to rich pilafs in Central Asia, bringing back recipes and trying them out on his friends. Gerry’s fascination for world cuisine was a reflection of his deep interest in diverse cultures and peoples, which in turn may explain why he felt that the International Training Centre at his Trust’s headquarters in Jersey was one of his greatest achievements.
We have welcomed over 3,000 students from all over the world, teaching them how to save endangered species and learning from them about the challenges faced by wildlife in their own countries.
Just as important, they all taught and learned from each other, and they are now spread across the globe as a sort of army for conservation. Armies must be fed, and ours was admirably catered for by Anna Wimberley, Housekeeper at the International Training Centre.
Anna was learning from the students, too, and this marvellous book is the outcome of her many years trying, testing and serving delicious dishes from the four corners of the earth. Gerry would have been utterly delighted with this book and so proud of Anna for putting it together. It is a wonderful example of the camaraderie among Durrell’s Army.
Lee Durrell, February 2011