In 1984 Derek Cooper invited me to become one of the 37 founding members of the Guild of Food Writers and in 1999 I was elected Vice President .
Following the untimely death of Jane Grigson aged 62 , I founded an educational charity in her memory and am the Chair of the Jane Grigson Trust. The Trust holds a library of books on food and cooking in the Special Collections Room at Oxford Brookes University, organises an annual lecture, and makes an annual award to new writers on food.
In 2000, Alan Davidson, author of the Oxford Companion to Food, suggested that I set up an educational charity to ensure the future of the internationally renowned www.oxfordsymposium.org.uk that he and Theodore Zeldin had launched in 1979. I became the founding chair of the trust and now serve on the advisory board.
For some years, I’ve been a Visiting Fellow in Food Studies at Oxford Brookes University and as part of the university’s Gastronomy programme have lectured to students on the subject of food writing and notable exponents including Elizabeth David, Claudia Roden and Julia Child.
In 2007, Donald Sloan, Head of the Department of Hospitality at Oxford Brookes University, launched Oxford Gastronomica to encourage food studies beyond the university and invited me to become a Patron. Donald recently founded the independent Oxford Cultural Collective, a pioneering international educational organisation dedicated to the study of Food, Drink and Thinking, of which I am a founding Patron.