Biography of MFK Fisher
With permission from Gastronomic Memoirs by Lori Gama
Mary Frances Kennedy was born on July 3, 1908 in Albion, Michigan. When she was two, her father, a journalist, moved the family to Whittier, California. She grew up an Episcopalian in a Quaker community. Her family was highly literate. Her bookAmong Friends chronicles childhood recollections.
In 1929 she met Alfred Young Fisher while studying at the University of California. They spent the first three years of their marriage in Europe, mostly in France at the University of Dijon. Years later, in her book Aix-en-Provence, she defined her stay there as "two shaking and making years in my life." Dijon was known as the "gastronomical capital of the world." She learned how to live and eat economically and was introduced to various wines, pastries and cheeses.
The couple returned to southern California in 1932 when Al Fisher began teaching at Occidental College. Mary Frances contributed to their income by working in a picture-framing shop that sold pornographic postcards. She read books and, inspired by an Elizabethan cookbook she discovered at the Los Angeles Public Library, she began writing essays of her own on cooking.
Her first Book, Serve it Forth was so unlike other "women" writers on the subject of cooking that many critics thought it was written by a man.