Hometown Appetites

Hometown Appetites

The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate

Written by: Kelly Alexander
Written by: Cynthia Harris

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781592404841
  • 368 Pages
  • Avery
  • Adult


A rollicking biography of a pioneering American woman and one of our greatest culinary figures

In Hometown Appetites, Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris come together to revive the legacy of the most important food writer you have never heard of. Clementine Paddleford was a Kansas farm girl who grew up to chronicle America?s culinary habits. Her weekly readership at the New York Herald Tribune topped 12 million during the 1950s and 1960s and she earned a salary of $250,000. Yet twenty years after ?America?s best-known food editor? passed away, she had been forgotten?until now.

Before Paddleford, newspaper food sections were dull primers on home economy. But she changed all of that, composing her own brand of sassy, unerringly authoritative prose designed to celebrate regional home cooking. This book restores Paddleford?s name where it belongs: in the pantheon alongside greats like James Beard and Julia Child.


Selected as one of the 2009 Kansas Notable Books In “Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris’s smartly drawn, surprisingly uplifting biography […] the authors share Paddleford’s eye for a good story, deftly documenting their subject’s well-deserved contributions to food journalism, but balancing them with biographical color.”
-New York Post

“Alexander and Harris paint an affectionate portrait of the eccentric writer, an ebullient yet imposing individualist and charismatic adventurer…Rich, flavorful and spirited, like its subject and the cuisines she chronicled.”

“At long last, an enthusiastic, significant rehabilitation of Paddleford’s career as food writer from 1936 to 1966 at the New York Herald Tribune…The authors make an upbeat case for reconsidering Paddleford’s achievement in this enjoyable read, and include a slew of her comfort recipes.”
-Publishers Weekly