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Marguerite Patten is one of Britain's most famous cookery writers, with over 160 cookery books, many of them bestsellers, to her credit. She was awarded the OBE for her services to the art of cookery in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 1991 and in 1995 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guild of Food Writers. During the Second World War, she worked for the Ministry of Food in East Anglia and London. She then took charge of the Ministry of Food Bureau at Harrods, Knightsbridge; her job was to help families prepare nutritious and appetising dishes with their weekly rations.