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Jennifer Mary Paterson

F, #7942, b. 3 April 1928, d. 10 August 1999
Last Edited: 14 Apr 2015
Jennifer Mary Paterson 1928-1999
  • Birth*: Jennifer Mary Paterson was born on 3 April 1928 at Kensington, London, England, .
  • (Deceased) Death*: She died on 10 August 1999 at South Kensington, London, England, , at age 71.


  • Note for Web*: Jennifer Mary Paterson is mentioned in a book written by Clarissa Dickson Wright - Jennifer Paterson's grandfather was a Dundee Paterson of the jute trading family who had sold up and retired to Helensborough where she, Jennifer, was born.1
  • Note for Web: She Jennifer Paterson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; Jennifer Paterson, Born Jennifer Mary Paterson, 3 April 1928, Kensington, London, England, died 10 August 1999 (aged 71), South Kensington, London, England, cause of death Lung cancer, nationality British, ethnicity White British, occupation Celebrity chef, actress, television personality, years active 1996–99, Television programme(s)Two Fat Ladies (1996–99), religion Roman Catholic.
    Jennifer Mary Paterson (April 3 1928 – August 10 1999) was a British celebrity
    chef, actress and television personality who appeared on the television
    programme Two Fat Ladies with Clarissa Dickson Wright. The pair were famous for their rich traditional meals made from scratch. Paterson was known for her liberal use of butter and cream, remarking on her television show in her usual manner with a shake of the hand, that yogurt was only fit for vegetarians and those with "a dicky tummy." Their preferred means of transportation was a motorcycle with sidecar, which Paterson drove.
    Personal life; Paterson's life was as unconventional as her on-screen
    persona suggested. She came from an army family, of which she later wrote, "My mother had no idea of how to cook and no wish to learn, existing on gorgonzola, coffee, and chocolates after the demise of any form of servant. My father having gone through two world wars was far too frightened to put on a kettle and my brothers who married young to very good wives...never showed any signs of wanting to whip up something delicious for a treat."
    Paterson was expelled from convent school at 15 for being disruptive.
    Paterson later became a matron at a girls' boarding school near Reading before ending up as a cook for the Ugandan legation in London and becoming a well-known figure on the London party circuit. She worked on the ITV show Candid Camera and later became a food writer for The Spectator and provided weekly lunches for personalities, including the Prince of Wales, for 15 years. She later wrote a
    book of recipes and reminiscences from her time at The Spectator entitled Feast
    Days, Recipes from The Spectator, in the introduction to which the English
    writer A.N. Wilson professed, "Jennifer Paterson is the best cook I know."
    Paterson was a devout Roman Catholic who never married. She died in 1999 of lung cancer in London. She asked for caviar for her last meal but died before she could eat it. She was cremated at Putney Vale Crematorium, and her ashes were then buried in the cemetery there. She was survived by an uncle, Monsignor Canon Anthony Bartlett OBE (who died in 2000), a close clerical associate of Cardinal Basil Hume to whom he was Gentiluomo. Paterson was a parishioner of the London Oratory. She would cook for the Fathers on a weekly basis. A portrait of her hangs in the Kitchen of Oratory House.
    DVD release The Two Fat Ladies DVD set contains a 40-minute BBC tribute to
    Paterson that aired in 2004. The DVD box set was released in the United States in July 2008. The Acorn Media release contains all 24 episodes across four discs. The show previously was released in Britain as a Region 2 DVD set. on 2 January 2011.2
  • Note for Web: She Jennifer Paterson, chain-smoking, hard-drinking, outspoken, politically incorrect, jolly and ever so slightly dotty, Jennifer Paterson was one of our most-loved TV chefs.
    Jennifer was an unlikely TV food celebrity who claimed she had never had a cookery lesson in her life. She was, though, an enthusiastic cook from the age of four, spending hours hovering in the kitchen concocting what she described as 'little messes' and 'horrible little pies'.
    Born in London, the daughter of an army officer, she spent the first four years of her life in China before her family returned to live in Rye, East Sussex. She was expelled from her convent boarding school at the age of 15 for being disruptive.
    She developed her talent for cooking when she later lived abroad, in Berlin, Portugal, Venice, Sicily and Benghazi in Libya, looking after the children of various friends and family.
    In 1952, she returned to England and worked for various magazines before working behind the scenes for the ITV show Candid Camera and as an assistant stage manager at the Theatre Royal in Windsor. Other jobs included the unlikely role of matron at a girls' boarding school near Reading and housekeeper to a Ugandan diplomat.
    She was a familiar face on the London party circuit in the 1960s. In 1977, she became the cook for Spectator magazine, cooking for star guests from a tiny kitchen on the top floor, and stayed for 15 years.
    Despite meeting Clarissa Dickson-Wright at a party in Tuscany in 1991, it was several years before the Two Fat Ladies series was conceived by producer Patricia Llewellyn, and the pair was brought together to forge a partnership that lasted four and a half years.
    Jennifer was a devout Catholic who would ride for miles to go to mass during filming. She died 'peacefully, painlessly and full of caviar' on 10 August, 1999 at the age of 71 after losing her battle with lung cancer.
    Such a huge personality is sorely missed, but take comfort in the words of her culinary chum, Clarissa Dickson-Wright. Writing about her friend's death in Scotland on Sunday, she said: "Jennifer is no doubt sitting on a cloud, with her bike parked beside her, smoking a fag and discussing menus with St Peter, singing hymns with St Lucy and writing recipes with St Honoré before going off to lunch with Noel Coward." on 15 April 2011.3
    Jennifer Paterson (in pink) and Clarissa Dickson-Wright (Two Fat Ladies) http://swiscooking.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/2461124-two-fat-ladies-jennifer-paterson-clarissa-dickson-wright-


  1. [S33] Interview , CPT / DWHP Nov 2010.
  2. [S29] References^ Jennifer Paterson (1990). Feast Days, Recipes from The
    Spectator (London: John Murray Publishers), p. xi.
    ^ New York Times (11 August 1999)Jennifer Paterson obituary.
    ^ Paterson, Feast Days, p. v.
    ^ DVD Spin Doctor review
    [edit] External linksJennifer Paterson at the Internet Movie Database
    Jennifer Paterson at Find a Grave
    Jennifer Paterson at BBC Food
    NamePaterson, Jennifer
    Alternative names
    Short descriptionBritish chef
    Date of birth3 April 1928
    Place of birthKensington, London, England
    Date of death10 August 1999
    Place of deathSouth Kensington, London, England

    Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Paterson"
    Categories: 1928 births | 1999 deaths | 20th-century actors | Burials at Putney
    Vale Cemetery | Cancer deaths in England | Deaths from lung cancer | English
    chefs | English Roman Catholics | English television actors | English television
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  3. [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/chefs/jennifer_paterson [accessed April 2011].