Anna del Conte is regarded as one of the greatest living experts on Italian food. In 1975 her first book, Portrait of Pasta, was published. After the acclaim the book received, she became the first cookery writer in England to specialise in Italian food. Her books have won many prizes: Gastronomy of Italy received the Duchessa Maria Luigia di Parma award, Entertaining all'Italiana was shortlisted for the Andre Simon Award, The Classic Food of Northern Italy won awards from the Guild of Food Writers and from the Accademia Italiana della Cucina. Anna Del Conte lives in Dorset with her husband close to her daughter and her beloved grandchildren. Val Archer is a one of Britain's leading still life painters. Since leaving the Royal College of Art in 1970 Val has exhibited regularly ever since in London and other European capitals. Her studios are in London and in the south of Tuscany in Italy. Much of her work is to do with food and she is widely collected by leading names in the food world. For a number of years Val created the pictures for the food pages of The Saturday and Sunday Telegraph newspapers. She also illustrated Nigel Slater's early books and has regularly created paintings for magazines such as BBC Good Food. Val Archer has also published two food books under her own name.