Fiona Dunlop

Author Profile

Fiona Dunlop has been writing on travel, the arts and food since the late 1980s, indulging and fine-tuning a passion for culture worldwide.

Born overlooking the Pacific north of Sydney, Australia, she later moved with her family to London, UK. Childhood journeys by ship between the two hemispheres helped form an appetite for the colours, heat, humanity and dust of the tropics as well as a motivation to learn languages and communicate with the world. Add to that a well-travelled and scattered family, and the die was cast.

After graduating from Sussex University with a degree in French, she escaped to Italy for two years to be initiated into the joys of excellent food and wine while teaching English to unpromising executives. That period also saw an epic overland journey through Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan (before the Russian invasion of 1979 when it was still paradise on earth) to Pakistan. This was by classic VW van in the company of eccentric Italian friends. Bandits, more good food, sublime landscapes, people-smuggling (in a positive way) and total ingenuousness typified the journey.

Next came a Parisian interlude that was to last 18 years, interrupted only by a fast and furious period in Monte Carlo. After working in fashion then contemporary art, Fiona moved into journalism, initially on the arts and Paris life, then on more far-flung destinations. There followed guide-books to Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cambodia and Vietnam and, later, Spain and Portugal. Embryonic ‘adventure’ travel saw her hitching rides in outriggers down the Madagascar coast, exploring war-ravaged Mozambique and catching the last plane out of Guatemala before Hurricane Mitch struck. In those pre-internet days, being on the road for two to three months at a stretch meant that communications with home were a pretty silent affair. Faxes and postcards generally did the trick.

Since returning to London in 1996, Fiona continues to explore new horizons, contributing to British, European and American publications between books on travel, interior design and food culture. With this latter direction, she is convinced that gastro- communication offers the most direct route into people’s lives. Food is the most universal language of all, whatever its political context. (


Cookbooks by Fiona Dunlop