Bio

Short Bio

Maria Speck is the award-winning author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals (Ten Speed Press), her first cookbook. It received the coveted Julia Child Award and the Health and Special Diet award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), as well as a Gourmand Award. The cookbook contains 100 Mediterranean-inspired whole grain recipes—from amaranth to wheat berries.

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post selected Ancient Grains as one of the top cookbooks of 2011, and Cooking Light magazine named it one of 100 best cookbooks of the past 25 years. Maria next cookbook, Simply Ancient Grains, will be out in spring 2015 (Ten Speed Press).

She was recognized with an honorable mention as a Food Hero in her hometown of Cambridge, MA. Raised in Greece and Germany, Maria has a lifelong passion for whole grains. She is a veteran journalist and food writer, and has contributed to Gourmet, Saveur, and Gastronomica. She also blogs at www.MariaSpeck.com/blog.

Extended Bio

Maria Speck is the award-winning author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals — Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries, & More.

The book, Maria’s first, has received numerous accolades: It won the coveted Julia Child Award and the Health and Special Diet award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Maria’s book also received a Gourmand Award as the US selection, Mediterranean category. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post selected Ancient Grains as one of the top cookbooks of 2011, and Cooking Light magazine named it one of 100 best cookbooks of the past 25 years. Maria was also recognized with an honorable mention as a Food Hero in her hometown of Cambridge, MA, for a “lasting and significant commitment to the fair, healthy, and sustainable food culture” in the city.

Maria is currently working on her next cookbook, tentatively titled Simply Ancient Grains, out in spring 2015 (Ten Speed Press).

She has been interviewed on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Jamie Oliver’s website, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, The Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC), Wisconsin Public Radio, the Boston Globe, Epicurious.com, and TakePart.com. Maria has lectured on ancient grains in the Jacques Pépin Lecture Series at Boston University, the Harvard Food Literacy Project, and the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, where she is also a cooking instructor in the professional program. She has cooked and taught at Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Rancho La Puerta, among numerous other venues.

Maria has a lifelong passion for the subtle flavors and rich textures of whole grains. She grew up in Greece and Germany before moving to the US in 1993—this unusual heritage is at the center of her cooking, writing, and teaching. Maria’s recipes are inspired by the ease and appeal of Mediterranean cuisine and the centuries-old traditions of preparing whole grain foods in Northern Europe. She combines her vast knowledge about cooking and baking with whole grains with a keen understanding of how to transform these ancient staples into quick and modern foods for our time-strapped lives.

In her food writing, Maria combines more than two decades of journalistic research, editing and reporting with her lifelong passion for food. She started her career at Germany’s leading news agency Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA), and she came to the US as a Knight Fellow at Stanford University. Since then, she has worked as a freelance writer for US and German magazines. In the US, Maria has contributed to Gourmet magazine, Saveur, Gastronomica, the Vegetarian Times and Cooking Club, the publication of the Cooking Club of America among others. In Germany, Maria’s stories have been published in the country’s leading magazines and newspapers, including the news and lifestyle publication STERN which sells one million copies a week, SPIEGEL online and BRIGITTE, the country’s prestigious women’s magazine.

Maria is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), Les Dames d’Escoffier, Chefs Collaborative, The Culinary Guild of New England, and Slow Food USA.

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