Margaret Fulton authored over 25 cookbooks, which have extraordinarily influenced Australia’s culinary landscape.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on July 24, 2019

Margaret Fulton, credited as the woman who taught Australians how to cook beyond meat and three vegetables, has died, aged 94.

“The family of Margaret Fulton are today mourning the loss of their loving, inspirational and treasured mother, grandmother and great-grandmother this morning. They will release a statement in due course. Respect for their privacy at this time would be greatly appreciated,” her granddaughter Kate Gibbs told Delicious.

The Margaret Fulton Cookbook exists in the kitchen of millions of Australians, New Zealanders and many other countries. It was re-released as a 50th-anniversary celebratory edition last year.

“It was the first cookbook of its type. All the other cookbooks were so boring,” her daughter, Suzanne Gibbs, told The Australian Women’s Weekly. “People queued down (Sydney’s) George Street to get their books signed.”

“Margaret changed the way Australians ate,” said Gibbs. “She educated us that good food didn’t have to be fancy.”

Suzanne Gibbs said that her mother did not seek fame or being a celebrity.

“She liked the ordinary person, she didn’t court the wealthy and the well-to-do,” said Gibbs, “She wanted to help women get out of a rut. Margaret spoke their language, she made food accessible.”

Fulton was Australia’s best known and most loved cookery writer over a career spanning more than 50 years.

margaret-fulton-dies

Her interest in food has taken her to many countries, and she is credited as being one of the first people to bring international cuisine to the Australian table, particularly through her articles in the Woman’s Day magazine.

Fulton authored over 25 cookbooks, which have extraordinarily influenced Australia’s culinary landscape.

Her pre-eminence in the food world was officially heralded when she was honoured with the OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in the 1983 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

In 1998, Fulton was added to the list of 100 Australian Living Treasures by the National Trust of Australia.

Born in Nairn, Scotland in 1924, Fulton was aged three when her parents emigrated to Australia, settling in Glen Innes, New South Wales.

Fulton was a teacher, a cook, a journalist, a writer, an account executive, a pressure cooker salesperson, and a single parent.

In 2006 the defunct The Bulletin magazine named Fulton in their list of The 100 most influential Australians. In the citation they described her as someone who ‘changed the way Australians ate at home’. She is, they wrote, “Australia’s original domestic goddess. No cookery writer since can claim her blanket influence… Fulton turned us into foodies.”

Interviewed by The Australian Women’s Weekly in 2009, she said: “Scarcely a week passes when I’m not invited to speak at a food industry or fundraising function and I always try to accept. At my age, being asked to pass on what I’ve learned is a pleasure and a privilege.”