Margaret Fulton is one of Australia’s most beloved culinary icons, known for her innovative recipes and influential cookbooks. Born in Scotland in 1924, Fulton grew up in a family that appreciated good food and cooking. Her mother was a keen cook, and Fulton remembers being inspired by the smells and tastes of the dishes she prepared.
Fulton’s family moved to New Zealand when she was a teenager, and it was there that she began to develop her own passion for cooking. She attended a cooking school in Wellington, where she learned the basics of food preparation and presentation. After completing her training, Fulton worked as a cooking demonstrator and taught cooking classes around the country.
In 1948, Fulton moved to Sydney, Australia, where she continued to work as a cooking demonstrator and teacher. She soon became well-known for her innovative recipes and her engaging teaching style, and she was invited to write a column for the Sydney Morning Herald. Her column, called “The Margaret Fulton Cookery Column,” debuted in 1954 and quickly became a hit with readers.
In 1968, Fulton published her first cookbook, The Margaret Fulton Cookbook. The book was an instant success, and it went on to sell more than 1.5 million copies. The book was notable for its clear, easy-to-follow recipes, and for its focus on fresh, local ingredients. It also included many international recipes, which were still relatively rare in Australian cookbooks at the time.
Fulton went on to write many other cookbooks, including The Margaret Fulton Book of Italian Cooking, The Margaret Fulton Book of Fish and Seafood, and The Margaret Fulton Book of Microwave Cooking. She also wrote for a variety of publications, including Woman’s Day and Better Homes and Gardens.
Fulton’s recipes were known for their simplicity and their focus on fresh ingredients. She was a pioneer of the “fresh food” movement in Australia, and her recipes often featured simple, seasonal ingredients. She was also known for her innovative use of spices and herbs, and for her ability to adapt international recipes for the Australian palate.
Fulton’s influence on Australian cuisine is difficult to overstate. She was one of the first Australian cookbook authors to focus on fresh, local ingredients, and her recipes helped introduce many Australians to a wider range of international cuisines. She was also a tireless promoter of Australian food and wine, and she was instrumental in the development of the modern Australian culinary scene.
Fulton’s legacy continues to be felt today. Her cookbooks are still popular with home cooks and professional chefs alike, and her recipes continue to inspire new generations of Australian cooks. She has also been recognized with many honors and awards, including an Order of Australia medal in 1983 and induction into the Australian Media Hall of Fame in 2012.
Despite her many achievements, Fulton remained humble and down-to-earth throughout her life. She once said, “I’m just a person who likes cooking and likes feeding people.” That simple statement belies the enormous impact that Fulton had on Australian cuisine, and on the way that Australians think about food and cooking.