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Colleen Taylor Sen

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Alma mater  Columbia University

Name  Colleen Sen
Spouse  Ashish Sen
Colleen Taylor Sen httpsimagesnasslimagesamazoncomimagesI4
Residence  Chicago, Illinois, United States

Meet Colleen Taylor Sen - Colleen Taylor Sen Expert on Pakistani food

Colleen Taylor Sen is a Canadian American translator and author specializing in Indian Cuisine. She has written six books, several articles and has also contributed entries to many encyclopedias.


Early life

Sen was born in Toronto on March 17, 1944. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in Slavic Studies from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Slavic Languages from Columbia University. After completing her PhD, she participated in chess competitions, analyzed chess games for Channel 11, and was profiled in the Sun Times for her skills in playing chess.


In 1973-74 Sen taught Slavic languages at Roosevelt University, Chicago. She joined the Gas Technology Institute in 1975 and until retiring in 2013 held various positions in policy, external relations, and education. In 1990 she launched The LNG Observer, the world’s first publication devoted to liquefied natural gas. She was editor (with Bob Nimocks) of The World LNG Source Book: An Encyclopedia of the Global LNG Industry.

From 1995 to 2010, she served as a member of the Steering Committee of the International Conferences on Liquefied Natural Gas.

Food Author

Starting in the early 1970s, Sen contributed free-lance articles to such publications as Travel and Leisure, Food Arts, the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Globe and Mail. In 1996, she became a regular participant in the Oxford Symposia on Food and Cookery.

Her first book, Food Culture in India, was published in 2004 followed by her next book Curry: A Global History. At the suggestion of a local restaurateur, she wrote Pakoras, Paneer, Pappadums: A Guide to Indian Restaurant Menus which was published in 2010.

In 2013, she and Bruce Kraig were coeditors of Street Food around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. The next year she teamed with Helen Saberi to write Turmeric: The Wonder Spice.

Sen's latest book Feasts and Fasts: A History of Food in India was published in England in 2015 and in India in 2016. Chicago Tribune called the book, "a richly detailed volume" and The Independent wrote that the book is "an ambitious tome which explores India's various dietary conventions and religions through the ages." Vir Sanghvi called Feasts and Fasts "a fascinating book because it overturns many of the layperson’s most commonly held beliefs about Indian food". In December, Vogue included the book in its list of 16 best cookbooks of 2015 and wrote that it is "an irresistible edition to your kitchen shelf, the history inside is richer than any Indian dish you’ve ever tasted." Smithsonian Magazine selected Feasts and Fasts as one of the best books about food in 2016.

She has also organised many culinary tours of Indian stores and has given talks and cooking demonstrations on Indian cuisine.


  • Order des Palmes Academiques (Officier) by the French Government
  • Personal life

    She is married to Ashish Sen, a professor and transportation statistician.


    Colleen Taylor Sen Wikipedia