02 December 2019
It is with great sadness that we have to share the news of the death of our colleague and Guild member Sue Style, the wonderful food and wine writer living in Alsace.
We are very grateful to fellow Guild member Carla Capalbo who with the help of Sue's husband Monty has put together a short biography of Sue’s life.
For those who might be able to get to her thanksgiving service, it will be held in Basel, Switzerland, on Friday 10 January 2020 at 2.30pm in the Pauluskirche. You can rsvp here.
Sue Wrightson was born in North Yorkshire in 1948. She loved country life, was educated in the north and by friendly nuns in the south, and fell in love with Spain as a young girl. She learned to cook from her gifted mother and practised on London business directors.
Sue was working on the Latin American edition of The Economist when she met and, aged 21, married Montague Style, known to all as Monty. They spent an MBA year in Fontainebleau, where she gave cooking classes, before moving to Switzerland, followed by 6 years in Mexico. They travelled widely throughout the country. Sue’s favourite province, gastronomically, was Oaxaca. Her careful jottings from every meal and market found their way into her cooķing classes, as well as into the menus at the Cuernavaca country club where she was culinary adviser and ultimately into her first book, The Mexican Cookbook.
Back in Europe she made up for lost academic time and earned an Open University degree with distinction in Renaissance studies. Sue busied herself with little known Swiss food and wine. Her practical research is beautifully summarized in A Taste of Switzerland which sold steadily over 20 years.
In 1991 Sue and Monty moved over the border to France, to the southern Alsace village of Bettlach. From her big kitchen here Sue led culinary workshops. Two books on Alsace food and wine were complemented by Fruits of the Forest – about foraged foods – and by a small book on bees and honey.
Sue created a lovely English-style garden and a well stocked herb garden here in her beloved Sundgau, the area of rolling Jura foothills which divide France and Switzerland. A talented linguist (she spoke 6 languages), she contributed articles and recipes to numerous publications including the Financial Times, Decanter and ZesterDaily, and was active on social media, always eager to help with a recipe or culinary advice.
Her last book, The Landscape of Swiss Wine, came out in spring 2019. It was researched and written over 2 years of cellar visits to large cooperatives and tiny start-ups throughout the country, and it highlights the quality of the modern Swiss wines Sue loved and championed.
Sue had long battled breast cancer, and she finished the book shortly before being hospitalised with triple negative non-curable cancer. She died in November 2019. As well as Monty, with whom she lived for over 50 years, Sue leaves their children, Sophie and Oliver, and their families. She will be much missed by all.
We extend our deepest sympathy to all Sue's family and friends.