A British citizen, Diana Southwood went to Mexico in 1957 to marry Paul P. Kennedy of the New York Times. Today she is widely considered the foremost researcher, teacher, and writer on the regional foods of Mexico and has written eight books on the subject, including The Cuisines of Mexico (now included in The Essential Cuisines of Mexico), The Art of Mexican Cooking, and From My Mexican Kitchen. She has been bestowed the highest honor given to foreigners by the Mexican government, the Order of the Aztec Eagle, for her work of disseminating Mexican culture through its foods. She has also received numerous awards from many other Mexican gastronomic institutions and was decorated with an MBE by Queen Elizabeth for her work in strengthening cultural relations between Mexico and the United Kingdom, as well as for her work for the environment, which is always reflected in her texts. Since 1980, her studies have been centered around her ecological house in the state of Michoacán.