Andrews, Jean 1923–
Andrews, Jean 1923–
PERSONAL: Born December 23, 1923, in Kingsville, TX; divorced; children: one son, one daughter (deceased). Education: University of Texas, B.S., 1944; Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University), M.S., 1966; University of North Texas, Ph.D., 1976.
ADDRESSES: Home—Austin, TX. Agent—c/o Author Mail, University of North Texas Press, P.O. Box 311336, Denton, TX 76203-1336. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer and artist. University of Texas, Austin, visiting scholar and administrator, 1983–97, then endowed scholar; University of North Texas, Denton, endowed scholar. Exhibitions: One-woman show at RGK Foundation Gallery, Austin, TX; numerous other exhibitions.
MEMBER: American Malacologists Union, Texas Pepper Foundation, Texas State Teachers Association.
AWARDS, HONORS: Distinguished Alumna award, University of North Texas, 1991; Hall of Honor award, University of Texas College of Natural Sci-ence, 1991; Distinguished Alumna award, University of Texas Austin, 1997; Jane Grigson Award, International Association of Culinary Professionals, 2001, for The Pepper Trail: History and Recipes from around the World; named to Texas Institute of Letters.
Sea Shells of the Texas Coast, with photographs by Bowers Gates, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1971, published with foreword by William J. Clench as Shells and Shores of Texas, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1977.
Texas Shells: A Field Guide, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1981, also published as A Field Guide to Shells of the Texas Coast, Gulf Publishing Company (Austin, TX), 1992.
(And illustrator) Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicums, foreword by W. Hardy Eshbaugh, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1984, updated edition, 1995.
The Texas Bluebonnet, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1986, revised edition 1993.
(And illustrator) American Wildflower Florilegium, foreword by Ghillean T. Prance and introduction by E. Arthur Bell, University of North Texas Press (Denton, TX), 1992.
(And illustrator) Red Hot Peppers, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1993, revised and expanded as The Pepper Trail: History and Recipes from around the World, University of North Texas Press (Denton, TX), 1999.
A Field Guide to the Shells of the Florida Coast, Gulf Publishing Company (Houston, TX), 1994.
(And photographer) The Pepper Lady's Pocket Pepper Primer, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1998.
The Peppers Cookbook: 200 Recipes from the Pepper Lady's Kitchen, University of North Texas Press (Denton, TX), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Jean Andrews is an expert on shells, wildflowers, and especially peppers. Trained as an artist, she began publishing field guides to Texas seashells in the early 1970s. In 1973, at the age of fifty, she began a doctoral program in art during which she developed an interest in peppers. There was at the time no illustrated guide to peppers, and after she finished her degree in 1976 Andrews set to work to create one. She spent five years teaching herself botany and painting pictures of peppers, using as models live specimens that she grew herself.
The result of this labor was Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicums, the first book to provide both illustrations and text on pepper types, history, and uses in medicine and cooking. In the book Andrews traces peppers back to their origins in Bolivia and their spread through South and Central America long before Europeans arrived. The book includes numerous literary references to peppers, such as a warning from a sixteenth century priest who feared that eating peppers would provoke lust in the young. Reviewers especially admired the thirty-two large color plates of Anderson's pepper paintings that appear in the volume. William Weber Johnson, reviewing the book for Smithsonian, praised her courage in delving into the area of pepper identification and classification, a field rife with regional differences in nomenclature. He stated, "The author has done a brave job of trying to pin down identification of the different varieties.rdquo; The success of this book brought Andrews fame in the pepper world, and led her to call herself "The Pepper Lady" a name that she has trademarked.
Andrews published several more guides to shells and wildflowers before returning to peppers in her 1999 work The Pepper Trail: History and Recipes from around the World, a revised and expanded edition of her 1993 book Red Hot Peppers. The book focuses on the cultural role of peppers in history and cuisine in various countries, and includes pepper recipes contributed by famous chefs. M.M. Pack, writing in the Austin Chronicle, called the book "an anthropological and sociological study." The Pepper Trail further solidified Andrews' status as the reigning authority on peppers, and reviewers highly recommended the work.
Andrews spent the early 2000s traveling and preparing a collection of international textiles for a museum exhibit at the University of North Texas. She donated her original paintings used in Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicums to the School of Visual Arts at the University of North Texas, where their sale funded a scholarship for undergraduate art students. Andrews revisits peppers with The Peppers Cookbook: 200 Recipes from the Pepper Lady's Kitchen. This book includes recipes collected from older books as well as many new ones, along with line drawings of peppers, a chapter on nutrition, a guide to selecting, storing, and using peppers, and an amusing bibliography.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Austin Chronicle, August 24, 2001, M.M. Pack, "A Primer on Peppers."
Library Journal, November 15, 1999, Judith Sutton, review of The Pepper Trail: History and Recipes from around the World, p. 94; June 15, 2005, Judith Sutton, review of The Peppers Cookbook: 200 Recipes from the Pepper Lady's Kitchen, p. 96.
Natural History, March, 2000, review of The Pepper Trail, p. 82.
Smithsonian, December, 1985, William Weber Johnson, review of Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicum, p. 156.
Wisconsin Bookwatch, August, 2005, review of The Peppers Cookbook.