Former JT writer won first JNF cookery contest

FORMER Jewish Telegraph columnist Cynthia Davis, who died last month after a struggle against a succession of medical problems, excelled in the culinary arts.

Born in Leeds, in February 11, 1937, the daughter of Edith and Jack Debovitch, Cynthia studied at Leeds College of Housecraft.

She married estate agent Jeffrey Davis in 1958 and had two children, Amanda and Mark.

In 1970, she won two weeks in Israel at the first JNF national cookery competition in London.

The holiday was delayed until November because Jeffrey had broken his leg playing with Amanda.

Victor Azulai, chef at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, prepared a special Israeli banquet in her honour.

After divorcing Jeffrey, she returned for further training at Leeds Polytechnic and the Thomas Danby College, where she obtained the necessary qualifications to enable her to work and lecture in food management.

She wrote In the Kitchen for the Jewish Telegraph in the 1970s, where she shared many of her original recipes.

Cynthia - who also designed birthday cakes - was one of the first chefs to appear on Jacob's Ladder, Radio Leeds' Jewish community programme.

She worked for 10 years for Phillips Electronics as their home economist and microwave demonstrator, as well as training other demonstrators. She was also food adviser for many Yorkshire companies.

The Bnai Brith member initiated cookery courses and gave demonstrations for many Jewish fundraisers, as well as finding time to be an extra in numerous Yorkshire-based television programmes.

In 1981, she gave a course of 10 lectures for the Leeds Jewish Adult Education Board, initiated by Shoshana Angyalfi.

In later years, she dedicated herself to the welfare of her mother, who died aged 100.

Apart from sewing, embroidering and flower arranging, she volunteered as a befriender and was a regular visitor at Donisthorpe Hall and a lady Mason for the White Lodge.

"She was a perfectionist," said son Mark. "This was reflected in her work, where at supermarkets she often received praise from appreciative customers, not only handing down recipes, but also for devising special ones made to suit their own requirements."

He added: "At home we were very much loved and cared for, and although she was busy with other projects, her husband and children always took priority - we knew we could always turn to her for guidance and advice and she would always be there for us."

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