Diana Kennedy, a British food critic with a sharp tongue who loved Mexican food, died in Mexico City on Sunday.

Kennedy devoted a large portion of her life to understanding and maintaining the regional cuisine and ingredients,

Even at the age of 80 he needed to travel hundreds of miles across his adopted country in a thunder truck

She has published close to a dozen cookbooks, including "Oaxaca al Gusto," which won the James Beard Award for cookbook of the year in 2011.

her efforts to preserve endangered culinary traditions and a lifetime of groundbreaking culinary accomplishments,

She set out on a quest to ensure that Mexican cuisine received the respect it deserved long before the rest of the culinary community did.

Concepción Guadalupe Garza Rodriguez, a close friend of Kennedy's, reported that she passed away quietly on Sunday morning at her Zitacuaro home.

She is greatly appreciated in Mexico, according to Garza Rodriguez. To celebrate her birthday on March 3, Kennedy had lunch at a nearby hotel.