LONDON — In many ways, Marguerite Patten was Britain’s first celebrity chef – although she herself would have shunned the term.

The home economist who helped teach Britons how to survive on scarce rations during and after World War II died June 4 at age 99, her family said in a statement. Patten had been living in a nursing home near Richmond, Surrey, since 2011, when a stroke robbed her of her speech.

After gaining fame through a wartime program on the BBC, she gave presentations in theaters and community halls for decades, sharing nostalgia and her message that even those on a budget could eat well.

“The world will be a lesser place without the beautifully talented Marguerite Patten,” chef Jamie Oliver said. “She will continue to inspire me.”

Patten made her mark as a senior adviser in the wartime-era Ministry of Food, which sought to teach people on this island nation how to stay healthy on meager rations.

With Nazi bombers blitzing London and U-boats choking off imports, Britain was quickly starved for supplies.

Campaigns such as “Dig for Victory” encouraged Britons to grow their own food. Soccer fields were transformed into vegetable patches. Squirrels and horses became sources of protein. The enterprising traded recipes for baked hedgehog and carrot fudge.

An aspiring actress before the war, Patten was offered the chance to help present a five-minute radio broadcast called the “The Kitchen Front,” which provided ration-stretching recipes.

Patten took her work on the road, setting up a stall at market squares, developing what she called a “fairground voice.” “We didn’t wait for people to come to us,” Patten told the BBC. “We went wherever people were.”

The tough times didn’t end in 1945. Rationing continued into the 1950s. All the time, Patten was there with advice and a big smile, head slightly tilted to one side, regal but somehow accessible.

She first appeared on BBC television in 1947, presenting a cooking segment in a program called “Designed for Women.” Brisk, clear and matter-of-fact, she educated a generation to abhor food waste.

She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1991 for “services to the art of cookery,” and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2010 for “services to the food industry.”