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The English Cookery Book 1590 - 1789


10 am - Welcome and Introduction to the Course. The purpose of this course is to gain a wider understanding of the evolution of the English printed cookery book from the late Elizabethan period to the French Revolution. Original copies of the key works (and many lesser known ones) will be available for study. We will also be cooking signature dishes from each period using original techniques and equipment..

10.45 - 11.45 – Secrets in Preserving - We will start by examining the revolution which occurred in the Renaissance in the area of sugar-based foods and alcoholic spirits, known in English as ‘banqueting stuffe' and ‘cordial waters'. We will follow some of Sir Hugh Platt's recipes of 1600 ( Delights for Ladies ) and make comfits and usquebaugh.

11.45 - 13.00 – Roasts and Carbonadoes - We will try out the sophisticated roasting and broiling techniques of the Jacobean period, preparing our lunch from recipes in John Murrel, Robert May and William Rabisha's books. We will cook in front of (and over) the fire using a variety of spits and gridirons.

13.00 - 14.00 - Lunch

14.00 - 17.00 - From Court Cook to Georgian Housewife - We will trace the dramatic changes towards a simpler, more ‘domestic' cookery that typifies the culinary scene in the eighteenth century. We will make cullis and a few other complex court-style foods from the works of Patrick Lamb, R. Smith and Vincent la Chapelle and contrast these with the more ‘trimmed-down' and practical dishes of the newly emerging female authors of this key period.

17.00 - 20.00 - Free

20.00 - Historic dinner at Wreay Farm


10.00 - 13.00 The Whole Duty of a Woman - The contribution of the female cookery writers of the eighteenth century. We will examine in detail the work of the great original culinary voices of the Georgian period, particularly Martha Bradley and Elizabeth Raffald and prepare our midday meal from their recipes.

13.00 - 14.00 - Lunch

14.00 - 17.00- The Pot and Pineapple - We will examine the influence of the Italian confectioner Domenico Negri, whose shop in Berkley Square was the training ground for a generation of authors specialising in confectionery texts, such as Frederick Nutt and Robert Abbot. We will try out a number of their remarkable recipes, including ice cream and water ices made using original equipment.