MONDAY 21 MAY 2018
Dr Annie Gray
To please the palate and charm the eye: 400 years of food as ephemeral art
This lecture looks at the art of cooking purely through its results upon the table. Using paintings, illustrations and photographs, we will go on a culinary journey from the late Tudor period to the mid 20th century, considering both how food presentation was influenced by the wider trends of each era, and how that presentation reflects notions of edibility through time. From delicate, moulded pies, to flamboyant stuffed turkeys with lobster tail wings, we’ll explore the idea of food as the ultimate in ephemeral art. Raw ingredients can be transformed beyond all recognition, their presentation agonised over for weeks with the result presented with an artist’s flourish – but within each dish is the recognition that its destiny is utter destruction. The lecture will be enhanced by the lecturer’s own experience in cooking historic food, and with pictures of her very real creations.
Dr Annie Gray is one of Britain’s leading food historians. She has degrees from Oxford, York and Liverpool, and is a research associate at the University of York. She works as a consultant on historic food for organisations such as the National Trust and Historic Royal Palaces, as well as training staff in live interpretation. Annie is the resident food historian on BBC Radio 4’s culinary panel show, The Kitchen Cabinet, and works on The Great British Bake Off and on James Martin: Home Comforts. She recently advised on, and co-presented, Victorian Bakers, a living history-based documentary for BBC2.