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British Library Food Season

April 1 2019 - May 31 2019



Nigella Lawson, Heston Blumenthal and Yotam Ottolenghi are just some of the names featuring in The British Library’s Food Season: a series of talks, workshops and tastings inspired by the library’s extensive food-related collections. Topics such as the narrative of cookery books, food inequality and the sensuality of food will be discussed by the stellar line up of chefs, with highlights including:

  • Chef and restaurant owner Yotam Ottolenghi on the role upbringing and genes play in shaping how we enjoy food
  • Chef Heston Blumenthal and composer Dominic Murcott on the relationship between food and music through live performances, micro experiments and tastings
  • Food writers Nigella Lawson, Bee Wilson and Ella Risbridger on the role of voice, narrative and storytelling in cookery books
  • Chocolat author Joanne Harris reflecting on the sensuality of food in fiction
  • Restaurant critic and MasterChef judge Jay Rayner hosting a special recording of BBC Radio 4’s culinary panel show, The Kitchen Cabinet
  • Restaurant critic Grace Dent and food writer, journalist and activist Jack Monroe discussing food inequality and poverty in contemporary Britain
  • Cake decorating with Le Cordon Bleu
  • A workshop on how to write a cookbook with food writers Sybil Kapoor and Jenny Winford
  • Food journalist Dan Saladino alongside a panel of experts and producers on sustainable farming and eating
  • A talk on the history of cookery books with food author Jill Norman
  • Talks from entrepreneurs including Guy Singh-Watson (founder of Riverford) and Nadia Stokes (founder of Gourmet Goat) on building a business
  • Unwrapping the packaging problem with materials scientist Mark Miodownik, Everyday Plastic Project team artist Daniel Webb and scientist Julie Schneider

Polly Russell, Curator for Contemporary Politics and Public Life at the British Library curator and food historian, said: “Whether it is handwritten manuscripts of printed cookery books, letters and diaries revealing the intimate details of eating habits or in-depth oral histories of food producers, food is present in the British Library’s collections and I am thrilled the Library will be hosting its second Food Season this spring.  With such a range of topics and such wonderful speakers it is incredibly hard, impossible even, to decide what I’m most excited about this year but – with my historian’s hat on – the evolution of the kitchen and the discussion of cookbook design are a big draw.”


British Library, 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB


1 April – 31 May 2019


Tickets from £12, book via bl.uk


April 1 2019
May 31 2019
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The British Library
96 Euston Rd
Kings Cross, London NW1 2DB United Kingdom
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