How does one roast a fawn or properly set a dinner table for twelve? For centuries, people have been documenting and decoding the vast array of knowledge associated with domestic life, assembling cooking and household guides to assist with the tasks of daily living. Not merely collections of recipes and how-to instructions, these guides also document cultural patterns and give insight into the development of modern-day kitchen and cooking practices.
This exhibition, drawn primarily from the Rare Books Collection, provides a sampling of European and American cookbooks and domestic manuals from court chefs of the 15th century to cooking icons of the 20th century. Take a virtual tour of the collection here.
Julia Gardner is Head of Reader Services at the Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library. She received a Master’s of Science in Information degree from the University of Michigan School of Information. She earned a B.A. in English literature from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Riverside. In addition to providing reference assistance to SCRC’s many visitors, Julia is active in the Center’s exhibitions program and its instruction program, which last year hosted 100 classes.
Recorded live Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the University of Chicago's Regenstein Library.