Features & Stories

British Library Food Season 2022

ckbk is partnering to promote The British Library’s 2022 Food Season supported by KitchenAid, which runs through April and May 2022 and includes in-person, online, and hybrid events. The talks bring together leading names from the world of food and cookbooks, including many authors whose books appear on ckbk. Below are just a few highlights from this year’s programme.

1. The World of 13th-Century Moorish Food with Sam and Sam Clark

Saturday 21 May (in-person)

  • Sam and Sam Clark Founders, Moro restaurant

  • Bink Hallum British Library Curator of Arabic Manuscripts

  • Nawal Nasrallah Food historian and translator

  • Gilly Smith (chair) Food journalist and podcaster

    Sam and Sam Clark create dishes inspired by the 13th-century cookery manuscript detailing the rich food culture of Moorish Spain and North Africa that was discovered by Bink Hallum and translated by Nawal Nasrallah.

Nawal Nasrallah is the author of several notable books on the cooking of the Arabic world, and her award-winning book on Iraqi cuisine, Delights from the Garden of Eden, will be available on ckbk in April 2022.

2. Cooking the Books: the Culinary Worlds of Eliza Acton and Mrs Beeton

Wednesday 18 May (in-person and online)

  • Annabel Abbs Author

  • Kathryn Hughes Author

  • Polly Russell (chair) Food historian

    Victorian cookery writers Eliza Acton (1799–1859) and Isabella ‘Mrs’ Beeton (1836–1865) may have lived over 150 years ago but their impact lives on, shaping home cooking and influencing modern cooking-writing. 

    Join Mrs Beeton’s biographer Kathryn Hughes and Annabel Abbs, the author of a fictional account of Acton’s life – The Language of Life – as they discuss the life, work and legacy of these two remarkable women.

Find cookbooks with original Victorian recipes by Eliza Acton and Mrs Beeton on ckbk, and read ckbk’s feature about Annabel Abbs’s biographical novel featuring the young Eliza Acton.

3. Beyond the Bar: The Chocolate Revolution

Monday 11 April (in-person and online)

  • Chantal Coady Rococo Chocolate / The Chocolate Detective

  • Nick Davis One-One Cacao

  • Angus Thirlwell Hotel Chocolat

  • Leyla Kazim (chair) The Food Programme

Chantal Coady, founder of Rococo Chocolate and The Chocolate Detective, is joined by Nick Davis, a grower in Jamaica, and Angus Thirlwell of Hotel du Chocolat to explore the dynamics of producing ethical, delicious chocolate and its huge impact on the local communities.

Two of Chantal Coady’s books, Chocolate: The Food of the Gods and Real Chocolate are available on ckbk in full. Meanwhile, chocolate lovers can watch the replay of ckbk’s Livestream and Q&A on Chocolate which took place of Wednesday, March 30 2022, with chocolate experts Amy Guittard and Emily Luchetti.

4. Vanilla: Anything But Boring

Wednesday 4 May (online)

  • Rebecca Earle Food historian, University of Warwick

  • Kathryn Sampeck Food historian, University of Illinois

  • Sue Quinn (chair) Cookbook author

Join food historians Katie Sampeck and Rebecca Earle as they unpack the remarkable history of vanilla. Using historical sources from the British Library’s collections, Katie and Rebecca explore the evidence for, and changes in, vanilla’s meanings and uses in the Early Modern world. 

For background, there are 7,500 cookbook recipes using vanilla on ckbk including these ones from Sue Quinn’s book Easy Vegan. We even have an entire book devoted to the subject – Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever.

5. Tastes of India

Friday 20 May (in-person)

  • Ravinder Bhogal

  • Romy Gill

  • Maunika Gowardan (chair)

  • Farokh Talati Kavi Thakrar

    Food writer Maunika Gowardan leads a series of chefs and food writers in conversations on culinary history, community influences, spices and cooking techniques. She is joined by Ravinder Bhogal of Jikoni restaurant in London on her Punjabi heritage; chef and food writer Romy Gill on the culinary world she discovered in Kashmir for her latest book On The Himalyan Trail; Kavi Thakrar of London restaurants Dishoom on sharing ways the food of Bombay shaped Dishoom's journey; and St John Bread & Wine’s head chef Farokh Talati on Parsi food culture.

ckbk has 3,000+ Indian cookbook recipes, with a whole shelf of Indian cookbooks ranging from the trendy contemporary dishes in Nisha Katona’s Mowgli Street Food to the regional chef classics of Prashad: Cooking with Indian Masters.

6. Platinum Jubilee Pudding

Monday 23 May (in-person)

  • Regula Ysewijn (Author, food historian and presenter, Belgian Bakeoff)

  • Dr Annie Gray (Author, food historian and broadcaster)

    Two authors whose historically-oriented cookbooks are top picks on ckbk celebrate the remarkable ideas and creations generated by the Platinum Jubilee Pudding Competition, for which Regula Ysewijn is an official judge.

Be sure to check out Pride and Pudding on ckbk for Regula Ysewijn’s authoritative guide to the best traditional British puddings. Annie Gray’s Downton Abbey Cookbook also contains many impressive examples!

For the full programme, visit the British Library Food Season website.


More from ckbk

Chocolate Livestream

Amy Guittard and pastry chef Emily Luchetti answer your questions on cooking with chocolate.

Cookbook Preview: Taste Tibet

Learn about momos, sepen and tsampa from the award winning duo, Yeshi Jampa and Julie Kleeman.

Behind the Cookbook

Pastry chef Jason Licker on the journey that led to his award-winning self-published cookbooks Lickerland and Baking with Licker