Laura Mason

Laura Mason

Author and food historian

https://www.cdla.co.uk/?p=1029
An author and food historian whose career started in researching and helping to draft articles for Alan Davidson’s Oxford Companion to Food (first published 1999), Laura’s work has explored many corners of the British food psyche. Why do sweets and confectionery have such a over the nation? What can be revealed about the ‘traditions’ of food in Britain by applying EU criteria to items as diverse as mint sauce, black puddings and sally lunns? A love of cookery and historic cookery books, a background in rural England (she grew up in the Yorkshire Dales), and a desire to make the past relevant to the present have led to four cookery books with the National Trust. Over the years she has contributed to many radio and television programmes, taught at the Slow Food University of Gastronomy, been a Trustee for the Sophie Coe Trust, spoken at conferences both in the UK and abroad and worked as a taster for Nestle. She is currently Honorary Chairman of the committee which organizes the Leeds Symposium on Food History and Traditions.

Laura's favorite cookbooks

Coming to ckbk soon
The Italian Confectioner

The Italian Confectioner

By William Jarrin

One of the best of the pre-modern books on confectionery, clearer and much more comprehensive than average, written by someone whose early life was lived against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars.

Coming to ckbk soon
The Closet of Sir Kenelme Digby Opened

The Closet of Sir Kenelme Digby Opened

By Kenelm Digby

A glance into the world of the 17th century aristocratic gentleman. More recipes for mead than strictly necessary, but masses of detail for the culinary historian. Written as if Sir K himself was in the kitchen beside you. The edition from Prospect Books is excellent, but I wish I had a 17th century original.

White Heat

White Heat

By Marco Pierre White

Another fascinating view into a different world, though not necessarily one I’d like to inhabit. Brilliant lemon tart recipe.

Good Things

Good Things

By Jane Grigson

Jane Grigson is a soothing voice. I warm to her idea that certain ingredients – asparagus, lemons, quinces - are worthy of careful and considered treatment, and I still use the book, 35 years on.

Available on ckbk now
Honey from a Weed

Honey from a Weed

By Patience Gray

Yet another world again, and a fantastic evocation of a bohemian life in Mediterranean countries. Nice detail about vegetables, herbs and fruit.

The Art of Eating

The Art of Eating

By MFK Fisher

She writes about life as much as food. There are recipes, but there are also places, people, journeys, emotions. How food comforts in moments of crisis, what to cook when you have no money, how to celebrate when you have.

The Handmade Loaf

The Handmade Loaf

By Dan Lepard

A lovely varied collection of recipes from interesting people and places. It always makes me want to get out the flour and start baking.