Photography and Food

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Photography and Food is a subject of growing significance in the developed world where the culture of food at times appears to weigh as heavily in the scales of our attention as the food itself. We are often armchair cooks not kitchen strivers, and photography and fine printing have allowed us to pursue this new pastime.

Cookbooks were not always illustrated. Robert may (1661) was one of the first, but beyond instructive table plans and the odd frontispiece, most cookbooks before the 20th century were free of ornament and none too finely printed. Exceptions were some that had their roots in magazine publishing (Isabella beeton), and which took advantage of the new technology of chromolithography (Jules gouffé). Manuals for the trade, for instance Kirkland (1907), were quicker to explore the possibilities of illustration.