The Art of Cookery
John Thacker [+–]
18th Century Cook
John Thacker was cook to the Dean of Durham Cathedral frim 1739 until 1758. He also founded a cookery school in 1745.
Ivan Day [+–]
Ivan Day is a food historian with a special interest in re-creating the food of the past in period settings. His work has been exhibited in many major museums and he is the author of The Pleasures of the Table (with Peter Brown, 1998) and editor of Eat, Drink and be Merry (2000).
The Art of Cookery is the only books of its kind to have come out of an English religious community. It is also that very rare thing, a cookery book of the English 18th-century that has the author’s own recipes throughout; nothing seems to have been plagiarized or borrowed from other writers.
The Dean of Durham Cathedral, who employed the author, had a lavish grant for entertaining and his generous hospitality meant that his cook had to cater for all levels of society, from canons of the Cathedral with sophisticated tastes such as the gourmand Dr. Jacque Sterne, to tradesmen, poor widows, and those of even more modest status. Thacker’s book keeps many pre-Reformation recipes and thus shows the gradual transition in the Cathedral’s eating habits.