Cookbooks as History with Chef and Author Claire Stewart

November 20, 2016, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Cookbooks are so much more than a compendium of recipes. To researchers they are often irreplaceable family possessions that reveal much about the lives of the society that used them. American cookbooks have been woven into the fabric of lives since Colonial times. English-speaking settlers would have brought from England a copy of The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse (1747). Cooks were soon flummoxed by the unfamiliar foods of the New World, and frustrated by a lack of familiar ingredients. As Americans tamed their environment and built a new country, over time they created cookbooks that reflected the specific resources and lifestyles of different eras. At 2:00 p.m. on November 20 Claire Stewart will introduce us to these and other cookbooks as intriguing ways to study American history. A Durand-Hedden House trustee, Stewart is a professional chef who graduated from the Culinary institute of America and is now an assistant professor at City University of New York.Her new book for Rowman and Littlefield publishers As Long as we Both Shall Eat: A History of Wedding Food and Feasts, will appear in bookstores in Spring 2017.

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