Renae Smith

Food & Books

Renae Smith
Food & Books

When two of your favourite things combine, you know it's going to be a good time.  According to Wikipedia, The British Library is second largest library in the world by number of items catalogued. It holds well over 150 million items from many countries... it's also known as heaven on earth for book lovers.  But wait, it gets better...

They've just launched their very first FOOD SEASON with a huge range of AMAZING stuff to do.

Looks like I'll be in London a lot more than I had originally planned!

Featuring award-winning food writers, Michelin-starred chefs, seasoned food campaigners and expert food makers, all appetites will be catered for in this vibrant and engaging series. The season will welcome a menu of food industry extraordinaires, including Jack Monroe, Ruby Tandoh, Francisco Migoya, Samin Nosrat, Jenny Linford, and numerous others.

British Library curator and food historian Polly Russell said:

“Whether it is handwritten manuscripts of printed cookery books, letters and diaries revealing the intimate details of eating habits, historical patents of cooking technology or in-depth oral histories of food producers, food is present in the British Library’s collections. This year’s Food Season provides visitors a wonderful opportunity to discover some of these unique collections and join in a lively conversation about food past, present and future.”

Food Season event highlights include:

Cooking on a Bootstrap: Jack Monroe in Conversation
Monday 9 April, 19.00-21.00

£12 / £10 / £8, Knowledge Centre Theatre (in conversation)

Is it really possible to cook cheaply and responsibly? Food writer, journalist and activist Jack Monroe knows first-hand what it's like to live in food poverty. Join Jack in conversation with investigative food journalist and food poverty campaigner Joanna Blythman as they explore questions of food and social responsibility today.

Victoria’s Kitchen with Annie Gray, Ashley Palmer-Watts and Marcus Wareing
Friday 20 April, 19.00-20.30£15 / £12 / £10, Knowledge Centre Theatre

Annie Gray, author of The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria, sheds light on the real history of Victoria’s notorious appetite and how it was fed. She is joined by Anthony Palmer-Watts of Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, who has worked extensively with original Victorian recipes, and Marcus Wareing of The Gilbert Scott, who works in Victorian Grade 1-listed building: the spectacular St Pancras Renaissance Hotel just next door to the British Library.

Ingredients: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat with Samin Nosrat
Tuesday 24 April, 19.00-20.30
£12 / £10 / £8, Knowledge Centre Theatre

While cooking at Chez Panisse at the start of her career, Samin Nosrat noticed that amid the chaos of the kitchen there were four key principles that her fellow chefs would always fall back on to make their food better: Salt, Fat, Acid and Heat. By mastering these four variables, Samin found the confidence to trust her instincts in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients. Samin will be in conversation with chef Jeremy Lee and Evening Standard restaurant critic Fay Maschler.

Francisco Migoya: Modernist Bread
Friday 4 May, 19.00-20.30
£12 / £10 / £8, Piazza Pavilion

In a rare UK appearance, Francisco Migoya, head chef of Modernist Cuisine (Bellevue, WA) and co-author of Modernist Bread: The Art and Science presents a revolutionary new understanding of one of the most important staples of human diet in this talk.

Appetite with Ruby Tandoh and Anthony Warner
Thursday 31 May, 19.00-20.30
£12 / £10 / £8, Knowledge Centre Theatre (panel discussion)

Save your appetites for this exploration of what it means to be hungry, and why we eat the things we do with our panel, including author, journalist and cook Ruby Tandoh and professional chef, blogger and food myth-buster Anthony Warner.

At The Crossroads: Microclimate Sensory Banquet
Saturday 2 June, 19.30-21.00
£10 / £8 / £7, Knowledge Centre Theatre (banquet)

Taste locally produced food, explore sensory rituals and enjoy a range of creative activities in a Banquet hosted by artist Gayle Chong Kwan, in partnership with the Skip Garden. Inspired by the artist’s research into the politics of food at the British Library, and the historic role played by the site of Kings Cross in UK consumption habits, this very special event invites audiences to consider their environment through the lens of food.