[Sca-cooks] Chefs in History u0p to 1500 A.C.

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Nov 25 09:21:14 PST 2008

On Nov 25, 2008, at 12:06 PM, Suey wrote:

> Gaylin Walli wrote:
>> When thinking about these kinds of articles it makes me wonder what  
>> we have
>> that's available on all the presidential chefs and their histories.  
>> Are
>> there some books written on the topic? I have to confess it's not a  
>> topic
>> I've googled so I'm sure someone knows something.
>> And when it comes down to it, as we go back in history, have their  
>> been
>> other books more related to our research? Perhaps the head cooks of  
>> the
>> various major houses and families in Europe or the Middle East?  
>> Certainly we
>> can find historical info on X named chef, but I was thinking  
>> something more
>> on the order of a broad swathe. Something like "Head Chef's to the  
>> English
>> Monarchy" or something similar for other cultures.
>   The cook is always the man behind the scenes whether he works for  
> a US President or whoever. At Ambassador's residents worldwide cooks  
> are never credited for all the work they do. I think it good that we  
> ask about them. I think it humanitarian. Who knows better than you?
>   The question  - have there been books related to chefs of major  
> houses and families in Europe or the Middle East? I think not. What  
> do we know about them? That is a difficult question when it comes to  
> the Spanish monarchy until Phillip II because the kings lived in the  
> saddle traveling from one noble's manor or home to another. The  
> chef, in general, is not known except for Nola who was worked for  
> Ferran, King of Naples, son of Alfonso V of Aragon, where the court  
> was sedentary. Many Spanish nobles also lived in the saddle,  
> following the king or moving on their own accord to their various  
> estates when their court had eaten the wheat and other supplies but  
> Miguel Lucas Iranzo, Constable of Castille, was sedentary in Jaen,  
> served fabulous banquets but we have no mention of his cooks except  
> for what was served, sometimes, and how wonderful all was all the  
> time.    I think we have more luck in northern countries. England of  
> course has Harry Cock, chef to Eduard III, no??? inventor of Hariote  
> Mutton today called Irish Stew.

Uh, no. Taillevent's (and presumably others') halicot/hericot de  
mouton is browned before braising, what distinguishes Irish Stew  
(apart from the potato thing) is that it is a "white ragout".

> Then we have Richard II's cookbook, preparing the coronation  
> banquet. Of course Archbishop George Neville had an important cook  
> as well as his brother the Earl of Warwick. Eduard IV had to have  
> had a marvelous pastry cook at least as he gained so much weight!  
> Yes, we have France, Germany etc.
>    Can we limit this game of what we know about historical cooks to  
> - up to 1500? I think that more of a challenge! :-)

I recall someone, probably back in the 70's and I recall an  
Englishwoman, writing a book called "Great Chefs And Their Recipes",  
touching on people like Taillevent, probably Chiquart, etc., almost  
certainly La Varenne. The book as divided into historical periods, but  
some of it had to do with the time period you mention... At the moment  
I'm not able to find any mention of this book on, say, the Amazon or  
Bookfinder sites...


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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