[Sca-cooks] Cooking for Power

Suey lordhunt at gmail.com
Wed Nov 26 10:33:07 PST 2008

Gunther wrote:
> One thing that did amuse me was that we are planning on going a small 
> group out west for their Yule Revel and I heard through the grapevine that
> the cook was in a bit of a panic . . .
OK now I get it. One thing is panicking and another is gaining power for 
cooking for the elite which is the way I took it. I do not see this in 
the Middle Ages with cooks due to poisoning. As per Stefan's messages, 
Alfonso the Wise's cook Gonzalez Gil was knighted to the order of 
Santiago, the highest order in Spain, a privilege Diego Velazquz, court 
painter for Philip IV, aspired for but never obtained. So for Gil that 
was top fare. I am impressed but again look what we know about Velazquez 
and compare that with Gil. Personally if I were a boy in the Middle Ages 
and my dad wanted to send me off as an apprentice to a cook I would run 
away. With all the saves, polluted water or just changes in water, I 
would not want the responsibility of feeding anyone much less nobility 
and their court.

I talk about changes in water. When walking the Way of St. James, I was 
advised to drink bottled water and to keep to the same brand as just 
changes in brands could upset my stomach. I do not have the references 
here but there is a whole book on 'polluted waters' found I think it was 
written in the 10th century if my memory is correct.

The only figure I know who received material benefits through cooking 
was not a cook but a messenger. He was little Jack Horner. He did not 
pull out a  plum from the pie he was taking to Henry VIII as a Christmas 
present  from the Abbot of Glastonbury but a deed to Mells Manor, common 
fare in those days to hide deeds in pies. The descendants still own the 

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