Traditional recipes

François Payard on Food University, Cooking Class Philosophy

François Payard on Food University, Cooking Class Philosophy

When Food University comes to Caesars Palace from March 27 to 29, some of the country’s top chefs will all be brought together under one (very large) roof. Duff Goldman, Alex Stratta, and Frank Pellegrino Jr. will all be teaching classes, along with master knife makers, sommeliers, mixologists, cheese experts, fine food purveyors, and farmers. One of the biggest names on board, however, is François Payard, the renowned pastry chef behind four New York bakeries. He spoke to The Daily Meal about the event, when he’ll be teaching, and his overall philosophy on cooking classes.

"When you teach a class, everyone is on a different level, and are looking for different experiences," the Nice, France-born chef said. "I don’t want to demonstrate something that just shows my skills, but that nobody else can actually do. I want them to say 'wow,' but not at what I can do, at what they can do."

At the event, which will be the first cooking class he’s taught in Vegas, Payard will teach students how to prepare flourless, butterless chocolate meringue cookies that also happen to be kosher for Passover, a no-bake chocolate pudding cake, and a lemon tart with orange supremes on top. They’re all classic Payard recipes that have been featured in his cookbooks.

"Pastry is very delicate, and very complicated," he said. "I don’t want the students to just stand there watching me work, though. I want to be a great teacher, but I want them to be able to say 'wow, I can do this at home.' Some teachers want to show off too much of their own skills. But I want these students to have a great experience; they’re not just going to a show."

Payard will also make sure that no class has more than 25 participants, in order to assure that everyone has individualized attention. So if you attend the class (tickets to the event are available here), be prepared to get your hands a little dirty. A parting tip from Payard?

"If you take the class you’ll enjoy it, but make sure you bring a translator," he joked. "Don’t worry, I’ll speak slowly."

Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers.

25 More Cookbooks

THE A.O.C. COOKBOOK. By Suzanne Goin. (Knopf, $35.) The author of “Sunday Suppers at Lucques” follows up with recipes from her small-plates, wine and cheese restaurant in Los Angeles. Caroline Styne, her business partner and wine director, provides wine notes for pairings.

THE ART OF FRENCH PASTRY. By Jacquy Pfeiffer with Martha Rose Shulman. (Knopf, $40.) An extended tutorial by a founder of the French Pastry School in Chicago that starts with the basics and, after addressing classics like éclairs and mille-feuilles, tackles tarts, cookies, cakes and, in a nod to the author’s native region, Alsatian specialties. Shulman writes the Recipes for Health column for the online New York Times.

THE ART OF SIMPLE FOOD II: Recipes, Flavor and Inspiration From the New Kitchen Garden. By Alice Waters. (Clarkson Potter, $35.) The guiding light behind Chez Panisse offers fresh, direct garden-to-plate recipes that show off prime ingredients: salt-roasted cranberry red potatoes with crème fraîche and chives, golden chard and bulger pilaf, wild plum jam turnovers.

BISCUITS. By Belinda Ellis. BOURBON. By Kathleen Purvis. (University of North Carolina, $18 each.) Two more volumes, with history and recipes, in the Savor the South series.

CLASSICO E MODERNO: Essential Italian Cooking. By Michael White with Andrew Friedman. (Ballantine, $50.) Classic Italian dishes paired with the author’s updated versions.

COOKING SLOW: Recipes for Slowing Down and Cooking More. By Andrew Schloss. (Chronicle, $35.) Long cooking times mean more flavor in recipes arranged by techniques that include roasting, baking, simmering, steaming, grilling, frying and sous vide.

FISH: 54 Seafood Feasts. By Cree LeFavour. (Chronicle, $27.50.) Big-flavor fish dishes like braised sable with pork belly, leeks, lentils and fennel salad or cod, okra and cauliflower curry.

THE GLORIOUS VEGETABLES OF ITALY. By Domenica Marchetti. (Chronicle, $30.) A tour of the vegetable kingdom, Italian style, with recipes that include sweet and sour eggplant salad and baked smoked scamorza with sautéed peppers.

LATIN AMERICAN STREET FOOD: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands From Mexico to Argentina. By Sandra A. Gutierrez. (University of North Carolina, $40.) Guatemalan Christmas tamales, Salvadoran puposas, Peruvian fried ceviche and more from the author of “The New Southern-Latino Table.”

MEMORIES OF GASCONY. By Pierre Koffmann. (Mitchell Beazley, $34.99.) The acclaimed chef and owner of La Tante Claire in London returns to his native region and time-honored dishes like preserved duck legs in pastry and walnut flan.

LA MÈRE BRAZIER: The Mother of Modern French Cooking. By Eugénie Brazier. (Rizzoli, $35.) Three hundred recipes from the small restaurant that opened in 1921 and came to embody the heart and soul of Lyonnais cooking. First published in France in 1977.

THE MODEL BAKERY COOKBOOK: 75 Favorite Recipes From the Beloved Napa Valley Bakery. By Karen Mitchell and Sarah Mitchell with Rick Rodgers. (Chronicle, $35.) From basics like cinnamon rolls and buttermilk biscuits to signatures like sunny lemon cake and “chocolate rad” cookies.

MOOSEWOOD RESTAURANT FAVORITES: The 250 Most-Requested Naturally Delicious Recipes From One of America’s Best-Loved Restaurants. By the Moosewood Collective. (St. Martin’s, $29.99.) Forty years’ worth of creative vegetarian (non-meat) cookery, with dishes like quinoa-stuffed roasted peppers, Moroccan vegetable stew and caramelized onion pie.

MY FEAST: Recipes From the Islands of the South Pacific, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines. By Peter Kuruvita. (Hardie Grant Books, $39.95.) The author, an Australian chef who grew up in Sri Lanka, goes island-hopping for dishes like Filipino sour soup and Indonesian twice-cooked pork.

THE NEW PÂTISSIERS. By Olivier Dupon. (Thames & Hudson, $60.) An eye-popping survey of the latest in pastry making, with recipes graded, like Olympic dives, by level of difficulty.

ONE GOOD DISH: The Pleasures of a Simple Meal. By David Tanis. (Artisan, $25.95.) Simple, easy-to-make stand-alone dishes that cover “snacks, hearty meals and everything in between,” from “real garlic bread” to Tunisian meals. Tanis writes the weekly City Kitchen column for The New York Times.

PASTRY: A Master Class for Everyone. By Richard Bertinet. (Chronicle, $30.) Step-by-step instructions, with photographs and recipes, on how to make savory, sweet, puff and choux pastry, from the owner of the Bertinet Kitchen School in Bath, England.

PAYARD DESSERTS. By François Payard with Tish Boyle. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40.) One of New York’s most cherished pâtissiers offers a menu of greatest hits that extend from his early years working in Paris — he includes the fig tart with caramelized figs he used to make at Lucas Carton for Alain Senderens — to his current fleet of pastry shops and bakeries.

PERFECT PIES AND MORE: All New Pies, Cookies, Bars and Cakes From America’s Pie-Baking Champion. By Michele Stuart. (Ballantine, $26.) The owner of Michele’s Pies in Norwalk and Westport, Conn., offers recipes for peanut butter banana fluff pie and orange creamsicle pie, just two of her many prize winners at the National Pie Championships.

PIE. By Angela Boggiano. (Mitchell Beazley, $24.99.) The English way with pie, meaning lots of savory pies like lamb, mint and pumpkin. The author has revised her 2009 edition to include more sweet pies, like apple baklava pie and candied ricotta pie.

POMEGRANATES AND PINE NUTS: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes. By Bethany Kehdy. (Duncan Baird, $24.95.) An exploration of Middle Eastern and North African cuisines by the Beirut-born author of the food blog Dirty Kitchen Secrets.

SAUCES AND SHAPES: Pasta the Italian Way. By Oretta Zanini de Vita and Maureen B. Fant. (Norton, $35.) The team behind “Encyclopedia of Pasta” match sauces with their ideal pasta accompaniments.

SOUTHERN FRIED: More Than 150 Recipes for Crab Cakes, Fried Chicken, Hush Puppies and More. By James Villas. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $29.99.) The veteran cookbook writer and North Carolina native mounts a defense of frying and applies it with gusto. Fried deviled eggs? Yes. Also pecan-crusted catfish, okra beignets and Kentucky fried corn.

SOUTHERN ITALIAN DESSERTS: Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia and Sicily. By Rosetta Costantino with Jennie Schacht. (Ten Speed, $29.99.) Beyond cannoli and on to regional desserts like crostata al caprino (a sweet goat cheese tart) and cuccia de Santa Lucia (a feast-day wheat berry pudding).

1. Pierre Hermé

When you’re dubbed as “The Picasso of Pastry,” it’s clear you have an incredible talent. Pierre Hermé is the ‘Picasso’ of pastries. He is notably most famous for his flavoured macarons that are rich and unusual in taste.

His baking skills have made him well known and he has written over a dozen books. He is the youngest person to ever be named “France’s Pastry Chef of the Year”.

Currently, he manages two Michelin star awarded restaurants in France.

From this artistic decoration on this fruit tart we can see Pierre’s original style.

2021 Cooking Classes

MHealthy is hosting a different cooking class series each month. Pay one price to attend that month's series. Registration opens a few weeks before the first class of the month.

The promise of warmth and sunshine after a long, cold winter with many occasions to get out and celebrate life and well-being!

All classes are 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. The cost for this series is $30 and covers all three classes in May. Register April 12 – April 28 at 9 a.m., 2021 for the May Cooking Class Series.

May 5 Class – Great Whole Grains

It's easy and exciting to replace refined grain products with whole grains which are delicious and great for you!

May 12 Class – Enjoy More Mushrooms

Mushrooms with their meaty taste and texture are loaded with health benefits and medicinal properties which may help boost your immune system to fight cancer. Let's put the fun in fungi!

May 19 Class – Onions for Overall Health

Onions and other members of the Allium family such as shallots, leeks, scallions, garlic and chives are staples in most kitchens around the world because they are so versatile and add so much flavor to any savory dish.

Enjoy more fresh and fabulous fruits and vegtables and less time over a hot stove or washing lots of pots and pans.

All classes are 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. The cost for this series is $20 and covers both classes in June. Register May 24 - June 11 at 9 a.m., 2021 for the June Cooking Class Series.

June 16 – Use Your Noodles

Noodles come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and textures. You probably have some in your pantry and just need some new ideas to make them healthy and delicious!

June 30 – Let's Go Mangos

Mangoes are the most widely consumed fruit in the world. We will show you how to cut a mango, discuss the many health benefits so you put this tasty tropical fruit in your cart more often.

Simple, no-sweat, summer dishes made with the best ingredients in season to keep your cooking cool!

All classes are 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. The cost for this series is $20 and covers both classes in June. Register June 21 - July 9 at 9 a.m., 2021 for the July Cooking Class Series.

July 14 – Hello Herbs

Salt and pepper can take a back seat while you perk up your favorite grilled chicken, fish, pastas, veggies or grain dishes with the bright flavors of the herbs that are easy to grow in a pot, your garden or find at the markets.

  • Herby Potato Salad
  • A Trio of Pestos:
    • Classic Basil Pesto
    • Parsley Pesto with Walnuts
    • Arugula and Mint Pesto

    July 28 – Z is for Zucchini

    The humble zucchini is loaded with vitamins, minerals and has a multitude of health benefits ranging from improving eye and skin health to supporting circulation and heart health.

    As the season sizzles on - hopefully spending more time with friends and family and enjoying these easy recipes together.

    All classes are 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. The cost for this series is $20 and covers both classes in June. Register July 12 - July 30 at 9 a.m., 2021 for the August Cooking Class Series.

    August 4 – Wonderful Watermelon

    This delicious and juicy fruit helps to keep you hydrated, feel full and is loaded with health-promoting antioxidants.

    August 11 – Sweet Corn - Go Maize!

    Considered both a vegetable and a whole grain - corn has ben enjoyed for centuries and is a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals

    Well Plated

    If you’re the type of cook who’s overly generous with lending your personal library, consider inserting gastronomically-inspired bookplates into the front covers of your collection. These paper goods are attractive and theme-appropriate, and will give you a little piece of mind. Now your so-called friends won’t be able to easily abscond with your precious Marcella volume. $9.99 for a pack of 20 at Italian Papers & Gifts.

    2020 Science and Cooking Lecture Series highlights bold flavors that break boundaries

    Popular series pairs Harvard professors with chefs and food experts

    WC: 766

    This year’s Science and Cooking Public Lecture Series is a celebration of border-blurring, culinary crossovers, from Caribbean-influenced French and Italian cuisine to a Thai take on traditional Indian recipes. And with a remote format via Zoom, this 11th iteration of the lecture series gives viewers a front-row seat to watch some of the world’s best chefs showcase unexpected flavors and unique techniques.

    The plate "Condensed strain" which uses the enzyme pectinase to make an onion with a “cooked” texture and raw flavor. The dish is a take on french onion soup by the team at Mugaritz, one of the speakers in this year’s series.

    New presenters this year include Nina Compton (Compère Lapin, New Orleans), Lois Ellen Frank (Red Mesa Cuisine, Native American Cooking), Garim Arora (Gaa Restaurant, Bangkok, Thailand), Andoni Aduriz and Ramon Perisé (Mugaritz, Spain), Marike van Beurden (Master Chocolatier and Pastry Chef) as well as returning favorites José Andrés, Harold McGee, Dave Arnold, and Joanne Chang, A.B. ’91.

    The lectures pair Harvard professors with celebrated food experts and renowned chefs to showcase the science behind different culinary techniques. The series, organized by Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is based on the Harvard course “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter,” but public lectures do not replicate course content.

    • All talks will take place by Zoom registration is required and you will be emailed with the Zoom link to join
    • Each presentation will begin with a 15-minute lecture about the scientific topics from that week’s class by a faculty member from the Harvard course
    • The lectures are free and open to the public
    • Mondays 7 p.m. EST, with a few exceptions to accommodate our speakers’ different time zones (see schedule).

    If you have questions regarding the public lecture series, please contact [email protected] .


    Videos of the past public talks are available on iTunes and YouTube

    Follow us

    2020 Chef Lecture Dates

    Monday, Sept. 7
    “A Nose Dive into Kitchen Pyrolysis”
    Zoom, 7 p.m EST
    Dave Arnold (@CookingIssues), Existing Conditions, author of "Liquid Intelligence," host of "Cooking Issues," founder of the Museum of Food and Drink
    Harold McGee (@Harold_McGee), author of "On Food and Cooking," "Curious Cook," and the forthcoming book "Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World's Smells." Monday, Sept. 14
    "The Science of Sugar"
    Zoom, 7 p.m EST
    Joanne Chang ’91 (@jbchang), Flour Bakery and Café, Myers + Chang, author of “Flour,” “Flour Too,” “Myers + Chang at Home,” and “Baking With Less Sugar” Monday, Sept. 21
    "Fermenting Brains. A Journey to Mugaritz microworld"
    Zoom, 3 p.m EST
    Andoni Luis Aduriz (@andoniluisaduriz), chef/owner of the two Michelin star restaurant Mugaritz, top 10 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
    Ramon Perisé, Director of Fermentation and R&D at Mugaritz, Spain
    Monday, Sept. 28
    “The Equation for Gnocchi”
    Zoom, 7 p.m EST
    Nina Compton (@ninacompton), James Beard winning Saint Lucian chef, chef/owner of Compère Lapin and Bywater Bistro in New Orleans, Louisiana Monday, Oct. 12
    “Culinary Ash in Contemporary Native American Cuisine”
    Zoom, 7 p.m EST
    Lois Ellen Frank (@lois_ellen_frank), New Mexico-based chef, author, Native food historian, “Native American with a modern twist,” Red Mesa Cuisine, Santa Fe, New Mexico Monday, Oct. 26
    “Viscosity, Pastry and Chocolate”
    Zoom, 2 p.m EST
    Marike van Beurden (@marikevanbeurden) Pastry Chef and Master Chocolatier, Dutch Chocolate Master 2013, 2nd World Chocolate Master 2013 Monday, Nov. 2
    “The Science of Ice Cream”
    Zoom, 7 p.m EST Monday, Nov. 9
    "The Science of Indian Culinary Traditions"
    Zoom, 8 p.m EST
    Garima Arora (@arorgarima), first Indian woman to win a Michelin Star, Asia’s Best Female Chef 2019 by World’s 50 best, Restaurant Gaa, Bangkok, Thailand

    The Harvard College Course

    The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Alícia Foundation developed the General Education science course, “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter,” which debuted in the fall of 2010. The course uses food and cooking to explicate fundamental principles in applied physics and engineering. (Watch a video about the course.)

    While limited to currently enrolled Harvard undergraduates, the class, which brings together eminent Harvard researchers and world-class chefs, is available to others on-campus through the Harvard Extension School and online through the HarvardX platform (details below).


    • Michael Brenner , Michael F. Cronin Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics and Professor of Physics Harvard College Professor
    • Pia Sörensen , Senior Preceptor in Chemical Engineering and Applied Materials
    • David Weitz , Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics

    Lab Design/Implementation

    Lecture Coordinator

    Science and Cooking on HarvardX

    In HarvardX’s “Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science,” top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how everyday cooking and haute cuisine techniques illuminate scientific principles in physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering. Both part 1 and part 2 of the online course are currently open for enrollment.

    STEAMeD Teacher Workshops

    STEAMeD adapts exercises from the popular Science and Cooking course and Young Chefs to fit Massachusetts state science standards. It is a rare opportunity for highly motivated teachers to bring these exercises into their classrooms. Teachers, community program instructors, and after school program leaders are invited to register. More information is available on the STEAMeD website , where future workshops will also be announced


    We are grateful to our sponsors

    Ashley Capps

    Ashley is a North Carolina native. She has traveled to work, eat, and cook from age seventeen and will continue this journey until she is very old. Ashley has planted roots in the mountains of Asheville, creating a community in this region since 2002. Places that shifted her perspective and laid the path that she walks today have been: Restaurant Five & Ten, Farm and Sparrow Bakery, Eleven Madison Park, MG Road Bar and Lounge, Rhubarb, Buxton Hall Barbecue and teaching at Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College. Her dedication to pastry work is serious, obsessive, blended with a humble disposition.

    She always gives credit to the people she works alongside. She has been apart of teams that received national acclaim including Bon Appetit’s Top 50 Best New Restaurants, Southern Living’s 100 Best New Restaurants Southeast, Bon Appetit’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants 2016, Southern Living’s Best Restaurants 2016. In February 2019, Ashley was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a semifinalist for the Outstanding Pastry Chef category and also joined the board for the Appalachian Food Summit.

    Ashley’s values are woven into her work. Supporting small farms, connecting to producers, and using seasonal ingredients are important to her. She finds fulfillment in teaching and creative collaboration.

    Top 10 basic student recipes

    Heading to university this year? If you lack confidence in the kitchen, then get started with our 10 staple dishes, from comforting curries and pasta bakes to speedy stir-fries.

    If you are starting university but your kitchen skills leave a lot to be desired, then fear not – our 10 favourite student basics will see you through your first term and beyond.

    Check out our collection of student recipes and read on for easy meals you can master in minutes. Once you’ve got the basics, try your hand at some more challenging suggestions.

    Looking for the perfect student gift? Create an easily customisable My BBC Good Food cookbook filled with all the essential recipes they’ll need for uni. It’s sure to be a lifesaver for first-time cooks or budding chefs.

    1. Fajitas

    Whether feeding friends or whipping up a midweek main, you can’t go wrong with fajitas. Add and swap ingredients to accommodate taste and budget.

    Simple staple
    Slice, chop and serve – rolling your own fajitas is a fun and fast way to get dinner on the table:
    Roll-your-own fajitas
    Easy chicken fajitas

    Make it more interesting
    With a little effort you can elevate the fail-safe fajita to a Mexican masterpiece using cheap pork cuts, homemade mole sauce and a side of chunky salsa:
    Pulled pork with Mexican almond mole sauce

    2. Pasta bake

    A classic student dish, pasta bake doesn’t have to be the cheese-laden vision we imagine on hearing the words. Let storecupboard staples like pasta and tinned tomatoes be your base, then get creative with your favourite veg, herbs and reduced-fat crème fraîche for a lovely texture with less of the stodge.

    Simple staple
    Full of the good stuff, this bake will be ready in a flash and is healthy to boot. Share with friends or freeze leftovers for easy midweek meals:
    Gnocchi & tomato bake

    Make it more interesting
    A make-ahead lasagne dish designed for entertaining, but won’t cost a fortune – perfect Friday food for friends:
    Chicken, squash & pesto lasagne

    Find more cheesy pasta bake recipes.

    3. Pasta on the hob

    If you are short on time or simply too ravenous to wait out a pasta bake, our speedy hob spaghetti dishes will be your supper salvation.

    Simple staple
    This comforting, budget-friendly tagliatelle and sausage dish takes just five minutes to prepare and can be on the table in 20 minutes:
    Sausage stroganoff

    Make it veggie
    Packed with delicious chargrilled Mediterranean veg, chopped tomatoes and herbs, this fast and flavoursome Sicilian-style recipe delivers three of your 5-a-day:
    Caponata pasta

    Make it more interesting
    Stir up a large batch of Bolognese on the weekend then divide into plastic bags and freeze, ready for a speedy midweek meal. Our crowd-pleasing dish is perfect for sharing with friends and will be fun to make as a group activity:
    Big batch Bolognese

    Discover more delicious budget pasta recipes.

    4. Curry

    Pack your storecupboard full of spices, curry paste and coconut milk and you’ll be ready to whip up a classic Asian curry, whatever the occasion.

    Simple staple
    Use just a handful of ingredients to make this comforting, creamy curry. Chicken thighs are cheaper and more flavoursome than breast meat, whilst a ready-made tikka spice paste easily provides another layer of flavour:
    Easy chicken curry

    Make it veggie
    Whip up a super-simple vegan curry using smoky roasted aubergines, chopped tomatoes and coconut milk, which adds richness and balances the spices:
    Roasted aubergine & tomato curry

    Make it more interesting
    Up for a challenge? Roll up your sleeves and make your own Thai curry paste to add to your favourite green curry:
    Green curry paste

    Check out more easy curry recipes.

    5. Traybakes

    Traybakes are an ultimate student staple – just throw everything in a roasting tin or pan and let the oven work its magic. You’ll also save on washing-up afterwards!

    Simple staple
    Baste chicken thighs in a super-scrumptious sticky marinade of hoisin, honey, Chinese five-spice powder and ginger for an easy midweek meal:
    Sticky Chinese chicken traybake

    Make it veggie
    This easy veggie traybake is full of goodness, packing in a whole four of your 5-a-day. Combine vibrant cherry tomatoes with peppers, potatoes, chickpeas and broccoli, then top with slices of halloumi before finishing under the grill for a satisfying crunch:
    Halloumi traybake

    Make it more interesting
    Go the extra mile and make your own fresh pesto to spread on this veg-packed traybake. For a veggie alternative, simply leave out the meat and use vegetarian parmesan in the pesto:
    5-a-day chicken with kale & pistachio pesto

    6. Soup

    Ditch the canned soup and stir up your own nutritious broth – the perfect solution to late nights or when you’re feeling under the weather.

    Simple staple
    Minestrone soup is packed with veg and carbohydrates for energy. A big batch of this cheap and speedy soup is freezer-friendly and full of goodness. Frozen veg also means no chopping, and gets this soup on the table in just 10 minutes:
    Minestrone in minutes

    Make it more interesting
    This restaurant-standard French recipe is one to try when the folks are visiting, as it’s sure to impress:
    Pistou soup

    7. Jacket potatoes

    Jacket potatoes are a great speedy food when cooked in the microwave, but taste their best when lovingly crisped up in the oven.

    Simple staple
    While baked beans count as one of your 5-a-day, shop-bought varieties often pack in the salt, so making your own is a healthy and cost-effective way to reap the benefits of an old favourite:
    Jacket potatoes with homemade baked beans

    Make it more interesting
    Fill potatoes with a deliciously creamy combination of Greek yogurt and feta cheese, then add a hint of spice with sumac:
    Jacket potato with whipped feta & sumac

    8. Stir-fried rice

    With a bag of rice in the cupboard, you’re never more than 15 minutes from a satisfying and speedy supper. Choose brown or wholegrain rice for added health credentials.

    Simple staple
    Use up your leftovers in this fuss-free, one-pan rice dish. You can have it on the table in under 15 minutes, making for a midweek marvel:
    Fast-fix fried rice

    Make it more interesting
    Try something different by introducing fermented foods to your stir-fry. As well as boosting gut-friendly bacteria, kimchi adds a spicy kick to this rice and veg dish:
    Kimchi fried rice

    Get more fantastic fried rice recipes.

    9. Granola

    Don’t forget breakfast! Make your own granola and add your favourite nuts, fruit and seeds to rolled oats. Store in a sealed container to help keep the crunch.

    Simple staple
    This recipe is sweetened with maple syrup for a natural energy boost:
    Maple-baked granola

    Make it more interesting
    Bake all the goodness of your granola into chewy breakfast bars – ideal when you need to enjoy breakfast on the go:
    Cinnamon berry granola bars

    10. Omelettes

    Eggs are a cheap source of high-quality protein and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Whipping up an omelette for one couldn’t be easier, making for a speedy lunch or satisfying solo supper.

    Simple staple
    You can’t go wrong with classic ham & cheese – add tomatoes for extra health benefits:
    Skinny pepper, tomato & ham omelette

    Make it more interesting
    Practice your soufflé skills with this fluffy and filling supper. Experiment with different fillings to find your favourite:
    Cheese & ham souffléd omelette

    Try some more omelette recipes.

    “Collecting cookbooks is an exciting, provoking, challenging, and rewarding passion. In The Cookbook Library, Anne Willan gives us a fascinating collection of stories and recipes from European and early American historical cookbooks. It is a must for anyone interested in culinary history.” —Jacques Pepin, author of Essential Pepin

    “Anyone who cares about cooking will care deeply about what Anne Willan has to tell us about its history as it was set down centuries ago and passed on to us through the rare cookbooks she and her husband have collected and cherished for almost fifty years. With great intelligence and tremendous charm, Willan helps us to understand where recipes came from, who created them, who cooked them, who recorded them, who ate what was recorded and in what fashion. It is a delicious history that, like all good histories—and good stories—illuminates the present.” —Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table

    “It is evident even from the first page that this is a book every serious foodie will need to own, consult, and use with pleasure and profit, and remarkable that the authors have written a volume that is both scholarly and so much fun to read.” —Paul Levy, author of The Official Foodie Handbook

    “Forty-five years in the making, this volume was worth the wait. In The Cookbook Library Anne Willan and Mark Cherniavsky draw on their fine personal collection to illuminate the art, science, and importance of early cookbooks. It is a pleasurable read, filled with history, lore, recipes, and illustrations in a superb presentation. It will be an unequaled reference work for historians, bibliophiles, culinarians, and collectors.” —Jan Longone, Curator of American Culinary History, Clements Library, University of Michigan

    “Anne Willan and Mark Cherniavsky love cookbooks and live among thousands of them. It’s a great gift to us that they’ve now shared their world-class collection and all of its delights. In The Cookbook Library, they take you on a fascinating journey from medieval kitchens through the nineteenth century. It’s the perfect book for anyone interested in food history.” —Amanda Hesser, cofounder of

    Changing Tastes

    Fig. 1. Le Déjeuner de jambon (The Ham Lunch) also know as Luncheon Party in the Park by Nicolas Lancret (1690–1743), c. 1735. Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 by 18 1/8 inches. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, bequest of Forsyth Wickes–The Forsyth Wickes Collection photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    Some 350 years ago, several French cooks championed the same issues as many of today’s great chefs: freshness, delicate flavors, healthy and delicious recipes, and an emphasis on locally grown ingredients. The fascination with food that so grips us now also predominated in the 1700s. Nicolas de Bonnefons described it perfectly. He was a French gardener, valet to Louis XIV, and the author of two important books: the first on gardening, followed by one on cooking called Les delices de la campagne . . . (The Delights of the Countryside). He declared (in translation), “Of all the senses, there is nothing more delicious, nor more necessary to life than that of taste.”

    Fig. 2. Folding fan painted in the manner of François Boucher, Austrian or German, 1760s. Gouache and bronze paint on paper, mother-of-pearl decorated with gold and silver–toned metal leaf, and green paste pivot 10 7/8 by 20 inches (open). Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Lehman Collection.

    Prior to the 1600s, cooks were largely restricted to ingredients in their natural growing locations and seasons, supplemented by spices and novel imported foods available to the wealthy. Kitchen technology had not advanced since the Middle Ages most food was cooked over open fires with little or no control of temperature. Hosts demonstrated their elevated status and wealth with grand and formal meals featuring expensive ingredients and complex recipes, regardless of the overall flavor. Food was served on plates, bowls, and platters made of wood, pewter, faïence, silver, or gold, depending on rank.

    Fig. 3. Cook, model attributed to Peter Reinicke (1715–1768), Meissen porcelain factory, c. 1753–1754. Hard-paste porcelain with enamel and gilded decoration height 6 inches. Alan Shimmerman Collection photograph by Toni Hafkenscheid, courtesy of the Gardiner Museum, Toronto.

    With the dawning of the Age of Enlightenment (around 1650), radical changes were slowly introduced in France and spread triumphantly through fashionable Europe, continuing even now to influence what many of us eat, how we cook, and how we dine. Through the publication and translation of the cookbooks by key French cooks such as François Pierre de La Varenne, Vincent La Chapelle, Menon, and François Marin, cooking in the French style came to dominate taste. Even in Italy, greatly respected for its gastronomy, French cuisine reigned supreme in the 1700s. When Giacomo Casanova was entertained to “a choice and delicious dinner” by his mistress in Venice in 1753, he exclaimed that “the cook must be French, and she said I was right.” 2 However, it was not until the 1800s that French cooks such as Marie-Antoine Carême and Auguste Escoffier gained the “celebrity chef” recognition that some chefs enjoy today.

    Fig. 4. Title page of The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy Which far exceeds any Thing of the Kind yet published by Hannah Glasse (1708–1770), new ed. (London: W. Strahan, et al., 1770). Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

    It is curious that male cooks dominated in France, while in England a number of important cookbooks were written by women. Chief among them was Hannah Glasse, whose The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy was first published anonymously in 1747 and went through at least thirty editions over the next hundred years (Fig. 4). Despite her efforts, expensive French cooks replaced many English ones in wealthy households as the century progressed, and the fashion for French cuisine spread.

    Fig. 5. Wool vegetables hand-knitted by Madame Tricot (Dominique Kaehler Schweizer 1948–), 2019. Collection of the artist photograph by Daniel Ammann, courtesy of the Gardiner Museum.

    The ephemeral pleasures of food had become such a passion that even princes tried their hands as amateur cooks. For instance, Louis XV had a small kitchen in his newly created petits appartements at Versailles and is said to have rustled up an omelet for his close friends on occasion. This may not sound unusual to us now, but at the time it was unprecedented for the nobility, let alone a king, to perform such tasks. These aristocrats and their fellow epicures were the foodies of their times.

    Fig. 6. Illustration of melon beds in The French Gardiner, Instructing How to Cultivate all sorts of Fruit-Trees . . . by Nicolas de Bonnefons (active c. 1650s), translated by John Evelyn (1620–1706), 3rd ed. (London: S. S. for Benj. Tooke, 1672). Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

    Changes to food culture began in the kitchen garden. At Versailles, Louis XIV acquired the services of Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie (1626–1688), a gifted horticulturist who transformed the palace’s kitchen gardens between 1678 and 1683. De La Quintinie expanded the growing season of many vegetables and fruits using Italian techniques of enclosures and raised warm beds (Fig. 6). His work resulted in a proliferation of fruits and vegetables available for the royal kitchens for instance, he cultivated more than forty different types of pears at Versailles, enabling the serving of fresh pears almost year-round. Gardeners all over Europe employed these methods, some becoming obsessed with growing tropical fruits such as pineapples and melons in northern climates. Cooks who did not have access to such fashionable ingredients resorted to clever ways of imitating them for the table. They delighted in fooling diners, creating edible forms that looked like one type of food but tasted of another, such as “mellons” made of sausage meat (see sidebar, p. 81).

    Fig. 7. Watering can (arrosoir), Vincennes, France, 1754. Soft-paste porcelain with enamel and gilded decoration height 7 3/4, width 9 5/8 inches. Gardiner Museum, gift of George and Helen Gardiner photograph by Toni Hafkenscheid.

    Diets of the wealthy in the 1600s and 1700s were not limited to the produce of farms and gardens. Long-established European trade in wine, olive oil, cheese, preserved meat and fish, and even pasta supplemented local foodstuffs. Exploration and colonialism expanded the horizons of trade to Asia and the New World, leading to increasing imports of new foods, such as turkey, tea, spices, and especially sugar. The quest for lucrative locations to grow sugar further fueled colonization and had devastating human consequences, with the enslavement and transportation of millions of Africans to toil on plantations in the Americas.

    Fig. 8. Melon tureen, maker unknown, Chelsea, England, c. 1755. Soft-paste porcelain with enameled decoration height 6 ½, width 7 inches. Gardiner Museum, collection of Rosalie Wise Sharp Hafkensheid photograph.

    In the kitchen, technological advances enabled more sophisticated culinary techniques. Key was the widespread adoption, in the houses of the wealthy, of brick stoves with rows of hobs fueled by charcoal. These stoves enabled the temperature control necessary for sauces, central to the new French cuisine. Mechanized spits replaced manual operation. Cooks gave great attention to detail, providing instructions for cooking and presenting their food. Hannah Glasse advised, “Always be very careful that your greens be nicely picked and washed. . . . Most people spoil garden things by over-boiling them. All things that are green should have a little crispness, for if they are over-boiled they neither have any sweetness or beauty.”

    Fig. 9. “A Table for a Wedding Supper,” illustration from The British Housewife: or, the Cook, Housekeeper’s and Gardiner’s Companion by Martha Bradley (active 1740s–1755), vol. 2 (London: S. Crowder and H. Woodgate, 1760). Collection of Ivan Day Hafkensheid photograph, courtesy of the Gardiner Museum.

    New philosophies for lighter, refined, and healthy eating were proposed in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment. It is remarkable to find that nouvelle cuisine, made famous in the 1970s by French chefs such as Paul Bocuse and Michel Guérard, had already appeared 230 years earlier! English scientist John Evelyn (1620–1706) proposed a vegetarian “Herby-Diet” in 1699, and in the 1760s Jean-Jacques Rousseau expounded it as his
    philosophy. Rousseau advocated a simple, meatless diet based on fresh, local foods, believing that being closer to nature was healthier for body and character.

    Fig. 10. Basket produced by Samuel Herbert & Co., London, 1763–1764. Silver height 3 7/8 (not including handle), width 14 3/4, depth 12 inches. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, Elizabeth B. Miles Collection of English Silver photograph by Allen Phillips.

    Along with the refinement of cooking came dramatic developments in the arts of the table. Meals were served in three or more courses à la française during this time. Depending on the event and the complexity of the meal, servants or members of the household arranged all the serving dishes in a symmetrical pattern on the table, course by course (Fig. 9). Even simple meals were presented in this manner. We now wonder how people of the period ate so much at grand dinners, but at the time, diners chose food only from the selection of serving dishes placed closest to them on the table. If they wished to eat something placed out of easy reach, a servant would fetch it. Dining in the French manner became the height of style all over Europe, and both the bourgeoisie and the upper classes adopted it with enthusiasm.

    Fig. 11. Turkey tureen likely decorated by Johannes Zeschinger (b. 1723), Höchst Porcelain Manufactory, Frankfurt, Germany, c. 1760. Hard-paste porcelain with enamels height 16 ¼, width 15 1/4 inches. Photograph by Richard Goodbody, courtesy of Michele Beiny Inc and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

    Whether diners ate from dishes of gold, silver, or pewter depended on their rank and financial status. Gold was restricted to kings and their immediate families silver could be used by princes, the nobility, and members of the bourgeoisie whose wealth was sufficient pewter, tin, or earthenware were used by everyone else. Faïence and porcelain were first used only for the dessert course because their surfaces were impervious to acidic fruit juices, but as the 1700s progressed, entire dinner and dessert services were made of porcelain—the new material of the age. Porcelain was a material that transcended rank and could be used by anyone with means.

    Fig. 12. Kitchen Scene by John Atkinson (active 1770–1775), 1771. Oil on canvas, 30 3/8 by 25 inches. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, Paul Mellon Collection.

    The combination of new foods and the formal presentation à la française led to the development of purpose-specific dishes for serving and eating. In the 1700s there was a veritable landslide of new vessels for both savory and sweet dishes that made dining both more elegant and more complicated. In 1742 Vincent La Chapelle suggested it was necessary to have twelve different sized and shaped dishes along with a range of elaborate tureens (Figs. 11,13) to serve his food—a sharp contrast to the four different sizes of simple circular dishes recommended by François Massialot thirty years earlier. This new development probably related to the impact of advances in cooking as well as to the rise of consumerism. Silver and ceramic manufacturers created new vessels for the most fashionable foods, such as cups for ice cream, sauceboats for savory or sweet sauces, and baskets for cakes and fruit (Fig. 10).

    Fig. 13. Cabbage tureen, model attributed to Johann Wilhelm Lanz (active 1748–1761), produced by the factory of Paul Hannong, Strasbourg, France, c. 1744–1754. Tin-glazed earthen-ware height 9 1/8, width 20 1/8 inches. Private collection Hafkenscheid photograph, courtesy of the Gardiner Museum.

    For a short time in the mid-1700s, there was a craze for naturalism. All kinds of forms, from teapots to tureens, were made to look like animals, birds, or vegetables. It is tempting to imagine how steam might emerge from the nostrils of a faïence boar’s-head tureen when it was filled with hot ragout, but it is unlikely that such complex pieces were actually used to serve food (Fig. 15).

    Fig. 14. Dinner of the Prince de Conti [1717–1776] in the Temple by Michel Barthélémy Ollivier (1712–1784), 1776. Oil on canvas, 22 by 28 inches. Château de Versailles, France photograph by Bridgeman Images, courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

    Times for eating varied from country to country and from city to countryside. The hours for fashionable dining by the wealthy became flexible during the 1700s in France. Dinner (dîner), the principal meal of the day, was served initially in the afternoon at around two o’clock, while supper (souper) or a light collation was taken late in the evening. As the century progressed, dinner gradually became a later event, and was often served by candlelight (Fig. 14). A new meal—luncheon—gradually became a midday feature. Supper was largely abandoned.

    Fig. 15. Boar’s head tureen produced by the factory of Paul Hannong, Strasbourg, c. 1748–1754. Tin-glazed earthenware height 11 5/8, width 18 3/4 inches. Private collection Hafkenscheid photograph, courtesy of the Gardiner Museum.

    Just as dining habits have changed in recent times with the adoption of much more casual eating, so it was in the 1700s. The theatrical formality of the French court under Louis XIV in the 1600s led to a reactive desire for informality and intimacy during the reign of Louis XV in the following century. Intimate meals emerged as part of the new quest for privacy (Figs. 1, 16). Sometimes servants were dispensed with completely in the dining room, and diners served themselves to both food and wine.

    Fig. 16. The Gourmet Supper (Le souper fin) by Isidore-Stanislaus Helman (1743–1806/1809) after Jean-Michel Moreau the Younger (1741–1814), 1781. Engraving, 14 3/4 by 11 1/8 inches. Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musée Carnavalet photograph © S. Bianchetti/Bridgeman Images, courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

    Toward the end of the 1700s, the first restaurants began to appear in Paris. Before then, upper-class travelers with letters of introduction could be invited to dine at the houses of local aristocrats, but others were obliged to eat at inns, where the table d’hôte (the host’s table) was offered at a communal table with little or no choice of food. Street vendors and cheap eating houses also provided cooked food to the working classes in large cities, offering local specialties from macaroni in Naples to meat pies
    with dubious contents in London.

    In many ways, food culture of the 1650s to 1790s was a precursor to modern times. Many of us have experienced a radical change in the availability of ingredients, with refrigeration and efficient transportation bringing foods from faraway parts of the globe. It is now possible to enjoy a breadth of international and ethnic cuisines largely unknown in the Western world fifty years ago. The philosophies of food have changed, often in favor of healthier and more moral choices. Even the way we eat has undergone a transformation as, once again, we favor less formal dining experiences. We have become obsessed with food and dining—modern foodies who reflect the passion for gastronomy that consumed gourmets in the Age of Enlightenment. The exhibition Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture and its accompanying cookbook, The King’s Peas, Delectable Recipes and Their Stories from the Age of Enlightenment, invite visitors to savor these connections while delighting in works of art, rare books, ceramics, silver, and glass from important public and private collections, alongside a small selection of contemporary ceramics and knitted art.

    Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture originated at the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, and is on view at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, originally scheduled to run to May 25. This article was excerpted and adapted from the accompanying cookbook, The King’s Peas: Delectable Recipes and Their Stories from the Age of Enlightenment (Gardiner Museum and Arnoldsche Art Publishers, [2019]).

    A Melon of Minced Meat

    from Elizabeth Moxon, English Housewifry, exemplified in above Four Hundred and Fifty Receipts, Giving Directions in most Parts of cookery…Printed for George Copperthwaite: Leeds, 1764, 9th ed., Appendix, no. 3.

    To Make a MELLON

    Make the leanest forc’d-meat [sausage] that you can, green it as near the colour of mellon as possible with the juice of spinage [spinach], as little of the juice as you can put several herbs in it, especially parsley, shred fine, for that will help to green it roll it an inch and a half thick, lay one half in a large mellon mould, well buttered and floured, with the other half the full size of the mould, sides and all then put into it as many stew’d oysters as near fills it with liquor sufficient to keep them moist, and close the forc’d meat well together close the melon and boil it till you think it is enough then make a small hole (if possible not to be perceived) pour in a little more of the liquor that the oysters were stew’d in hot, and serve it up with hot sauce in the dish. It must be boiled in a cloth, and is either for a first or second course.

    1 Nicolas de Bonnefons, Les delices de la campagne: Suitte du jardinier françois, ou est enseigné a preparer pour l’usage de la vie tout ce qui croist sur la Terre, & dans les Eaux (Paris: Pierre Des-Hayes, 1654), “Epistre aux Dames,” n.p. 2Giacomo Casanova, History of My Life, trans. Willard R. Trask, vol. 4 (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1966), p. 39. 3 Etienne Léon de La Mothe-Langon (baron) and Marie Jeanne du Barry (comtesse), Memoirs of Madame du Barri, trans. [H. T. Riley], (London: H. S. Nichols, 1896), vol. 3, pp. 181–182. 4 Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy Which far exceeds any Thing of the Kind yet published (Pierceton, IN: Townsends, 2018), p. 18. 5 John Evelyn, Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets (London: printed for B. Tooke at the Middle-Temple Gate in Fleetstreet, 1699), p. 88. 6 The author gratefully acknowledges key scholarship that was fundamental to this article, the exhibition, and the accompanying publication, including Barbara Ketcham Wheaton’s Savoring the Past, The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983) Gilly Lehmann’s The British Housewife: Cookery-Books, Cooking and Society in Eighteenth-
    Century Britain (Totnes, Devon: Prospect Books, 2003)Sara Paston-Williams’s The Art of Dining: A History of Cooking and Eating (Oxford: Past Times, 1996) and Susan Pinkard’s A Revolution in Taste, The Rise of French Cuisine (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

    Meredith Chilton is curator emerita of the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. She curated the exhibition Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture and is the author of The King’s Peas: Delectable Recipes and Their Stories from the Age of Enlightenment.

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