Lecture with Ivan Day: Tuesday 3 October 2017

Date: 03/10/2017
Event Time(s): 18:00

Location: Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HH

Number of places left: 15

Price: £10.00 (Members) and £20.00 (non-members)
How to Book: To provisionally reserve a place, please email

Silent Culinary Witnesses: Unlocking the Past with Kitchen Tools
Tuesday 3 October 2017, 6pm to 9pm
Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HH

This year’s Guild of Food Writer’s lecture is by one of the world’s leading experts of historic food, Ivan Day.

Many historians study old recipes when trying to understand the food culture of the past. But leading food historian Ivan Day believes that we can learn even more about the nature and evolution of our food by exploring the equipment of both the kitchen and dining room.

We need to know about utensils, Ivan argues, in order to get closer to the true nature of our ancestors’ remarkable culinary skills and dishes. Whether it’s a sixteenth century cook’s knife for scotching a collop, a clockwork jack for roasting a goose, or a delicate hand-carved gingerbread mould from the time of Shakespeare, Ivan will share his extensive knowledge and skills to take us towards what people really ate.  
We are delighted that Ivan is coming to talk to us and share his considerable and entertaining knowledge of food history, honed over years of questioning and practical experience. A world-class food historian, his depth and breadth of understanding have made a substantial difference to how we see British food, past and present.
During the evening we will hear about knives and jaggers; gridirons and jacks;  pies, pots and preserving; and tools for the confectioner and baker. Ivan also will bring along some of his extensive collection of historic kitchen equipment for us to handle and discuss. It promises to be an evening of images, objects, stories and tastes that will bring the past to life.
To add an extra layer of authenticity to the evening, some Guild members have volunteered to bring along their own versions of historical recipes for everyone to share and we’d love any other members to join in and cook their favourite historical recipes. Please email Angela Clutton ( to let us know what you will be bringing and to get information on the practical details.
Photograph of Ivan Day
IVAN DAY ( has spent decades discovering what we really used to eat. His work inspires and informs food writers, historians and chefs, including Heston Blumenthal and Ashley Palmer-Watts of the multi-award winning restaurant Dinner. As well as lecturing and teaching at his historic kitchen in the Lake District, Ivan has curated exhibitions around the world, including the Getty Museum in LA and the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.

THE GUILDHALL LIBRARY (, in the City of London, has one of the country’s best collections of food and drink books. As well as the Guild of Food Writers’ own archive, it includes the collections of Elizabeth David – with astringent marginalia – and André Simon, plus archive material from Arabella Boxer and Evelyn Rose. Librarian Peter Ross, also a food writer, is keen for members to use the extensive collection, accessible to order online or quickly in situ. The Guild is grateful for this great opportunity to hold the lecture in such a welcoming place full of historic and contemporary food books.

Cost: £10 for members £20 for non-members/guests, to include drinks and tastings of the historic dishes produced by Guild members.

Directions: The nearest tube stations are Bank or St Paul’s (both Central Line), Mansion House (District and Circle Line) and Moorgate (Northern, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City Lines); for help planning your journey go to

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