A History of the Worshipful Company of Cooks

A History of the Worshipful Company of Cooks

A History of the Worshipful Company of Cooks traces the growth of the Livery from its origins in the Guild of Cooks of London that emerged in the twelfth century to the evolution of the modern Company. The book examines the different aspects of the catering trade, from ‘fast food’ cookshops to the role of Master Cooks who served the Royal Court. 

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A History of the Worshipful Company of Cooks traces the growth of the Livery from its origins in the Guild of Cooks of London that emerged in the twelfth century to the evolution of the modern Company. The book examines the different aspects of the catering trade, from ‘fast food’ cookshops to the role of Master Cooks who served the Royal Court.

The book shows how the Company set standards of hygiene and good practice for professional cooks and defended their unique skills which distinguished them from members of other Companies that were involved in catering, such as Butchers, Bakers, or Innholders. It also examines the way in which foreign competition, especially the rise of the French chefs, gradually reduced the dominance of the Cooks’ Company and forced it to find new ways of promoting English cookery.

This led the Company to adopt a key role in the provision of training for young cooks, running a variety of classes and awarding prizes for excellence. In the twenty-first century the Company continues actively to support training and to promote research in the art of cookery.

About the author

Dr Alan Borg is a former Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Imperial War Museum. He is currently Vice-President of the Foundling Museum and Librarian of the Order of St John and St John Ambulance. He is an Honorary Liveryman of the Painter-Stainers’ Company, an Honorary Member of the Company of Arts Scholars, Dealers and Collectors, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and was awarded the CBE in 1991. Previous publications include Architectural Sculpture in Romanesque Provence (1972), European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London (1974), Two Studies in the History of the Tower Armouries (1976), The Vanishing Past: Studies presented to Christopher Hohler (1981), War Memorials (1991), The History of the Worshipful Company of Painters (2005) and articles in a wide range of journals.

  • Size 276 x 219mm
  • Format Hardback
  • Pages 256
  • ISBN 9781906600532
  • Author Alan Borg
  • Illustrations Colour and Mono