Last month, the CCI Faculty hosted a Cookbooks Symposium. The event was convened by Dr Laurel Forster to encourage academic debate about this important cultural form. On the same day an evening round-table debate was held about the future of the cookbook.
Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan led three food writers and broadcasters in debate – Jack Monroe, Lulu Grimes and Katie Quinn – with the audience made up of local people interested in food and its provision. This was very well attended and fascinating questions were posed by the experts about current, past and future cooking practices and recipe use, and then discussed in open forum.
One of our VIP guests, Mark Sage who works for Portsmouth Council helping organisations who provide food for those in need, described it as a “brilliant event”. As part of the symposium Ken Dick of University of Portsmouth Library sponsored the purchase of twelve copies of Cooking on a Bootstrap, by Jack Monroe, and these were sent out to local providers of not-for-profit food for those in need. These cookbooks were much appreciated by the various food banks in Portsmouth and the organisations providing services for the homeless.
One thank you letter, from St James Homeless Services, explained how the cookbook will “help clients gain better skills preparing meals”.
It is good to see that this work on Cookbooks, generously supported by the faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries and the University Library, servicing the local community in this way.