The Tavern Cook,
Eighteenth century dining through
the recipes of Richard Briggs.
Coming late Spring 2023!
In 1788 Richard Briggs, cook at the Globe Tavern, published his only work, The English Art of Cookery.
My big introduction to Georgian kitchens was being given the opportunity to be part of the team that researched, interpreted, and eventually recreated the Royal kitchens at Kew Palace.
A set of kitchens that used to cook for the Royal household from the 1730s up to 1818. This two-year project gave me a taste for the food of the 18th century and whilst searching for cookery books written over this time, I was given a copy of, “The English Art of Cookery", by Richard Briggs, cook at the Globe Tavern, the White Hart tavern and lately the Temple Coffee shop.
I said that I was immediately intrigued, why? I have spent over 25 years looking at early cookery books and they tend to be written by people who cook for the top 1% of people, the Royals and the very wealthy.
They are Noble cookbooks describing the food of the very rich. Rarely are they detailing the food of more ordinary people. Briggs does not cook for the ordinary people, but he does not work in a Noble household, nor does he ever suggest that he has.
He is a tavern cook. His recipes are not simple, they are ‘fine dining’ of the time, but they are a step down from the laden tables of the Stately homes. He has a whole chapter on omelettes!
His recipes do not require a huge roasting range or mammoth cauldrons. Much of his cookery can be done on a stove top, or in a fairly small domestic oven.
Put simply, you can try it!