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.
It 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.
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