The British Library Food Season 2024 Events featuring Women In The Food Industry

The British Library Food Season are in the 6th year of their highly popular talks on food, all inspired by their extensive food-related collections.  Many of the events feature prominent women in the food industry. The events started in  April and run until early June 2024. We highlight some of our favourites of over “the BIG Weekend” – a two-day celebration of food through words, sounds, cultures, ideas and tastings running 25th and 26th May 2024.

British Library Food Season 2024

Cooking, Eating and Feeling through the Seasons – Saturday 25 May 13:00 – 14:00

Angela Clutton, Leyla Kazim, Katherine May - British Library Food Season

In her bestselling memoir, Wintering, Katherine May writes about her own year-long journey through winter, at a time of personal uncertainty and seclusion. When life felt at its most frozen, she managed to find strength and inspiration from the incredible wintering experiences of others as well as from the remarkable transformations that nature makes to survive the cold. She discovered that personal winters – like winters for the natural world – are times for rest and retreat, care and repair.

The event will also explore how the rhythms of the seasons deeply affect how we feed ourselves, as our palettes and cooking styles shift with them.

In her new book Seasoning: How to cook and celebrate the seasons, award-winning food writer Angela Clutton encourages home cooks to shop, cook and eat in ways that connect with nature and in so doing acknowledge the anticipation, surprise, nostalgia (and occasional tedium) that seasonal cooking and eating creates.

Chaired by Leyla Kazim from BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, her Substack A Day Well Spent explores the importance of slow, sustainable living, in harmony with the natural world.

Farmhouse Cheese, Microbes and the Fight for Taste – Saturday 25 May 14:45 – 15:45

Raw milk has long been a fundamental liquid food and for centuries humans both drank it and made cheese, cream and butter from it. But all that changed with the invention of pasteurisation in the 19th century. Yet even in an age of pasteurisation, raw milk cheeses are still made and sold; Camembert de Normandie AOC, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Pitchfork Cheddar, to name a few.

A panel of dairy farmer and raw milk purveyor Steve Hook of Hook & Son, microbiome scientist and former Senior Scientist at health science company ZOE Dr Emily Leeming, and cheesemonger Andy Swinscoe of The Courtyard Dairy join food writer Jenny Linford to discuss the role of raw milk in cheesemaking and its importance in enhancing our gut microbiomes and maintaining gut health.

Ending Food Insecurity –  Saturday 25 May 14:45 – 15:45

Ending Food Insecurity -

In January 2024, 15% of families in the UK experienced moderate or severe food insecurity – that’s about 8 million adults and 3 million children. Families are struggling to feed themselves in times of food inflation and a cost-of-living crisis. Food security – ensuring everyone has reliable access to enough affordable, safe, nutritious food – has been a priority for UK governments for decades and is a major concern for food policy researchers. So why, in one of the richest countries in the world, is this so difficult to achieve?

Join Sheila Dillon from BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme to explore this issue with Professor Christina Vogel from the Centre for Food Policy, educator GP Dr Chi-Chi Ekhator and public health advocate Leah Ndegwa.

How Food Crosses Continents – Sunday 26 May 12:30 -13:45 

How Food Crosses Continents

Recipes and foodways are central to the cultures in which they are produced and can have incredible significance to the identities of those who recreate them. Recipes, however, are in a constant state of evolution and development in response to availability of ingredients, the tastes of those cooking and eating them, and the contexts that they are reproduced in.

When people migrate, recipes and foodways migrate with them and permeate food cultures across the world, but what impact does this
migration have upon the recipe? How do recipes remain authentic, and does this matter? What does the evolution of these recipes mean to the significance of their connection to ideas of identity and home?

Join food critic Jimi Famurewa as he explores the complexities of the ever-evolving recipe with cooks and food writers Jenny Lau, Maria Bradford and Shelina Permalloo.

Art, History, Food and Fragrance with Tasha Marks – Sunday 26 May 12:30 – 13:45 

Join award-winning sensory artist and food historian Tasha Marks as she discusses her creative practice AVM Curiosities. Bridging the worlds of art, history, food and fragrance, Tasha’s work ranges from olfactory curation and scented installations to interactive lectures and limited-edition

Over the last decade, Tasha has been an advocate for the introduction of the senses into cultural and heritage spaces and her work has appeared in the V&A, Barbican, The Royal Academy of Arts, The National Trust and Historic Royal Palaces. Tasha’s talk will explore a number of these
distinctive projects, with perfume pairings bringing her past creations to life for the audience.

Feeding the Soul: Food and Emotion – Sunday 26 May 14:30 – 15:45

Food and the soul - British Library Food Season 2024

How do deep emotions, especially grief and loss, shape and transform our relationships with food and eating and how we cook? Join an expert panel of chefs and food writers who have, at different times, experienced loss and found their relationship with the kitchen transformed as a result.

Marie Mitchell, author of the forthcoming Kin, re-evaluated the role of food in her life following the birth of her first child and the deaths of her mother and brother; food historian Bee Wilson has written about the dealing with the end of her marriage and the lifeline cooking offered; and Michelin starred chef, Daniel Galmiche, has talked about how his relationship with food and cooking changed while his wife underwent treatment for cancer.

Author Rebecca May Johnson, whose book Small Fires has been celebrated for providing an intimate and bodily account of cooking, will be steering this important conversation about how food can help us process our emotions and provide consistency during times of turbulence.

The British Library Food Season runs until 3rd June 2024 with a mixture of online and in person events. Tickets range from £2.50 for online tickets up to £25 for weekend passes, with concessions available. There are 10% discounts for groups over 10 when booked in advance.

You may also like some of our Women In The Food Industry Events for June 2024 – including A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen – Panel Event & Book Signing, The Business of Street Food, and Healthy Eating & Nutrition for the Summer

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