All the King’s Cooks: The Tudor Kitchens of Henry VIII at Hampton Court
From the storage of game without modern refrigeration to the extraordinary size of the staff required to cater a banquet, Peter Brears’ All the King’s Cooks offers a fascinating, detailed account of how the massive kitchens built at Hampton Court were operated. This deceptively slim book goes beyond a mere accounting of pots and pans. Interspersing recipes from the era with commentary on social mores and table etiquette, along with a thorough examination of how the system contended with the daily demands placed on it, Brears has created an intelligent yet accessible look into a rarely explored part of the Tudor world. The kitchens at Hampton Court are marvelous to visit; the book fleshes out the displays for tourists with the grease and grit of the machinery that propelled these kitchens to become one of the most efficient in the realm. Numerous illustrations help visualize a part of the palace that remained hidden from most courtiers’ eyes. Brears has himself re-enacted cooking at Hampton Court, and his hands-on knowledge makes his book a must-have for Tudor aficionados.