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Online medieval cooking course to take place this summer

An interactive five-day online medieval cookery course with recipes from the Forme of Cury, the most famous English cookbook of the Middle Ages, is being hosted by Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle in collaboration with Durham University’s Institute of Medieval & Early Modern Studies (IMEMS).

Eat Medieval: Fit for a King will take place from 28 June to 2 July and the recipes in the book are associated with the court of King Richard II, and one 15th century copy still survives here in the North East in Durham University library. The chefs at Blackfriars will delve deep into this fascinating collection of recipes on meat, fish and game as well as vegetables, pottage, and sweet dishes and breathe new life into them.

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Participants will be shown how to cook medieval pancakes, Egarduce (sweet and sour fish), Flaumpeyns (a wonderful variant on Pork Pie) and Comadore (apple turnover) as well as recipes from the Catalan Sent Sovi collection, from the same period, with Stuffed Octopus and a medieval form of Creme Catalan.

They will be able to take the original recipes and present them with the help of Blackfriars chefs for the modern palate and will be introduced to the historical period as well through films, podcasts explaining the period, the history, and how medieval people lived. They can also take part in live Q&A sessions and a lively Facebook group to show-off your own creations.

Pies that were fit for a king – photo courtesy Eat Medieval

Steeped in history and working with the best of modern cuisine, Blackfriars Restaurant is located in a 13th-century former Dominican friary and is believed to be the oldest purpose-built restaurant in the UK, making it a fitting venue for the course.

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“The Forme of Cury really is the original cookbook, says Andy Hook, owner of Blackfriars. “it’s the earliest English collection of recipes we know so we’re are beyond delighted to present these on what we hope will be our biggest and best Eat Medieval course so far.”

Giles Gasper, professor of Medieval History at Durham adds, “This is a wonderful opportunity to explore medieval food and culture and really brings together all of the team – history, music, literature and of course cooking – all in accessible and welcoming formats. I love working with the participants and look forward very much to this course! And we also have a 15th century copy of Forme of Cury at Durham – so this will be from the original.”

Andy Hook, owner of Blackfriars with Dr Giles Casper, professor of Medieval History at Durham University – photo courtesy Eat Medieval

This is the fourth course held between Blackfriars and Durham University’s IMEMS. Once participants have bought a ticket they will be emailed a code to unlock their shopping list, the recipes, pre-recorded films from chefs and scholars, as well as suggested reading and other online resources which will be available throughout.

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The 5-day course costs £125 and is available to purchase here.

More information can also be seen at www.eatmedieval.com

Top Image: Craig, cookery school chef at Blackfriars with some of the dishes being cooked on the course. Photo courtesy Eat Medieval

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