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'The Food of Love' – A Shakespearian Cook Book

Alan Deegan with his new book ‘The Food of Love.’

Alan Deegan with his new book ‘The Food of Love.’

Stratford-upon-Avon College lecturer Alan Deegan has teamed up with Shakespearian academic Dr. Alycia Smith-Howard to release a book based on 16th Century recipes with anecdotes and explanations from the bard’s plays.

The book, Alan’s second published work, is called ‘The Food of Love’ in reference to a quotation from Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’. It documents dishes and recipes from each of the four seasons which would have been enjoyed in 16th Century England.

“History was my favourite subject at school,” says Alan who lectures at the College part-time. “When I studied cooking at college, one of the lessons was ‘History of Cooking’ which looked at ancient Egypt through to the 20th Century. I thought it was fantastic. It fascinates me how many famous dishes are named after historical places or battles. For example Chicken Chasseur is named after Napoleon’s Light Cavalry and Imperial Guard. It’s really intriguing.”

Alycia Smith-Howard, who gained her MA and PHD from The Shakespeare Institute, first approached Alan about writing a book on Shakespearian food. He decided to split the book into four seasons which includes many popular dishes from Shakespeare’s time with some contemporary twists. “All the recipes in the book can be cooked by anyone in any kitchen.” Alan insists.

Alan has spent the last 50 years working in the catering industry and in addition to educating the chefs of the future as Head of Catering at Stratford-upon-Avon College; he has cooked for many celebrities and heads of state, including the Royal Family. The foreword of the book is written by Martyn Nail, Executive Chef at the exclusive Claridge’s Hotel in London.

Despite retiring as Head of Catering at the College, Alan is still a regular feature in the kitchens. “I teach because I enjoy it,” he says. ‘The Food of Love’ is out now and is available from Amazon| and all good book stores.

If you are interested in studying Hospitality and Catering at Stratford-upon-Avon College Warwickshire| and would like to know more about the courses available, request a copy of our prospectus online| or by calling 01789 266 245.

Posted on Monday 28th January 2013