Explore food culture, history and creativity
An annual gathering to share, explore, and celebrate food research from across the world
Unlike conventional conferences, the Oxford Food Symposium is fiercely independent and open to all, with no academic qualifications required. We meet every year over a July weekend at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford (fondly known as St Catz). A new topic is chosen each year by popular vote, alternating between material and abstract themes. Papers are invited and those selected are presented at the Symposium, before being refined, edited, and published in the Proceedings.
We warmly encourage dialogue between presenters and audience, many of whom share a deep knowledge of food and cookery. New friendships are forged at our famously convivial meals, curated by chefs including Raymond Blanc, Fergus Henderson and Asma Khan. You could easily find yourself breaking bread with keynote speakers such as Harold McGee, Claudia Roden or Simon Schama.
An open, friendly, and liberating community
We welcome delegates from across the world and from all walks of life. Anyone can become a symposiast: all you need is a love of food and a curiosity about where food can lead us. Whether you’d like to give a paper, share your stories, or just mingle among the gastronomic crowd, the Oxford Symposium of Food and Cookery is for you.
Paper proposals for 2022 are now invited
Paper-proposals are invited on the subject of Portable Food – Food away from the Table. While it might be tempting to discuss migration of people and foodstuffs, much of this was covered in Food on the Move in 1983, the first Symposium at which papers were formally presented. We therefore encourage the consideration of the possibilities inherent in situations in which food is eaten somewhere other than in the home’s traditional eating area or its commercial equivalents: restaurants, cafes, canteens, etc.
Set your spirit flying
Beyond food and drink
The Symposium is, above all, a celebration of life through food. A meeting of like minds and free spirits, it is a place where scholarship and playfulness mingle, where academia meets spontaneity and convention melts in a delicious orgy of the senses. Beyond the richness of great food, wine, and conversation, it gives space for the mind to open and to let the spirits fly.
Ever expanding discussions
The conversation starts at St Catz, but it doesn’t end there. We share ideas and knowledge throughout the year via our virtual community, whether through our website and blog, our monthly gatherings at the Kitchen Table, or by joining forces to edit our archives, co-edit Wikipedia, or to help build The Sifter, a unique culinary archive begun in the 1960s by Barbara Ketcham Wheaton.
Expand the table
Improve the plate