2024 - Gardens, Flowers, & Fruit
Come and join us – be it online and/or in person – for inspiring talks, discussions, meals and further activities. The Symposium is open to all, with no academic qualifications required. Symposiasts voted for “Gardens, Flowers, & Fruits” at the conclusion of our (exclusively online) 2021 symposium: it was an optimistic moment, with a fresh, almost spring-like sense of renewal as the pandemic was slowly receding, yet it was cast against the backdrop of how quickly our fragile lifestyles can change. Our selection of “Gardens, Flowers, & Fruits” reflects that precarious balance, celebrating the joys of the natural world while conscious of the significant stresses in our environment.
Future year topics2025 - Food and the Elements
2026 - Poverty Food
2023 - Food Rules & Rituals
While rules and rituals provide emotional reassurance in times of trouble, fear of famine – never far from human consciousness – is traditionally addressed by imposing rules on what, how, and when we put food in our mouths. Some of these traditions survive in the form of superstition: eating a lucky meal before a football match; choosing a particular meal before embarking on a risky undertaking; blessing bread or marking it with a cross before placing it in the oven; muttering an apology after dropping a grain of rice; setting an empty chair at table for the unexpected guest.
Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus Food Rules and Rituals: Etiquette for the Cosmic Table
Dimitris Xygalatas Rituals as Social Technologies
Martin Kullik, Jouw Wijnsma Disruption of Rules & Rituals
Scott Barton Embracing or Breaking Rules and Rituals... What Can We Learn?
Kamal Mouzawak, Tara Habis Lebanon’s Edible Rule Book – Rituals of Entertaining
Simi Rezai-Ghassemi Food Rituals in Iran – Nazr, Nowruz, Aza
Micha Schäfer Creating Rituals Out of Rules: Micha Schäfer Goes Superseasonal and Ultralocal at Oxford
Andiswa Mqedlana, Jonas Palekas, Minwoo (MJ) Jung, Shannon Compton OFS Young Chefs: Nourish the Body to Feed the Soul, inspired by Jinok Kim-Eicken
The draft papers are now being edited, to be published in time for the 2024 Symposium.
2022 - 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.
Corby Kummer Fast Food/Past, Present, & Future
Lizzie Collingham Portable Power: How the Industrial Ration Projected European Dominance across the Globe
Claudia Roden Picnic Traditions
Carolyn Steel Our Symposium Journey
Marcia Zoladz, Scott Barton Sejam Bem Vindos! A Feast of Afro-Brazilian Street Food
Joshna Maharaj Just What the Doctor Ordered: Revolutionary Hospital Trays
Asma Khan, Asha Pradhan All Aboard the Darjeeling Express
Claudia Roden, and the OFS Young Chefs Sunday Lunch
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2022 symposium.
2021 - Food & Imagination
While it can be argued that all foodstuffs altered by human activity are works of the imagination, what concerns us this year is the conscious, creative process that transforms what we eat beyond the minimum required for sustenance.
Margaret Atwood Fictional Foodies
Eric Rath The Imaginary Cuisine of Medieval Japan
Rob Hopkins What is to What If
Janet Beizer Walking through our Gastronomies: Notes from an Imaginary Flâneuse
Skye Gyngell, Rose Ashby Fresh from the Farm Today
Junya Yamasaki, Yukiyasu Kaneko An Oceanic Haiku
Virgilio Martinez Cooking With Ashes
Gönül Paksoy, David Matchett, Gamze Ineceli Gönül Paksoy and the Young Chefs: When I Consider Everything That Grows
Emily Martin OFS Rising Scholar
Cordula Peters, Gaurish Shiyam OFS Young Chefs
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2021 symposium.
2020 - Herbs & Spices
"Dill is sown as much for cooks as for doctors. . . .and if we are to believe the Greek authors, it is so nourishing that the Masters of the Games would in no way allow the food of the athletes to be without dill.” Bartolomeo Platina: De honesta voluptate
Charles Spence Gastrophysics: the Psychology of Herbs and Spices
Vivienne Lo Potent Flavours: Nutritional Practice in the Sinosphere
Harold McGee A Nose Dive Into Plant Aromas
Krishnendu Ray Summing Up the Journey
Jonathan Gushue, Timothy Charles Pragmatism in an Impractical Place: The Stubborn Cuisine of the Fogo Island
David Tanis, Jill Norman One Good Spice: The Pleasure of a Single Fragrance
Asma Khan A Spice Odyssey: Asma Khan at Home in the Royal Courts of India
Sri Owen My Life in a Recipe
Julia Fine OFS Rising Scholar
Andiswa Mqedlana, Jedeiah Esteves, Shannon Compton, Caitriona Nic Philibin OFS Young Chefs
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2020 symposium.
2019 - Food & Power
If what we prepare, cook and eat has the power to define our place in society, it also has the ability to communicates provenance, ethnicity, religion, ideology, and aspirations.
Joanna Blythman The Power of Enjoyment in the Face of Industrialized Food
Roberta Wedge Whoever Wields the Pen, Stirs the Pot: Wikipedia’s Power to Shape Reality introduced
Marion Nestle Power in the Food System: Big Food vs. Everyone Else
Carolyn Steel Tale of Two Cities: Paris, London and the Political Power of Food
Zita Cobb Lessons from a Small Island for a Small Planet
Sandra Mian, Liz Galicia The Power of Food in the Columbian Exchange
Gamze Ineceli, Munira Mahmud, Fatima Odonkor The Healing Power of Cooking Together
Aglaia Kremezi, Michael Costa The Power of Frugal Greek Cooking
David Matchett With Her Hands
Siobhan Dooley OFS Rising Scholar
Monica Bettson, Aisling Kearns, Kardelen Soyalp, Yolanda Wu OFS Young Chefs
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2019 symposium.
2018 - Seeds
The 2018 symposium explored topics ranging widely from what was once seen as the promise of irradiated seeds to the many threats to indigenous species, from the way individual grains shape communal identity to the role of seeds in religious symbolism.
Åsmund Asdal Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Noah’s Ark for Seeds in the Arctic
Assaf Distelfeld The Wild Side of Wheat
Stephen Jones Finding Paths Forward
Simon Hiscock Seeds of Civilization
Elinor Breman Conservation in Action
Olia Hercules Wild East Feast
Naomi Duguid Caravanserai Flatbreads
Moshe Basson Biblical Banquet: Seeds of Peace
Abi Aspen Glencross, Sadhbh Moore, David Matchett Soupe-er Seeded
Molly MacVeagh OFS Rising Scholar
Elena Müller, Maria Nehmes, Ian P. Cairns, Karan Upmanyu OFS Young Chefs
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2018 symposium.
2017 - Food & Landscape
Through foods, we imagine we are consuming places: such is the poetry of terroir. From the myth of Demeter, there has always been a romanticism about the land whose harvest feeds us.
Claudia Roden, Elisabeth Luard, Joshna Maharaj The Landscape in a Saucepan
Colin Tudge The Nature of the Task
James Rebanks The Shepherd's Life
Nicola Twilley Exploring Aeroir, or the Atmospheric Taste of Place
Inigo Thomas The Landscape of the Western Mediterranean Peasant Kitchen
Joshua Evans Microbial Landscapes
Catherine Brown A Challenging Landscape: Scotland's Food and Drink Assets
Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire, Rob Krawczyk Boyne Valley Banquet
Paul Da-Costa-Greaves, Elisabeth Luard The New Koppert Cress Tasting Menu: The Undercover Gardener
Gamze Ineceli, İhsan Karayazı, MAS Istanbul Compliments of the Soil: Flavours from Armenian and Turkish Borderlands
Ben Houge, David Matchett, Elisabeth Luard Ploughman's Lunch: An Aural Reconstruction
Deborah Ryan, Girish Nayak OFS Young Chefs
Casey Ireland Cherwell Prize
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2017 symposium.
2016 - Offal: Rejected & Reclaimed Foods
Offal can mean many things. It does not just refer to organ meats but to the manifold ways in which certain foods may be rejected and despised (‘awful offal’!); or reclaimed and loved.
Timothy Lang Sustainable Diets: an offaly good idea but what will it take to get there?
Claudia Roden, Regina Sexton, Merry White, Jacob Kenedy The Delights and Definitions of Offal, from Quinto Quarto to Japan
Paul Rozin Disgust and Decay as Determinants of Dining
Ben Wurgaft The Ends of Offal: Reflections on Laboratory-Grown Meat
Peter Hertzmann It's All Edible
Fuchsia Dunlop A Tutored Tasting of Duck Tongues
Fergus Henderson Friday Night Offal Feast
Jacob Kenedy, Caroline Conran Saturday Supper Quinto Quarto
Ursula Heinzelmann Vegetarian Lunch: Rejected, Orphaned and Reclaimed
Elisabeth Luard Fisherman's Sunday Lunch
Oleg Gref, Joseph Abdelsayed OFS Young Chefs
Suzanne Dunai Cherwell Prize
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2016 symposium.
2015 - Food & Communication
Symposiasts considered food as an area of control and resistance in totalitarian societies; struggles between activists, corporations and bureaucracies over food labels; the use of food and cookery to explore the past and the exotic; the sounds of eating and selling food; and, as Brillat-Savarin predicted, the role of food in constructing and communicating aspects of individual and collective identity.
Ray Sokolov Secrets of the Great Chefs: Decrypting Untrustworthy Communications from the Kitchens of Carême, Escoffier and Guérard
Anne Willan The Cookbook Tree of Life - From Platina to Brillat Savarin
Barbara Wheaton A Database for the Analysis of Cookbooks
Anne Georget, Len Fisher, Diana Henry, Bee Wilson On Food & Film, on Food & Science and on Food & TV
Henry Harris, Caroline Conran Simple et Heureuse en Fête
Jane Levi, Darra Goldstein, Alicia Rios Sophie Coe Prize 20th Anniversary Lunch
Fabrizia Lanza, Giuseppe Tasca, Claudia Roden Il Cibo Delle Feste In Sicilia
Aglaia Kremezi A Greek Feast: Mostly Vegetarian
Elizabeth Yorke, Kiige Maagu, Naomi Kelsey OFS Young Chefs
Anny Gaul Cherwell Prize
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2015 symposium.
2014 - Food & Markets
During three July days in Oxford, Symposiasts gathered to explore the varied nature, history, and potential of markets.
Darina Allen Food and Markets
Anya von Bremzen White, Black, and Grey: Shades of Market in Soviet Russia
Janet Beizer The Emperor's Plate: Marketing Leftovers in 19th century Paris
Joseph Pepe Patricio Leftovers and the Market: About Lunch
Allegra McEvedy Market Dinner
Karina Baldry, Katrina Kollegaeva Russian Street Food Lunch
Trine Hahnemann, Silla Bjerrum Nordic Summer Banquet
Joseph Patricio Leftover Lunch
Keelin Tobin OFS Young Chefs
Ashley Young Cherwell Prize
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2014 symposium.
2013 - Food & Material Culture
The focus of this year’s Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery was on the stew stove but not the stew; the knives and not the meat; the salt pots or ‘nefs’ rather than the salt; the ‘chasen’ not the tea; the plates (whether pewter, ceramic, delftware, china, silver or gold) but not their food content.
Barbara Wheaton, Joe Wheaton Refracting Material Culture: A Rave
Joan Smith Eating History: the Perishable Art of Food
Bee Wilson From Pestles to Peelers: Why Kitchen Utensils Matter
Carolin Young The Soup that Went in the Tureen: Connecting the Dots between Food and Material Culture
Sue Haddleton Infusions for Chefs - the Latest Techniques
Linda Roodenburg A Look at Virtual Material Culture
Stevie Parle Stevie Parle's Spice Feast
Anissa Helou Falafel Lunch
Marcia Zoladz, Anissa Helou Tropical Banquet
Anissa Helou Ethiopian Lunch
OFS Young Chef - memory fails! Any help appreciated.
Diana Garvin Cherwell Prize
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2013 symposium.
2012 - Wrapped & Stuffed
In 2012 Symposiasts discussed wrapped and stuffed foods from every possible angle and from every possible geographical perspective, looking at cultures as disparate as Turkey, the United States, seventeeth-century England, Korea and Italy.
Barbara Wheaton, Joe Wheaton An Audio-Visual Food History: Pancakes aloft and other Anomalies
David Thompson Thai Food, Stuffed, Wrapped and Beyond
Anissa Helou, Jane Levi Wrapped & Stuffed Video
Laura Shapiro The Magician's Kitchen: Stuffing and Wrapping at the Pillsbury Bake-Off
Harry West, Emma-Jayne Abbots, Ben Coles, Michael Goodman Stuffing, Unstuffing, Wrapping and Rapping Food
Barbara Santich Wrapping, Cooking, Civilising
Theodore Zeldin, Paul Levy, Elisabeth Luard Life Beyond Food
Bobby Baker Lemon Lips
Rowley Leigh, Caroline Conran Le Café Anglais
Ursula Heinzelmann Saturday Sausage Fest
Mitad Babacan, Fatih Babacan, Anissa Helou, Aylin Öney Gaziantep Turkish
Susan Haddleton Sunday Sandwiches
Claire Handeman, Lucas Weir OFS Young Chefs
Jaclyn Anne Rohel Cherwell Prize
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2012 symposium.
2011 - Celebrations
The Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2011. In keeping with this happy event, celebration was the subject of this year’s meeting.
Richard Wrangham Why we cook and why it matters
Barbara Wheaton, Joe Wheaton A Brief Celebratory Rave
Jane Kramer Celebrating!
Joelle Balhoul Judeo-Muslim Exchanges in Religious Celebrations
Oswyn Murray From the Greek Symposium to the Roman Orgy
Alicia Rios Organoleptic deconstruction in three movements
Shaun Hill, Elisabeth Luard Shaun Hill at Home at the Walnut Tree
Antonietta Kelly, Claudia Roden Italian Risorgimento
Caroline Conran, Bruce Kraig, Fernando de la Cruz, Sage Bernard Conran, Tom Conran Mexican Day of the Dead Dinner
Aglaia Kremezi Kathari Deftera: Greek Clean Monday
Anna Colquhoun OFS Young Chef
Seth Rosenbaum Cherwell Prize
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2011 symposium.
2010 - Cured, Fermented and Smoked Food
The subject of this year's Symposium is one of the most fecund branches of food studies, ranging across a surprising variety of ingredients. As well as wandering the globe, the authors travel in time drawing on disciplines such as archaeology, orthodox history, oral history and iconography.
Sidney Mintz The Absent Third: The Place of Fermentation in a Thinkable Food System
Harold McGee A Chemical Introduction to Cured, Fermented and Smoked Foods
Ivan Day Amnesia in the Smokehouse
Sandor Ellix Katz Fermentation as a Co-Evolutionary Force
Randolph Hodgson, Bronwen Percival Artisanship and Control: Farmhouse Cheddar Comes of Age
Len Fisher Fermented, cured and smoked: the science and savour of dry-fermented sausages
Jeremy Lee, Blue Print Café The Feast of Cockaigne
Fuchsia Dunlop, Barshu, London A Sichuan Luncheon
Páidric Óg, Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire Irish Saturday Banquet
Pål Drønen, Terje Inderhaug, Ove Fosså , Svein Fosså, Margareth Tislevoll Norwegian Lunchbord
Max Barber, Elaine Mahon OFS Young Chefs
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2010 symposium.
2009 - Food & Language
Questions debated during the 2009 Symposium on Food and Language included whether the preparation, serving, and consumption of food act as a coded language between host and guest, indicating love, affection or even disrespect; revealed power and social status; and asserted nationality and religion.
Simon Schama Mouthing Off: Reflections on Eating and Uttering
Darra Goldstein, David Sutton, Tim Wharton Food & Language
Susan Friedland, Judith Jones, Jill Norman, Barbara Wheaton Food and the Book
Fergus Henderson, Jane Levi A Samuel Pepys Feast for Harlan Walker
Anissa Helou A Turkish Lunch
Raymond Blanc The Language of French Gastronomy: From the Raw to the Cooked
Marcia Zoladz Brazilian Caipirinhas Buffet
Ioannis Hodges-Mameletzis, Ben Keeley, Nicholas Fitzgerald, Grace O'Sullivan, Dan Penn OFS Young Chefs
Willa Zhen Cherwell Prize
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2009 symposium.
2008 - Vegetables
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2008 symposium.
Allyson Sgro Cherwell Prize
2007 - Food & Morality
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2007 symposium.
2006 - Eggs in Cookery
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2006 symposium.
2005 - Authenticity in the Kitchen
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2005 symposium.
2004 - Wild Food
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2004 symposium.
2003 - Nurture
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2003 symposium.
2002 - The Fat of the Land
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2002 symposium.
2001 - The Meal
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2001 symposium.
2000 - Food & the Memory
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 2000 symposium.
1999 - Milk: Beyond the Dairy
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1999 symposium.
1998 - Food in the Arts
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1998 symposium.
1997 - Fish: Food from the Waters
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1997 symposium.
1996 - Food on the Move
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1996 symposium.
1995 - Cooks & Other People
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1995 symposium.
1994 - Disappearing Foods
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1994 symposium.
1993 - Look & Feel
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1993 symposium.
1992 - Spicing up the Palate
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1992 symposium.
1991 - Public Eating
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1991 symposium.
1990 - Feasting and Fasting
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1990 symposium.
1989 - Staple Foods
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1989 symposium.
1988 - The Cooking Pot
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1988 symposium.
1987 - Taste
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1987 symposium.
1986 - The Cooking Medium
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1986 symposium.
1985 - Kitchen Lore and Science
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1985 symposium.
1984 - Criteria for Excellence in Cookbooks
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1984 symposium.
1983 - Food in Motion: Migration of Foodstuffs and Techniques
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1983 symposium.
1981 - National & Regional Styles of Cookery
The published proceedings contain all the papers from the 1981 symposium.