The British Library Announces Food Season Line Up

Today the British Library announces its 2021 Food Season (13 April – 26 May 2021) featuring:

Calum Franklin in The Pie Room at Holborn Dining Room (credit John Carey), British Library Food Season 2021

• Actor, food and travel writer Madhur Jaffrey live from her home in New York in conversation with Ravinder Bhogal, food-writer and chef-restaurateur of London’s Jikoni

• Legendary chef Raymond Blanc live from Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons discussing a lifetime of food with award-winning food-writer Felicity Cloake

• Chef Calum Franklin live from his bespoke pie room at London’s Holborn Dining Room demonstrating one of his pastry showstoppers

• Author Pen Vogler joined by writer Ruby Tandoh and campaigner Dee Woods to discuss eating, culture, class and identity in modern Britain

• Food writer Riaz Phillips, cookery writer, former restaurateur and community cook Rosamund Grant and scholar Joe Williams tapping into stories of migration, belonging and community through Caribbean food

• Professor Emily Contois exploring food and masculinity with Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge

• Chef Heston Blumenthal paying tribute to food science writer Harold McGee

Drawing on the British Library’s extensive collection of manuscripts, printed books, newspapers, magazines, sound recordings and oral histories relating to the production, distribution and consumption of food, the series of online events will feature chefs, historians and food writers broadcast from their restaurants, kitchens and homes.

The British Library’s Food Season is generously supported by KitchenAid. The programme is curated by Food Season founder Dr Polly Russell and Guest Director award-winning food writer Angela Clutton.

Dr Polly Russell, food historian and Head of The Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, said: ‘From world-class cookery books to oral history recordings about cooking and eating, the British Library holds extensive and, in some cases, unique collections relating to food. I am thrilled the Library will once again be hosting renowned and emerging chefs, historians and food writers to discuss a range of ideas, experiences and cultures associated with food. We are incredibly proud of the events planned for this year’s Food Season and look forward to providing shared social and cultural experiences, no matter where in the world you are.’

Simon Langley, Marketing Manager, UK & Ireland, KitchenAid SDA comments: ‘We’re thrilled to continue our support of the evermore exciting Food Season at the British Library. KitchenAid believes in awakening and championing the spirit of making in everyone and through our collection of iconic appliances our goal is to open doors to new possibilities and help makers of all skill levels celebrate and enjoy food from around the world. For the third year running, it's a real honour to support such a stellar line-up of writers, historians and chefs.’

Priority booking opens to Members and Patrons today and the events will go on general sale on Wednesday 17 March 2021, with tickets ranging from free to £7.50.

To celebrate the launch of this year’s Food Season, the British Library and KitchenAid are hosting a competition for five people to win a KitchenAid cordless suite (comprising a food chopper, hand blender and hand mixer), a place on a digital cooking class and a signed copy of The Pie Room by chef Calum Franklin.

2021 Food Season at the British Library

Nose Dive with Harold McGee

Tuesday 13 April, 19.30-20.30 (£5)

What is smell? How does it work? And why is it a key component in taste? In this special event to launch the 2021 Food Season, the leading expert on the science of food and cooking, Harold McGee, talks about our most overlooked sense to food-writer Tara Wigley, whose work as collaborator on several Ottolenghi cookbooks celebrates her appreciation of all our senses when it comes to enjoying food.

Men and Food, Dudes and Diets

Friday 16 April, 18.00-19.00 (£5)

Professor Emily Contois’ recent book Diners, Dudes and Diets explores how food, gender and power collide, so who better to discuss this with than someone who is no stranger to the politics and passions of the professional kitchen, Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge?


Saturday 17 April, 15.00-16.30 (free)

Hosted by award-winning food-writers Lindsey Bareham and Georgina Hayden with Food Season Guest Director Angela Clutton, this will be an interactive event where we’ll share thoughts on home cooking, discuss the cookery books we love and the recipes we could not live without.

Cyanide and Marmalade

Wednesday 21 April, 18.30-19.30 (£5)

Whether comforting and reassuring or menacing and ominous, food plays a key role in creating mood, character and plot in crime fiction. Discover the murderous, devious and cunning world of writing about food and crime with the author of The Little Library books, Kate Young.

In the Kitchen with Bill Buford and Jonathan Meades

Wednesday 21 April, 19.45-20.45 (£5)

Bill Buford’s acclaimed recent book Dirt is a vivid, hilarious and intimate account of a five-year odyssey in French cuisine. Buford talks to writer, essayis