James Simpkins, Culinary Fellow

James Simpkins is the inaugural Culinary Fellow at the Quimby Colony Artist in Residence program. Simpkins has been writing about the experience on his blog, The Quimby Gourmand. During his 6-month fellowship he’ll be, “creating meals inspired by  depictions of cookery and hospitality taken from nineteenth-century domestic literature”.

I already know I will not find all recipes that I want/need, and I will undoubtedly error in recreating them; the language is quite apart from contemporary English, I assure you.  Not only are these dinners imbued with historical influence (a perfect recreation being quite impossible), they are also to ascertain current cultural value via interviews with dinner attendees.  Direct table conversation and informal interviews to inquire into symbolic meanings these meals may still impart today.  Alongside the historical and cultural context laid out in the texts, I am hoping to find quite an overlap in the semiotic worth of the meal… [read more]