New Art of Cookery, from the School of Economic Experience, was an influential cookbook published in 1745 by Spanish lay friar Juan Altamiras. In it he gave over 200 recipes for meat, poultry, game, salted and fresh fish, kitchen-garden produce and sweet things, writing in a chatty, witty style designed for readers cooking on a modest budget. He showed how delicious economic dishes could be when flavors and aromas were blended with an appreciation for all kinds of ingredients, however humble, and for diverse food cultures from around Iberia, Europe and the New World. Unexpectedly his book stayed in print for 160 years at a time when French cuisine held sway in Spanish palace kitchens. This first English translation contextualizes the original small handbook, immersing readers in 18th-century everyday life and food culture in Spain, and it gives modern recipes for recreating each dish in Altamiras’s improvisational style. The translator and author, Vicky Hayward, allowed her narrative history to grow from her extensive archive and kitchen research, her learning from friary culture and her journeys to Aragon’s wide-horizoned landscapes where Altamiras cooked. New recipe guidelines include a small selection by guest cooks and chefs including Kiko Moya and Diego Gallegos, who reveal the creative potential and relevance of New Art’s 18th-century dishes for home and restaurant cuisine today.
But this is far more than a cookbook.
Vicky explores Spanish food culture and history, she explains links between New Art’s recipes and contemporary dishes, and she tells the story of her search to identify Juan Altamiras, a remarkable cook who believed rich and poor alike could enjoy the same dishes. In so doing she takes readers on a fascinating journey through time and place to Altamiras’s world, his kitchen, his seminal book and its influence on modern Spanish cookery’s flavors and techniques.
The book closes with Vicky’s extensive author’s bibliography, endnotes, kitchen glossary and double index designed for students of Spanish history, language, culture and gastronomy.
Best Gastronomic Research 2017: Aragonese Academy of Gastronomy
National Gastronomy Prize, Best Publication of 2017: Real Academia de Gastronomía
Juan Altamiras Prize, 2019: Ayuntamiento de La Almunia, Aragon
* 52,000 words Vicky’s new historic narrative plus 15,000 words of her author’s notes and bibliography.
* 38,000 words of Juan Altamiras’s 18th-century recipes and prologue.
* 207 original 18th-century recipes.
* 220 new recipes and variations by Vicky, and 28 recipes by 21 invited guest cooks & chefs.
* Sewn hardback, 294 pages, 24 x 16 cm.