New Art of Cookery, Drawn from the School of Economic Experience, was an influential cookbook published in 1745 by Spanish lay friar Juan Altamiras. In it he wrote up over 200 recipes for meat, poultry, game, salted and fresh fish, vegetables and sweet things in a chatty, witty style designed for readers with a modest kitchen budget. He showed that economic cookery could be delicious when flavors and aromas were blended with an appreciation for all sorts of ingredients, however humble, and for diverse food cultures, not only Iberian. 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 book, immersing readers in 18th-century everyday life and food culture in Spain and giving modern guidelines for recreating each dish. The translator and author, Vicky Hayward, allowed her narrative history to grow from her extensive archive and kitchen research, and she also explored friary culture and the Aragonese culture and landscapes where Altamiras learned to cook. Her recipe guidelines include a small selection by guest chefs and cooks including Kiko Moya and Diego Gallegos, who reveal the varied potential and relevance of 18th-century dishes for home and restaurant cuisine.
But this is far more than a cookbook. Vicky comments on distinctive elements of Spanish food culture and history, she explains links between New Art’s and contemporary dishes, and she tells the story of her search to identify the book’s author. In so doing she takes readers on a fascinating journey through time and place to Altamiras’s world, his kitchen, and the origins of modern Spanish cookery’s distinctive flavours and techniques.
The book closes with the author’s extensive bibliography, endnotes, glossary and a 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
* 52,000 words author’s historic narrative – 15,000 words author’s notes and bibliography – 38,000 words original 18th-century recipes and prologue.
* 207 original 18th-century recipes.
* 220 new recipes and variations, including 28 recipes by 21 guest cooks.