Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery Oral History Project

Interview with Phil Iddison



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Technological University Dublin


Phil Iddison was born in 1950 and grew up in West Yorkshire. His mother and grandmother were excellent traditional Yorkshire cooks but it was on moving to University that Phil first began cooking. As a Civil Engineer, specialising in highway engineering, Phil travelled the world (UAE, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Thailand etc.) with his work experiencing new cuisines, exploding his interest in food, and amassing databases of food related terms in these new countries. While in Thailand, working on an English Thai scientific food glossary, he wrote to Alan Davidson about his book on Laotian river fish which led to a friendship developing and his research being published in PPC and him giving his first paper at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. Phil and his wife Patsy have been regular attendees and speakers at the Symposium for many years and Phil was elected a Trustee and became Treasurer for a number of years where he managed to build up a reserve and set the finances on sounder footing. Patsy was involved in running of the Symposium for around seven years and Phil was among the group who managed the relocation from St. Antony’s to St. Catz (albeit via a short period in Brookes).

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gastronomy, history, food, writers



Interview with Phil Iddison