Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Sociology, Anthropology, Ethnology, Women's and gender studies, Cultural and economic geography, Urban studies (Planning and development), Interdisciplinary, History, Linguistics

Publication Details

Mac Con Iomaire, M. (2014). 'Material Culture: A Review of the 2013 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery'. Journal of Culinary Science and Technology. Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 191-195.


The focus of this year’s Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery was on the stew stove not the stew; the knives not the meat; the salt pots or ‘nefs’ rather than the salt; the ‘chasen’ not the tea; the plates (whether pewter, ceramic, delftware, china, silver or gold) but not their food contents. We were gathered to discuss associated material culture of food and cookery rather than the perishable ephemeral substance that usually concerns this gathering now in its thirty-first year.

So, what did the 220 chefs, food historians, writers, scientists, anthropologists and general foodies learn from the weekend’s discussion on material culture and the informal discussions over meals? What new knowledge or connections were grasped? What new collaborations will come from the event? The answers might be divided neatly into ‘Tools, Table manners, and Technology’, or to push it even further ‘Teeth’. They are all interlinked actually as we shall see.