In a society seemingly so obsessed with food - the preparing, eating, sharing and sheer enjoyment of what and how we all eat - the humble kitchen utensil and its evolution is an often overlooked aspect of Britain's heritage. Yet antique and vintage kitchenalia can tell us so much about Britain's culinary, scientific and innovative past.
Cooking evolved from a fire in the middle of the homestead, with a crude container used to boil up every meal. Now there are shiny, gadget- and accessory-driven kitchens where complex, clever dishes are created by grilling, frying, poaching, roasting, baking, toasting, boiling, braising, slow-cooking, steaming and many other techniques.
By investigating the objects themselves, Emma Kay uncovers the rich history of how Britain's kitchens became so versatile and, as the gadgets increased in availability, how cooking became far more accessible, labour-saving and even addictive.
Emma Kay is a historian and writer. She has worked as a museum professional for over fifteen years in major institutions such as the National Maritime Museum, the British Museum and the University of Bath. She has a degree in History, postgraduate certificate in Roman Archaeology, MA in Heritage Interpretation and a diploma in Cultural Heritage Management. She is a private collector of antique and vintage kitchenalia and writes and speaks about the history of cooking and dining to a variety of audiences. Emma founded the Museum of Kitchenalia in 2012 (www.museumofkitchenalia.co.uk). She lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and young son.