I taught them to cook

This blog is a series of stories to describe my time as a young teacher in the 1970s teaching classes of rowdy boys and girls in an east London school how to cook. Would I succeed? Well Yes and No.

The blog was shortlisted for 2021 Guild of Food Writers Online Food Writing Award.

Guild of Food Writers Finalist online food writing award

It’s now a book

I taught them to cook
Details on the website

It’s got some great reviews on Amazon

Nigel Slater is a Cook who Writes and we appeared together on The Food File on Channel 4, both of us for the first time. Nigel went on to great things and I am old enough to have been his food teacher!

Nigel Slater in his memoir Toast – The Story of a Boy’s Hunger – was frustrated that his domestic science teacher Miss Adams took so long to teach him cooking. He was there when cookery became home economics, and his teacher praised his Victoria Sandwich which ‘rose like a dream’ and had a perfect ‘crumb’.

Grace Dent, the great restaurant critic and foodie, took Home Economics at school. In her book Hungry she describes her lessons. She says it was one class where she could shine and she made toad in the hole and stuffed hard boiled eggs with salad cream and cheese, just like she would have done in my lessons!

Book bits on this link has my stories

2 responses to “I taught them to cook

  1. Thankyou Greg – I’m on the case and have been developing it into a book and linking it through a year of cooking. It’s also going to have updates on the the food and teaching methods of the time. Why didn’t boys do cookery before 1970s, when did caning stop, how the food companies sent in home economists to persuade us to use gas or electricity, Stork with their margarine – there are so many stories. Keep in touch and I’ll update you but in lockdown I’m moving on with it quickly!!


  2. Greg Coomer

    Hi there Jenny .
    Good to see there are new chapters occurring towards your new book .
    Are you going to produce these as a book , with recipes ?
    I certainly hope so ?
    Keep up the good work – always brings a smile to my face !
    Regards Greg


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