Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery’s latest exhibition calls upon one of University of Leeds’ chefs, Phil Tostevin, to recreate recipes from the mid 15th century.

A new exhibition at the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, Cooks and their books – recipes from Romans to the present, explores the rise of the celebrity chef and how recipes have been collected and compiled since Roman times. Highlighting the University of Leeds’ collection of cookery books, papers, and objects, the exhibition hosts the world’s first illustrated cookbook published outside of London – which was printed in Leeds.

The exhibition opened on Friday 1 September, with an exhibition celebration taking place this week on Tuesday 5 September. One of University of Leeds’ chefs, Phil Tostevin was asked to recreate some of the recipes found in the exhibited books, for the event.

Phil, who works under the executive chef in the Function Suite in University House, researched recipes and cooked a French onion soup and a beef, carrot and swede stew for the celebration. Talking about the challenges of creating the medieval food, Phil said: “There are some interesting flavours in there that we’re not used to, that’s for sure!”

The exhibition and Phil’s medieval recipes caught the eyes of Leeds-based television channel, Made in Leeds, who came down to find out more about the exhibition and how Phil came to make his hearty dishes (play from 1min 53secs).

Cooks and their books – recipes from Romans to the present will be on display at Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery until the end of January 2018. Phil’s fantastic food can be sampled at MEETinLEEDs conferences and events!