Author(s): Mrs. C. F. Leyel
Part of a striking upheaval in attitudes to food and cooking between the wars, The Gentle Art of Cookery was published to immediate success in 1921, providing a level of detail that was unusual amongst its contemporaries, while inspiring its readers with its daring recipe selection. With chapters entitled 'Dishes from the Arabian Nights', 'The Alchemist's Cupboard', and a collection of startlingly original 'Flower Recipes', in which renowned herbalist Hilda Leyel and her assistant Olga Hartley revive the medieval use of flowers for food with recipes such as Rose Ice Cream, Nasturtium Salad, and Marmalade of Violets, this book can't help but capture the imagination of even the most jaded of recipe readers. With its intensely modern focus on vegetables - six chapters devoted to vegetables, pulses, nuts and grains - revival of old tastes and suggestions of new ones, this book points towards the sophisticated work of modern molecular gastronomy and demonstrates how elegant and innovative British food can be. Classic Voices in Food is a significant new series bringing you a fascinating perspective on the tastes of times gone by, as well as delicious recipes, engaging text and original illustrations that will draw you in and leave you hungry for more. Reproduced unabridged from the finest texts on food in English from the 19th to the mid-20th century, each voice conveys the unique flavour of its times, while still being astonishingly relevant to today's cook. Filled with passion, enthusiasm and, above all else, a timeless understanding of good food, the Classic Voices in Food series is an essential new source of reference and inspiration for all food lovers.
Hilda Leyel (1880-1957), who wrote under the name Mrs. C. F. Leyel, was an expert on herbalism and founded the Society of Herbalists (later the Herb Society) in England in 1927, as well as opening the Culpeper Shops chain of herbalist stores. Author of a book on herbalism, called Elixirs of Life, Leyel was also a fellow of the Royal Institution, and an officer of the Academie Francaise. Suffragist, journalist and author of the post-war novel Anne, Miss Olga Hartley was Hilda Leyel's assistant, and helped her with the writing of The Gentle Art of Cooking.