Cookery Teaching in The Early Days (1)  22nd Feb, 2018

During February to April 2018, the Special Collections Research Room will be exhibiting cookbooks written by Harriett Wicken, who was one of the first teachers in cookery and domestic science in Australia. Mrs. Wicken migrated to Victoria in 1886 after working as a cookery teacher in London. She first gave cooking classes at Warrnambool, Victoria and then acquired a diploma from the National Training School for Cookery in South Kensington, and became a cookery lecturer and demonstrator, later moved to Sydney and was appointed a lecturer in the department of domestic economy at Sydney Technical College in 1889.

Before her arrival to Australia, Mrs. Wicken already had her book titled Kingswood Cookery Book published in London in 1885. Once she was in Australia, she rewrote the whole book with alterations and additions to make it more practical for the Australian housekeeper. In 1888, the revised and enlarged Australian edition of The Kingswood Cookery Book was published. This version was used as a textbook in her cookery class at Sydney Technical College. After 1896 Mrs. Wicken stopped teaching at the technical college and continued to build her specialties on demonstrating cooking with gas. Some other small cookery books were produced, such as Recipes of Lenten Dishes (1896), Dainty Foods (1911), Australian Table Dainties and Appetising Dishes (1897), etc.

She also contributed about 300 recipes to a book titled The Art of Living in Australia (Sydney, 1893), one of the famous early Australian cookbooks written by her Macquarie Street neighbour and diet reformer, Dr Philip Muskett.

Come in and check out the books on display.

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