skip to content

School of Arts and Humanities

Literature Cambridge launches The Literary Kitchen

Independent educational organisation Literature Cambridge, founded by University of Cambridge academic Dr Trudi Tate, has teamed up with Cambridge Cookery School to unite great works of literature with classic recipes.

Independent educational organisation Literature Cambridge has teamed up with Cambridge Cookery School to unite great works of literature with classic recipes.

The Literary Kitchen, a new series of classes on literature and cooking, is among Literature Cambridge’s exciting calendar of events for 2016-17, which also includes a summer course on Virginia Woolf, and intensive day courses on various writers held at Stapleford Granary.

Literature Cambridge was founded by University of Cambridge academic Dr Trudi Tate along with her business partner Ericka Jacobs, to offer “the best of English literature, taught by academics and open to the public”.

Taught by leading scholars, Literature Cambridge courses include lectures, discussions and close reading, in the tradition of “Cambridge English” since 1920, giving attendees a chance to experience life as an English student in Cambridge. Some courses combine study of literature with other relevant visits, excursions and activities.

“All our courses are taught by inspiring teachers, most of them Cambridge English lecturers”, Trudi said. “We also employ Cambridge postgraduates and Research Fellows on our summer course. Alongside our senior lecturers, these young teachers provide Cambridge-style supervisions to two or three students. It’s a unique experience.”

The new Literary Kitchen classes are a collaborative project hosted by the Cambridge Cookery School, a popular culinary school founded in 2008 and located near the historic heart of Cambridge.

The classes combine a lecture by a leading academic with a hands-on cookery class where you can learn to make dishes associated with a particular work of literature or literary figure. The classes include Katherine Mansfield and the Cream Puff, Proust and the Madeleine, and Alice’s Tea Party.

“The Literary Kitchen classes are serious fun”, said Trudi. “You don’t have to know anything in advance about the literature or about cooking – but if you enjoy listening and learning, you will find them rewarding”.

Cambridge cookery school

Literature Cambridge is also running several short courses at Stapleford Granary.

“The old Granary is a really beautiful venue,” Ericka said.  “It’s perfect for an intensive day’s study of a favourite author or book – or an author you don’t know, but want to discover.”

The first Stapleford day, in September, will study Virginia Woolf’s much-loved novel, To the Lighthouse, with lectures by leading scholars Gillian Beer and Frances Spalding. Other Stapleford days include a course based on the Cambridge University Tragedy paper, part of the English degree course. The Tragedy day course is planned for early 2017 and will include lectures on Greek tragedy, Shakespeare, and tragedy in modern literature.

Literature Cambridge itself grew out of a conversation at Ericka’s kitchen table. Trudi said: “I had long wanted to offer people the chance to study a challenging author in great depth. Our courses attract teachers, post-graduates, academics, but most of all they are for the ordinary reader, those curious, independent readers Virginia Woolf so valued.”

“‘Here in Cambridge there are so many excellent English literature scholars, in the Colleges, the English Faculty, and all over town. We want to bring their knowledge and their enthusiasms to a wide audience.”

For more information, and to book a place on a Literary Kitchen or Stapleford Granary day course, see