Welcome

The Cook and the Curator blog invites you to discover our food heritage at the Historic Houses Trust. You will enter our homes, raid our pantries, fire up our stoves, cook in our kitchens, try out our recipes and dine at our tables.

Do you feel far removed from the days when oyster loaf and syllabub were all the rage? Well, you might be surprised to learn that, every day, we eat our history. While some foods, recipes and techniques may have changed or even disappeared, others have barely altered over centuries.

The HHT’s Gastronomer, Jacqui Newling (the Cook), and HHT Curator, Meroogal & Western Sydney Portfolio, Scott Hill (the Curator) both believe there’s no better way to explore our past than through food.

Each month The Cook and the Curator will explore one of the HHT’s extraordinary properties, introducing you to its past residents and looking at what, where and how they ate. Together we will comb through old cookery books, decipher handwritten recipes, experiment with heirloom produce, rediscover lost culinary arts and reveal family stories. We will also show you how to blend exotic spices, whip up apple snow, make gelatine from calves’ feet (if you dare!) and lay the perfect Regency table. 

We invite you to Eat Your History with us.

The Cook and Curator standing in the courtyard at Vaucluse House.

The Cook and the Curator. Photo © James Horan

  • Congratulations Scott and Jacqui and all the rest of the HHT staff involved in putting this blog up. I’ve bookmarked it and look forward to the monthly updates. What a great way to bring some of the history relating to historic houses and the people that lived in them to life,

  • Kim Caldwell

    Just arrived home from Tasmania where we have been steeped in colonial history to find your fabulous blog. Congratulations, it looks really great, and I look forward to future editions. Not sure I will try the calves foot jelly though!

  • Congratulations Jacqui & Scott. What a great way to educate us about our rich colonial history from a food point of view. I am looking forward to more insights into our tasty past!

  • Gary Crockett

    Congratulations Jacqui, Scott and Co – loving the blog, the clever videos, the crazy recipes and the fresh take on old places – keep it up.