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History of Culinary Arts


Key Information

100% Online
Learn at your own convenience

31 May - 8 August 2021
Live learning and discussion with instructor every week
50 Hours of Learning
10 weeks of study: 4-5 hours per week
Euro 1240
All inclusive
Course offered in English

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Cook a broad range of foods using historic techniques and methods, which will ultimately enhance your own creations, and ideas in writing or working in the food industry.
  • Understand the basic flavour profiles, the origins of ingredients and how they were domesticated and spread around the globe.
  • Understand why cuisines developed as they did, through discussion of the geographical influences on cooking, trade routes,  and the ways cooking differed according to social class and ethnic identity.
  • Appreciate the historical forces that shape taste preferences and thus better predict them in the future.
  • Be more informed and intelligent cooks and gastronomes.

    This course will introduce you to the historic kitchen using recipes from ancient times to the present from around the world in English translation. Each week you cook and share a different recipe. The choice of ingredients will depend on what is available in your area and substitutions may be necessary. It is expected that students will source and purchase the ingredients required for recipes each week.


    Who is this course for?

    This course is for anyone in the food professions who wants to learn techniques and understand flavour profiles and recipes from cultures in the past. Chefs, home cooks, food marketers, media specialists - anyone who works with food will benefit from learning about the history of ingredients, cooking tools and finished dishes.


    Instructor: Dr. Ken Albala

    Dr. Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He has written academic monographs, cookbooks, single subject food histories and has edited Encyclopaedias, translations and references works. His Beans: A History won the International Association of Culinary Professionals Jane Grigson award for food writing and his Three World Cuisines won the Gourmand International award for best foreign cookbook in the world. He has edited several food series containing over 100 titles and co-edited the Journal Food Culture and Society. He has taught two series for The Great Courses, the latter on historic cooking.


    Career Opportunities

    Hospitality professionals, chef, cook, professional/amateur food writers/bloggers, food marketing, journalism or entrepreneurship.

    Download Brochure and Queries

    Here is the course outline:

    Ancient Mesopotamia

    Discover the oldest surviving recipes on earth, dated to about 1500 BC. These are recorded on a handful of cuneiform tablets owned by Yale University, which have been translated and edited by Jean Bottero.

    Ancient Rome

    Look closely at the exquisite cookbook attributed to Apicius which survives in two 8th century manuscripts held by the New York Academy of Medicine and the Vatican Library.

    Medieval Middle East

    Baghdadi. This week we examine one of the most globally influential cuisines that have ever existed.

    Medieval Europe

    Explore the recipes from a series of English manuscripts called The Forme of Cury. They derive from a chef working at the court of King Richard II who was known for his fine taste in the arts and dining.

    Renaissance Europe

    Explore Scappi’s monumental Italian cookbook and recipes - the longest and most comprehensive cookbook, as well as the first to be illustrated and the first to use new world ingredients, like turkey.

    Classic French Haute Cusine

    In 17th century France techniques were developed at the core of modern haute cuisine, and which are still taught in cooking schools today - spices were mostly banished and sugar moved to a final dessert course rather than being incorporated in every dish.

    18th Century China

    Yuan Mei was the greatest of Classical Chinese gastronomes and author of Suiyuan Shidan, or, Recipes from the Garden of Contentment. He and his personal cook devised recipes and established criteria for good taste that have influenced the cuisine to the present.

    18th Century Italy

    Explore the recipes of Vincenzo Corrado, a professional chef from Naples whose cookbooks were the first to feature many dishes of what is known globally as Italian cuisine.

    Victorian Australian

    Explore how Australian gastronomy developed, interacting with indigenous plants, animals and people. Wilhelmina Rawson, the first female Australian cookbook author, began writing in 1878 with recipes and household hints and special attention paid to life in the bush.

    19th Century United States

    In 1866 Malinda Russell, a free black woman from Tennessee published a cookbook in effort to raise money to recover stolen property. Her elegant and complex recipes, with emphasis on desserts, break many stereotypes widely held about African American cooking, or soul food.


    The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

    Certificate of Completion 2021
    Statement of Results 2021
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