Portrait of Kitchiner
|Died||1827 (aged 51–52)|
|Resting place||St Clement Danes, City of Westminster, London|
|Known for||Cook's Oracle, crisp, creator of Wow-Wow sauce|
William Kitchiner M.D. (1775–1827) was an English optician, inventor of telescopes, amateur musician and exceptional cook. His name was a household word during the 19th century, and his 1817 cookbook, The Cook's Oracle, was a bestseller in England and the United States. In the United Kingdom, the origin of the crisp is attributed to Kitchiner, with The Cook's Oracle including the earliest known recipe.
Unlike most food writers of the time he cooked the food himself, washed up afterwards, and performed all the household tasks he wrote about. He travelled around with his portable cabinet of taste, a folding cabinet containing his mustards and sauces. He was also the creator of Wow-Wow sauce.
The Cook's Oracle
The Cook's Oracle, whose full title, Apicius Redivivus, or the Cook's Oracle, was first published in 1817. It is also listed as The Cook's Oracle: Containing receipts for plain cookery on the most economical plan for private families, etc. It includes eleven ketchup recipes, including two each for mushroom, walnut and tomato ketchups, and one each for cucumber, oyster, cockle and mussel ketchups.
The book contains what may be one of the earliest references to crisps, in a recipe for "Potatoes fried in Slices or Shavings", which instructs the reader to "peel large potatoes, slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, or cut them in shavings round and round, as you would peel a lemon; dry them well in a clean cloth, and fry them in lard or dripping".
- The Invalid’s Oracle
- The Housekeeper's Ledger
- The Traveller's Oracle
- The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life
- Horse and Carriage Keeper's Guide
- The Pleasures of Making a Will
- The Sea Songs of Charles Dibdin, ed.
- books on singing and on choosing opera glasses.
Books about Kitchiner
- Dr. Kitchiner and the Cook's Oracle - Elspeth Davies ISBN 1-872795-83-8
- Dr William Kitchiner: the Cook's Oracle: Regency Eccentric - Tom Bridge, Colin Cooper English ISBN 1-870962-07-9
- Handley, Neil. "Telescopes (part 1)". www.college-optometrists.org. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
- Food and Drink. "'Crisps buoyed Britain in its darkest hour'". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- William Kitchiner (1822). The Cook's Oracle: Containing Receipts for Plain Cookery on the Most ... A. Constable & Company, Edinburgh, and Hurst, Robinson & Company, Cheapside. p. 208.
- "Apicius Redivivus: Or, The Cook's Oracle: Wherein Especially the Art of Composing Soups, Sauces, and Flavouring Essences is Made So Clear and Easy ... Being Six Hundred Receipts, the Result of Actual Experiments Instituted in the Kitchen of a Physician, for the Purpose of Composing a Culinary Code for the Rational Epicure ..." S. Bagster. 1 January 1817 – via Google Books.
- Works by William Kitchiner at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about William Kitchiner at Internet Archive
- The 'Cook's Oracle' at Foods of England
- ECCENTRICITIES OF DR. WILLIAM KITCHINER
- A VERY large portrait from the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology
- Internet Archive info on The Cook's Oracle
- Apicius Redivivus. The Cook's Oracle From the Katherine Golden Bitting Collection at the Library of Congress