In Proust’s ‘In Search of Lost Time’, the narrator’s eating of a Madeleine cake is considered one of the iconic moments in the history of literature. It is at the heart of the book’s main theme of involuntary memory, in which an experience such as smell or a taste unexpectedly unlocks a past recollection. Inspired by this, the festival has invited acclaimed food writer, Claudia Roden, and renowned chef, Jeremy Lee, to discuss particular tastes or smells that either unlock their own personal memories or that they feel have a wider social or cultural power.
Claudia Roden was born and raised in Cairo. She completed her formal education in Paris and then moved to London to study art. She travels extensively as a food writer. Her books include the James Beard Award–winning 'The Book of Jewish Food' and the seminal 'A Book of Middle Eastern Food', as well as 'The Good Food of Italy—Region by Region', and 'Everything Tastes Better Outdoors'. In Britain, 'Arabesque' won the Andre Simon Memorial Fund Award for Best Food Book, the Glenfiddich Best Food Book Award, and the Gourmand World Media Special Award of the Jury.
Jeremy Lee joined Sam & Eddie Hart at Quo Vadis in Soho in early 2012, becoming Chef Proprietor. Jeremy had previously manned the stoves of Blueprint Café on the first floor of the Design Museum, which Sir Terence Conran created on the south bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge. In 2012 Jeremy and Quo Vadis won the Catey for Best Restaurant Menu of the Year and in 2013 they won the Tatler Award for Best Kitchen. Jeremy writes for numerous newspapers and periodicals and has appeared on television in The Great British Menu and Could You Eat an Elephant? for Channel 4. His first book, ‘Cooking Simply and Well, for One or Many’ has just been published.
“I could not love this book more. A palpable instant classic, infused with wisdom, generosity and achievable deliciousness. Every page feels like a blessing.”
-Nigella Lawson on ‘Med: A Cookbook’
‘"The joy that is Jeremy leaps off every page. An inspiring collection of recipes and musings that have me wanting to cook every recipe and hang off every word! Just gorgeous.”
-Skye Gyngell on ‘Cooking’