The Cooking Colonel of Madras by David Smith


Arthur Kenney-Herbert was a cavalry officer who served in India during the British Raj. When he arrived in Madras in 1859, the British were still enjoying curry and rice at most meals. Twenty years later, Indian food had gone out of fashion, and European cuisine had become de riguer at dinner parties and banquets.

Using the pen name "Wyvern", Kenney-Herbert wrote Culinary Jottings For Madras in which he gives instructions to British memsahibs on how to manage their servants, give refined dinners, and cook the occasional curry. The book was a huge success, and made Wyvern famous in colonial India.

When he retired to England at the rank of colonel, Wyvern built on his reputation as a culinary authority. He founded a cookery school, gave cooking demonstrations, and wrote books and articles for prestigious magazines.

In this lively and fascinating biography, food historian and author of The Curry House website David Smith charts Wyvern's life and times, recreates his classic recipe for Madras Chicken Curry, and considers his legacy as a Victorian celebrity chef.

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