first school to focus on healthy eating and serious measurements of ingredients
On August 23, 1902 — 113 years ago today — pioneering cookbook author Fannie Farmer opened the “Miss Farmer’s School of Cookery” in Boston, MA (in Huntington Chambers, 30 Huntington Avenue, Boston, adjacent to the Boston Public Library — now the site of Westin Copley Hotel). Fannie was a graduate of Boston’s first cooking school, “The Boston Cooking School,” which was founded in 1879 by the “Woman’s Educational Association of Boston” in order “to offer instruction in cooking to those who wished to earn their livelihoods as cooks, or who would make practical use of such information in their families.” At the Boston Cooking School, Fannie studied under Mary J. Lincoln, who researched and wrote Mrs. Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book: What to Do and What Not to Do in Cooking, a textbook used primarily for her students (so they would not have to copy recipes).
Fannie graduated in 1889 from The Boston Cooking School. Because Fannie was one of the school’s top students, Fannie became assistant director of the school, and then director of the school in 1894. Fannie revised and expanded Mrs. Lincoln’s cookbook, and Fannie built on Mrs. Lincoln’s detailed and methodical approach to recipe writing, including careful measurements for each ingredient. During her time at The Boston Cooking School, Fannie began to understand the association between eating certain foods and good health. Fannie took a nutrition course at Harvard Medical School to learn as much as she could about healthy eating. Fannie’s version of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book in 1896 became the best-selling cookbook of the era. After 8 years as director, Fannie resigned from the school in 1902 to open her own cooking school on this day in 1902. Fannie’s School lasted until 1944.
•Fannie’s Last Supper (length 04:16). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz7Y1x5p8AE
• The Original Fannie Farmer 1896 Cookbook: The Boston Cooking School by Fannie Farmer. http://amzn.to/1NDmQa3
• Fannie in the Kitchen: The Whole Story from Soup to Nuts of How Fannie Farmer Invented Recipes with Precise Measurements (fiction based on certain facts) by Deborah Hopkinson. http://amzn.to/1h5TC6O
•Fanny Farmer and young student. http://www.britannica.com/biography/Fannie-Merritt-Farmer
•The Original Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, 1896, by Fannie Merritt Farmer. http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/images/books/400w/book48_title.jpg