I'm Sam Bilton an author, food historian and presenter of the Comfortably Hungry podcast. When I’m not writing about our culinary heritage you will find me in the kitchen probably with my nose in a vintage cookbook. I also love talking about the food from our past which is just as well as I often get asked to provide talks, cookery demonstrations and appear on television and radio.
I blame Great Aunt Eliza…
Many years ago my Nan gave me her dog eared copy of Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book. Tucked inside its battered cover I found a collection of hand written recipes dating from around 1871 collated by her Great Aunt Eliza. There’s nothing especially original about the recipes Eliza Andersen recorded. But they clearly meant something to her and to my Nan who inherited the collection from her own grandmother. It’s rather satisfying to learn you come from a long line of cooking enthusiasts.
This little book would spark an interest in historical food which began as a hobby but has spilled over into my professional life. A Masters in Culinary Arts cemented my path towards becoming a food historian, writer and cook. Whether it’s fine dining at the court of Richard II or the more down to earth cookery of a Victorian middle class household, historical food provides endless inspiration for my work as a writer, cook and presenter.
So yes, I have a lot to thank Great Aunt Eliza for. She has certainly opened my eyes to the edible delights of yesteryear and my aim is to do the same for you.
I have published two titles with Prospect Books and have written for a variety of online and print publications including Eaten, National Geographic Traveller, Wicked Leeks and English Heritage. I host the Comfortably Hungry podcast and blog and also provide talks, cookery demonstrations as well as appearances on radio and television.
Prior to the COVID pandemic in 2020 I ran a historically themed supper club called Repast from my home in Sussex. These events are on hold for the time being while I concentrate on other projects but I hope one day to resume the dinners.
I'm also a member of the Guild of Food Writers and spent several years on the Guild's committee as Co-Vice Chair and an Awards Coordinator.
For any media, presentation or literary enquiries, please contact me directly: info (@) sambilton.com