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Foremost Food Historian and Pacific Professor “Rants” About Food

Jan 16, 2013

Professor Ken Albala, History, is an award-winning author and internationally acclaimed authority on the history of food. In fact, he recently won the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook award, Best Foreign Cuisine Cookbook from the United States, for his textbook "Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Chinese." 

When he's not teaching or writing his next book, he's at home cooking or tinkering in the kitchen. He writes about his adventures as a home cook in his blog "Ken Albala's Food Rants."

"I am not a chef - we use that term loosely in this country - that means the head of a professional kitchen," Albala says. "I am proud to be a home cook. I cook as much as I can, everyday, usually for several hours. Sometimes actually testing recipes or techniques for a book I'm writing, but often it's for no particular reason other than I like tinkering in the kitchen." 

He started blogging in 2007 to try out the medium and use it as a place to talk about experiments he was doing in the kitchen that he couldn't use in his academic writing. 

"I've written popular books before, which is lovely not having to deal with theory, historiography or footnoting every word, but blogging is different," Albala says. "I can say whatever I like without formal research and footnotes. 

"The research I'm doing is of a different kind - in the kitchen and it all still very much connected to my professional writing in food history and even to my teaching," he continues. "That's what I like best about it. It connects both my profession and free time activity and you get to eat the research results!"

Read more about Albala's adventures in cooking. 

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