Lamb’s Royal Cookery, a cookbook from the the year 1710, is a complete guide to court cooking, imparting recipes for magnificent royal entertainments. The work includes 29 out-folding illustrations which display table designs for various royal feasts including coronations, balls and weddings – each a strictly choreographed arrangement of royal platters.
The author Patrick Lamb (c.1650–1708) was doubly appointed Master Cook to the Queen’s Consort, and Sergeant of His Majesty’s Pastry in Ordinary in the year 1677, during the reign of Mary II of England and her husband William III; and then in 1683 he was promoted to Master Cook to the Monarch, a position that he held until the early 1700s, through the reigns of several kings and queens of England.
This cookbook, published posthumously, displays all the branches of Lamb’s royal cooking at the Palace of St James’s in Kensington, Hampton-Court and Windsor Castle, with recipes for ‘Soupes, Jellies, Bisques, Ragoo’s Pattys, Tanzies, Forc’d-Meats, Cakes, Puddings’. Like many distinguished chefs today, Lamb made his reputation with spectacular layouts and preparations which he equalled only in the fine quality of his cooking. At a time when the etiquette in aristocratic households was for French chefs, Lamb was unusual in being an English cook, and this identity reflected within his dishes.