Department of English

University of Toronto


ENG378H1F  L0101   T3-4, R2-4
Cook the Books
Professor Andrea Most

Brief Description of Course: Literature and food have a long and tasty relationship. In this class, we examine modern literary and cinematic representations of growing, preparing, and eating food in order to better understand how culture shapes the choices we make about the food we eat. Co-taught with a professional chef, this course combines literary analysis with hands-on cooking classes, multi-sensory presentations, and food-oriented field trips.

NOTE: During the course of the term, each student will be required to be in the kitchen at least twice, on Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m. Please plan your schedule accordingly.

ANCILLARY FEE: There is a lab fee for this course of $123 to cover the costs of groceries, field trips, and kitchen staff.

Required Reading: Wendell Berry, selected essays and poems; Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Cooked; Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Roxane Gay, Hunger; MFK Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf; Isak Dinesen, Babette’s Feast; Ratatouille; plus additional readings and viewings to be determined (including selections from cookbooks, restaurant reviews, chef memoirs, and essays in food studies)..

First Three Authors/Texts: Michael Pollan, selections from Cooked; Wendell Berry, selected essays and poems about farming; Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Method of Instruction: Lecture/discussion/cooking tutorials.

Method of Evaluation: Reflection Essay (25%), presentation (30%), final potluck and written reflection (20%), class participation (25%).

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