Skip to content

Rebecca May Johnson

SMALL FIRES: An Epic in the Kitchen

Cooking is thinking! The spatter of sauce in a pan, a cook’s subtle deviation from a recipe, the careful labour of cooking for loved ones: these are not often the subjects of critical enquiry. Cooking, we are told, has nothing to do with serious thought; the path to intellectual fulfilment leads directly out of the kitchen. In this electrifying, innovative memoir, Rebecca May Johnson rewrites the kitchen as a vital source of knowledge and revelation.

Drawing on insights from ten years spent thinking through cooking, she explores the radical openness of the recipe text, the liberating constraint of apron strings and the transformative intimacies of shared meals. Playfully dissolving the boundaries between abstract intellect and bodily pleasure, domesticity and politics, Johnson awakens us to the richness of cooking as a means of experiencing the self and the world – and to the revolutionary potential of the small fires burning in every kitchen.

More from Art & Ideas

Isabel Nolan
An Artistic Eye

As part of our An Artistic Eye Series we asked Isabel Nolan: how do they become and artist? What is the best thing about being an artist? What do they all day?

Art & Ideas

Artists present us with new perspectives on the world we live in. Explore the exciting ideas behind our programmes, hear more from the artists we work with and discover new ways of engaging with art.

Art & Ideas into your inbox