Iwan Kriens

Iwan Kriens, headmaster of the very first government-funded Hotel and Restaurant School in London.



In her latest book, ‘The Wizard of the Kitchen’, Dutch author Trudy van der Wees tells the fascinating life story of the famous Dutch chef, who became a pioneer in British culinary education and helped to change the professional and social cookery culture in Britain. The book was first published in the Netherlands in 2018 and is now also available in an English edition.

Iwan Kriens grew up in the Netherlands. Around 1900 he settled in London where he became headmaster of the very first government-funded cookery school for professionals in England, the London County Council Cookery Technical School at the Westminster Technical Institute, the current-day Westminster Kingsway College. Under his leadership, the school grew into a successful vocational training centre where generations of chefs learned the trade. And still do so. Westminster Kingsway College is one of the most prestigious culinary and hospitality schools in the world.

Apart from being an excellent teacher, Iwan was a prominent member of the Universal Food and Cookery Association, passionately campaigning for the importance of good and healthy food. During the First World War, when food was scarce and sometimes priceless, he provided cooking demonstrations and wrote a highly-praised cookery book, together with well-known journalist Dorothy Peel. In ‘The Victory Cookery Book’. In this book he explained how to prepare a tasty and nutritious meal with scarce products and alternative foods, confirming his nickname ‘the wizard of the kitchen’.

Superfoods as we now have them did not exist as yet, but Iwan Kriens and Dorothy Peel were already aware of the special features of certain vegetables and cereals. The importance of drinking water, the medicinal effect of a homemade broth, the advantages of steaming instead of cooking vegetables and fish, the role of carbohydrates and minerals, all of which topics that are nowadays presented as totally new or innovative ideas by trendy chefs and health gurus, couild be found in this simple cookery book. A number of these recipes, such as oatmeal sausages, mulligatawni soup, potato scones and a frugal Christmas Pudding, are included in ‘The Wizard of the Kitchen’.

© Cicero Publiciteit, 2022

‘The Wizard of the Kitchen’ can be ordered online via thegreatbritishbookshop.co.uk

ISBN: 9789090356426
Price: £  9,95 (UK) / € 12,50  (EU) / $ 13,50 (USA) + shipping costs