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Helen Peavitt

What’s the connection between the Great British Bake Off and nineteenth-century chef Alexis Soyer? Well, I guess the blog title gives it away: food consumed – not literally – but as public spectacle. Outside of the more intimate settings of our home kitchens, the return of Bake Off to our TV screens shows that there is a real appetite for what is frankly (light entertainment) food porn watched by millions. In Bake Off a series of amateur bakers are challenged by […]

Formica is 100 this year. Best known as the laminate associated with the 1950s and 60s colour explosion in surface coverings, what’s probably less well known is that it was originally an insulation material for the electrical industry. Formica literally stands for ‘for mica’, as it was developed as a synthetic plastic substitute for expensive mineral mica. It was made by binding layers of cloth or paper together with a phenolic resin (originally Bakelite®). Engineer Dan O’Conor filed for a […]