Chocolate: Food of the Gods

ANNE BRAMLEY is food scholar, university lecturer, writer, cook, and podcast host. At 15 Anne took out her first subscription to Bon Appetit and then started a small baking business out of her mother's house, selling all manner of chocolate creations to satisfied customers and to a local shop in the historic district.

Leaving for college at the University of Chicago, she immersed herself in a life of the mind but also awakened to all the diverse tastes that Chicago as a city had to offer. While studying abroad at the University of Cambridge, she learned not only how to shop for local, fresh foods in season at the town's open market but also to appreciate the amazing flavors of a much-disparaged cuisine. While in Europe, she spent winter break traveling to every corner of the continent to taste and learn everything she could about Europe's great culinary traditions.

During her Master's degree at the University of Pittsburgh, Anne discovered a way to meld her scholarly life with her culinary one and she began working on 15th- and 16th-century English cookbooks and writing about the cultural and political importance of these early printed works. As a Ph.D. student back at the University of Chicago, she turned those interests into her graduate work. Ever aware of the importance of her working-class background in her understanding of the world and food culture, she also incorporated this third element into her studies to create her dissertation: Eating Disorder: Food and Class in Early Modern England.

On the verge of completing her doctorate, she has again transformed her work and brought both her scholarship and her love of food to new and old media alike. Since January 2005, she has built up her podcast, Eat Feed, from a small listenership to a global experience.

Beef steak with roquefort and chive mash

1 beef steak, trimmed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
30-55g/1-2 oz roquefort cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1/3 red onion, peeled and diced
1 tsp olive oil
For the mash
potato, peeled and diced
55ml/2fl oz double cream
large knob of unsalted butter
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
2. Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the potato for 6-8 minutes, or until tender.
3. Season the beef steak with salt and pepper.
4. Mix the cheese, chives and onion together in a bowl and then spoon the mix onto the steak. Wrap the steak around, press down and secure using a cocktail stick.
5. Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the stuffed steak for one minute on each side.
6. Transfer to the oven and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Add the cream and butter and mash together until smooth. Stir in the chives.
8. Spoon the chive mash to a serving plate and then serve the stuffed steak alongside.