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Masters' chefs: Kitchen staff at St John's College

From pot washers to pastry chefs, this exhibition explores the activities and duties of the College's kitchen staff.

Ceramic dinner plate

Ceramic dinner plate, 1850-1890. Ceramic dinner ware owned by the College bearing the same central design of a zig-zag wall and pagoda as an earlier plate owned by the College cook, James Prior. (SJEP/7/2)

College baker

The last College Master Baker was a Mr William (Bill) Daish. College records indicate that Daish joined the Kitchens in 1924. He was a member of staff for 23 years, retiring in February 1947. (SJCL/2/13)

Catering Petition

Petition, c. 1865-1870, by undergraduates to the Steward expressing their general dissatisfaction with the food provided in Hall and the quality of service during feasts and meals. (SJGR/2/4/2)

'Nero'

'Nero', 1938-1949. The long-lived College cat Nero, photographed by Kitchen Clerk Ken North. Various cats have been about the College since Nero, encouraged or deterred by staff in varying degrees. (SJPH/5/8)

George W. Parsely, Head Cook

George Parsley moved up the ranks in the College Kitchens to become St John's Head Chef in 1891. Parsley started working in the College Kitchens sometime before 1882. He was born in 1857 in the local village of Stow Cum Quy. (D33/16/1)

George W. Parsely 2

George Parsley moved up the ranks in the College Kitchens to become St John's Head Chef in 1891. Parsley started working in the College Kitchens sometime before 1882. He was born in 1857 in the local village of Stow Cum Quy. (D33/16/1)

Kitchen tariff

Booklet, 1893, outlining the tariff of approximate prices for private supply to Fellows and undergraduates included are the prices for fish entrées, joints & poultry, game & cold dishes, vegetables, salads & savouries, sweets & ices, groceries & jams and afternoon teas. (D104/4)

Kitchen tariff 2

Booklet outlining the tariff of approximate prices for private supply to Fellows and undergraduates included are the prices for fish entrees, joints & poultry, game & cold dishes, vegetables, salads & savouries, sweets & ices, groceries & jams and afternoon teas. (D104/4)

Kitchen wages

Kitchen wages, 1893-1920. Traditionally servants were paid in very different ways, some on fixed salaries, some on monthly wages, others on piece work or fees and some were not paid directly by the College but by the cook or another senior servant. (SJAR/5/1/7/1/5)

Kitchen renovatons

Drawings and plans (c.1890-1900) for the late 19th century reconstruction of the kitchen and its offices. The architect selected for the job was Henry C. Boyes of London. Boyes submitted is plan to the College in 1891. (MPSC13/37)

Detriment allowed to College butlers and cooks

Detriment allowed to College butlers and cooks, 1720. Detriments were small charges made by Colleges and similar societies upon their members. (D109/216)