Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Cooking History

Recipes for Victory

Great War Food from the Front and Kitchens Back Home in Canada

by (author) Elizabeth Baird & Bridget Wranich

Whitecap Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2018
History, Canada, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Recipes for Victory combines history and cooking as it presents domestic and military recipes (and their modern-day equivalents) used during the Great War — in the trenches, behind the lines, and on the home front.

Profusely illustrated with historical drawings and photographs, the text explores the role of the army cook, what soldiers ate in and behind the trenches, the war time efforts on the home front, the role of alcohol, the importance of food packages from home, and the problems of surplus. The text also explores the Children's Potato War Plot Fund, the Vacant Land Cultivation act, and the importance of home gardens. Three elucidating essays by Wayne Reeves, Chief Curator, Museum and Heritage Services, City of Toronto; Kevin Hebib, Program Development Officer, Fort York National Historic Site, and David Webb, Ontario Region Military Curator (ret), Parks Canada, provide fascinating details about the role of food in war.

About the authors

Elizabeth Baird has been helping shape Canada's culinary landscape for more than three decades. It was the cookbook Classic Canadian Cooking, Menus for the Seasons, published in 1974, that started her career in food writing. Elizabeth's column, "Canadian Cookbook" was a weekly feature in the Toronto Star, she was the food editor for Canadian Living magazine for 20 years and she has authored and co-authored many cookbooks, including the popular Whitecap title Canada's Favourite Recipes. Elizabeth continues to write a weekly column, "Baird's Bites", for the Toronto Sun and is a volunteer historic cook at Fort York. Bridget Wranich is one of the founders of the Culinary Historians of Canada and the program officer at Fort York. Her work and contribution to the food scene has been profiled in many newspapers and magazines, including the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. She is a feature speaker at almost every historical food event in Toronto and an expert in the cooking processes of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Elizabeth Baird's profile page

Bridget Wranich is a culinary historian and an expert in late 18th and 19th-century cooking in Upper Canada. She has worked in museum education for more than 25 years and is a Program Officer at Fort York National Historic Site, where she develops and coordinates activities and events for students and visitors.

Bridget leads the Volunteer Historic Cooks in researching, testing and preparing recipes for the Historic Foodways Program.

Bridget is a co-founder of the Culinary Historians of Canada.

Bridget Wranich's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This is 'Great War' food from the front and the kitchens back home in Canada; it grew out of a Fort York-Culinary Historians of Canada symposium in 2014 which was called for the centennial of the start of the War. This cookbook has been published (with much added research and preps) in time to celebrate the 1918 conclusion of that War to End All Wars. The teams deal with three distinct kitchens: the war front, the gifts from the home front in the trenches, and the kitchens at home. They cover the role of the army cook, alcohol, food packs from home, problems of surplus, home gardens, and some special topics such as the Children's Potato War Plot Fund. Of course, there are recipes: each has an original taken from a notebook and a modern equivalent. Usually there are illustrations of drawings and photos. A dynamic work, well-written and well-worth reading over the holidays. Bravo!
Dean Tudor

This book is a priceless resource for anyone wishing to recreate WWI-era cookery; I know of no other that offers such a wide range of recipes faithfully redeveloped for today's cooks of all skill levels. Its subtitle is clever, because ultimately Recipes for Victory is not just about food of the Great War, but also great war food.
Culinary Historians of Canada

Other titles by

Related lists