His gastronomical practicesBMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5276 (Published 07 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5276
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While enjoying reading about Dr. William Kitchiner's gastronomical practices (1), I recalled our "scientific" – humorous article on the advantages of chicken soup:
"To our knowledge, there have been no randomized controlled trials (RCT) done to determine the efficacy of chicken soup. However, we feel that sufficient observational and anecdotal evidence has accumulated over the centuries to make the requirement for such a trial superfluous….. We feel certain that, despite the absence of significantly statistical evidence from scientific studies, chicken soup is here to stay as part of the armamentarium of traditional effective remedies. In answer to the question, whether it be a drug or not, chicken soup is ... essential."(2). Minerva has commented on this article..
Charles Ranhofer (1836–1899) was the chef at the famous Delmonico's Restaurant in New York. Ranhofer had published The Epicurean (1894), an encyclopedic cookbook and Le Guide Culinaire. He honored Dr. Francois Rabelais (c. 1484-1553), a French monk, physician, writer and satirist, in the dish Lamprey
(lamprey eels) la Rabelais.
The famous book "Cooking with Pomiane" was written by Dr. Édouard Alexandre de Pomiane (or Édouard Pozerski (1875–1964)), who was a French physician/scientist, radio broadcaster and food writer. He was born in Paris, son of Polish émigrés (like Joseph Babinski); perhaps one of the last century's greatest cookery
writers, he lectured at the Institut Pasteur and wrote classic culinary books, among them, The Jews of Poland: Recollections and Recipes, Cooking in Ten Minutes (La Cuisine en dix minutes, ou l'Adaptation au rythme moderne).
The German surgeon Curt Schimmelbusch's cooking apparatus (1860-95) was not designed for cooking food, but rather for surgical instruments…
Chevalier Jackson (1865-1958), an American laryngologist (Jackson's position, Jackson's safety triangle and the Jackson's sign), during his summer vacations sold medical books and even served as a galley cook on a fishing schooner.
Just returning to Dr. William Kitchiner (1775–1827), his motto was "Dum vivimus vivamus" [while we live, let us live]. He expressed his early views about rehabilitation of disabled people, well preceded the historical pioneering work of Sir Ludwig Guttmann, in his "The Invalid’s Oracle" (3):
" The first part contains a general summary of the doctrine of invigorating and
prolonging life. The leading idea of the system is borrowed from the practice of
training , employed to fit men for different contests requiring great exercise of
muscular strength and activity , by which process the bodies of those submitting to it
are in the course of a few weeks brought into the highest possible development of
physical power. He principle of this system of training, suitably modified, are to be
applied to the diet, exercise etc. of an invalid and his body is thereby, to be brought
back from its state of debility and imperfect of health"
1. Dalrymple T. His gastronomical practices. BMJ, 2012; 345:35.
2. Ohry A, Tsafrir J. Is chicken soup an essential drug?
CMAJ. 1999 ;14;161(12):1532-3.
3. The American Monthly Review, 1831 ; 1,(4), 286. ; article 3, " Directions for invigorating and prolonging life, by: William Kitchner MD, from the 6th London edition. Revised and improved by T S BARRETT , Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery, NY, J & J Harper.
Competing interests: No competing interests