Research Profile

Regina Sexton

Biography

Regina Sexton is a food historian, food writer, broadcaster and cook. She has been researching and publishing in the area of Irish food and culinary history since 1993. Her research interests include food and identity, food and tradition and food in the Irish country house. She has published widely at academic and popular levels. Her publications include A Little History of Irish Food (Gill and Macmillan, 1998) and Ireland’s Traditional Foods (Teagasc, 1997). Regina holds a post-graduate degree from the Department of History, University College, Cork and a Certificate in Food and Wine from the Ballymaloe Cookery School (2002). Between 1995 and 2008, she wrote a weekly food column with the Irish Examiner; and in 1997, for work therein, she was short-listed for the Glenfiddich Regional Writer of the Year Award. Her publications have won her awards. She was joint winner of the Sophie Coe Memorial Prize in Food History, 1995 presented at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, for the paper ‘“I’d ate it like chocolate”: the disappearing offal food traditions of Cork city’. She was also winner of the Sophie Coe memorial Prize in Food History, Special Award, 1999, presented at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford for the paper ‘Porridge, gruels and breads: the cereal foodstuffs of early historic Ireland’. In 1999, she won the Jeremy Round Award, for the most promising first time author for A Little History of Irish food, presented by the British Guild of Food Writers. Following the success of this publication, Radio Telefis Éireann (RTÉ)commissioned Regina to research, write and present an eight-part television documentary, also called A Little History of Irish Food. Most recently, Regina has contributed to the award winning Atlas of the Great Irish Famine published by Cork University Press in 2012.  Regina has worked as food history consultant with Bord Bia, Teagasc, Fáilte Ireland, RTÉ and the Irish Heritage Trust. She has worked as historical food stylist for a number of television productions including ‘The Big House’, a Big Mountain Production for TV 3, 2013 and 'Lords and Ladles', a Mind the Gap Production for RTÉ 1.  At University College Cork, she lectures in the area of food history with the School of History, the Food Industry Training Unit and Adult Continuing Education. At Adult Continuing Education, Regina co-ordinates the University’s short course programme with responsibility for course development. Amongst the courses she has developed are a wide range of cultural history programmes such as The Culture of the Big House, A History of Gardening, Jane Austen at Fota House and A Little History of Irish Food. She is also the co-ordinator of the Food Writing module for the MA in Creative Writing with the School of English, UCC.  
Regina is secretary of the Agricultural History Society of Ireland. She is a member of the editorial board of Petits Propos Culinaires and she is also a member of the judging panel for Food & Wine magazine’s annual food and wine awards. She was an invited contributor from UCC to the Ballymaloe Literary Festival for 2013, 2014 and 2015 where she hosted a number of conversations, food workshops and food writing workshops. In 2014, she presented on the ‘Early Food Writings of Myrtle Allen’.

Research Interests

Research interests: Food and culinary history, food studies, food preservation, food and identity, 'traditional' food cultures, constructed and 'invented' food traditions Current activity: I am currently researching Irish manuscript receipt books and the food and culinary cultures of eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Ireland from the perspective of the overlapping concepts and notions of traditon, heritage and identity. My interest is the culinary literature of Ireland was prompted in 2010 by my attendance at a week-long seminar, Reading historic cookbooks: a structured approach, with food historian Barbara Ketcham Wheaten& Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger;Library, at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. I am a member of the editorial board of the food history journal Petits Propos Culinaries: essays and notes on food, cookery and cookery books.

Publications

Books

 YearPublication
(1998)A Little History of Irish Food.
Sexton, Regina, (1998) A Little History of Irish Food. London: Kyle Cathie Limited. [Details]
(1997)Ireland's Traditional Foods: An Exploration of Irish Local & Typical Foods.
Cowan, Cathal, and Sexton, Regina (1997) Ireland's Traditional Foods: An Exploration of Irish Local & Typical Foods. Dublin: Teagasc, The National Food Centre. [Details]

Book Chapters

 YearPublication
(2018)'Oxo, bread and blue cheese: developments in Irish food culture in the early twentieth century'
Regina Sexton (2018) 'Oxo, bread and blue cheese: developments in Irish food culture in the early twentieth century' In: Jean Walker (eds). Rural Ireland in the early twentieth century: conflict, rebellion and key developments. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. [Details]
(2017)'Elite Women and their recipe books: the case of Dorothy Parons and her Booke of Choyce Receipts all written down w:th her owne hand in 1666'
Regina Sexton (2017) 'Elite Women and their recipe books: the case of Dorothy Parons and her Booke of Choyce Receipts all written down w:th her owne hand in 1666' In: Terence Dooley, Maeve O'Riordan, Christopher Ridgway (eds). Women and the country house in Ireland and Britain. Dublin: Four Courts Press. [Details]
(2013)'Plant foods in Ireland before AD 1500'
Sexton, Regina (2013) 'Plant foods in Ireland before AD 1500' In: Matthew Jebb and Colm Crowley (eds). Secrets of the Irish Landscape. Cork: Cork University Press. [Details]
(2012)'Pre-Famine diet'
Sexton, Regina (2012) 'Pre-Famine diet' In: John Crowley; William J. Smith and Michael Murphy (eds). Atlas of the Irish Famine. Cork: Cork University Press. [Details]
(2012)'The story of food in Ireland'
Sexton, Regina (2012) 'The story of food in Ireland' In: Darina Allen (author) (eds). Irish Traditional Cooking. London: Kyle Cathie Limited. [Details]
(2005)'Simplicity and integration, continuity and change'
Sexton, Regina (2005) 'Simplicity and integration, continuity and change' In: Darra Goldstein and Kathrin Merkle (eds). Culinary Cultures of Europe: identity, diversity and dialogue. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Editions du Conseil de l'Europe. [Details]
(2005)'The culture of food'
Sage, Colin and Sexton, Regina (2005) 'The culture of food' In: John Crowley, Robert Devoy, Denis Linehan and Patrick O'Flanagan (eds). Atlas of Cork City. Cork: Cork University Press. [Details]
(2003)'Principle Irish food contributor. Articles/entries: country house cooking; diet: present day; food: post-Famine; food: thirteenth to seventeenth centuries; medieval food: early; medieval food: later; potato and potato cookery'
Sexton, Regina (2003) 'Principle Irish food contributor. Articles/entries: country house cooking; diet: present day; food: post-Famine; food: thirteenth to seventeenth centuries; medieval food: early; medieval food: later; potato and potato cookery' In: Brian Lalor (eds). The encyclopaedia of Ireland. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. [Details]
(1999)'Exclusive Irish food contributor. Articles/entries: Ireland; Ireland and the potato; Waterfood blaa; bog-butter; boxty; buttered eggs; carragheen; Celtic feasting; champ; colcannon; drisheen; dulse; fadge; fulachta fiadh; gur cake; Irish stew; yellowman'
Sexton, Regina (1999) 'Exclusive Irish food contributor. Articles/entries: Ireland; Ireland and the potato; Waterfood blaa; bog-butter; boxty; buttered eggs; carragheen; Celtic feasting; champ; colcannon; drisheen; dulse; fadge; fulachta fiadh; gur cake; Irish stew; yellowman' In: Alan Davidson (eds). The Oxford companion to food. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Details]
(1998)'Porridges, gruels, and breads: the cereal foodstuffs of early historic Ireland'
Sexton, Regina (1998) 'Porridges, gruels, and breads: the cereal foodstuffs of early historic Ireland' In: Michael A. Monk and John Sheehan (eds). Early medieval Munster: archaeology, history and society. Cork: Cork University Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2015)'Food and culinary cultures in pre-Famine Ireland 1700-1840'
Sexton, Regina (2015) 'Food and culinary cultures in pre-Famine Ireland 1700-1840'. Proceedings of The Royal Irish Academy Section C-Archaeology Celtic Studies History Linguistics Literature, :1-50 [Details]

Conference Publications

 YearPublication
(2015)Cattle in Ireland:beef, bulls, butchers and biodiversity. Agricultural History Society of Ireland (AHSI) Summer Conference 2014
Sexton, Regina (2015) Heads and feet, liver and lights: refining the objectionable. Eigtheenth-century beef recipes in the Townley Hall Papers . In: Kelly, Fergus, McAdam, Jim; OConnell, Michael eds. Cattle in Ireland:beef, bulls, butchers and biodiversity. Agricultural History Society of Ireland (AHSI) Summer Conference 2014 [Details]
(2003)The fat of the land: proceedings of the Oxford symposium on food and cookery
Sexton, Regina (2003) The role and function of butter in the diet of the monk and penitent in early medieval Ireland . In: Harlan Walker eds. The fat of the land: proceedings of the Oxford symposium on food and cookery St. Antony's College, Univeristy of Oxford, , pp.253-269 [Details]
(2002)Food and the rites of passage: Fourteenth Leeds symposium on food history
Sexton, Regina (2002) Weddings and wakes: Irish food and rites of passage . In: Laura Mason eds. Food and the rites of passage: Fourteenth Leeds symposium on food history , pp.115-139 [Details]
(1995)Disappearing foods: studies in foods and dishes at risk: proceedings of the Oxford symposium on food and cookery
Sexton, Regina (1995) ' I'd ate it like chocolate: the disappearing offal food traditions of Cork City . In: Harlan Walker eds. Disappearing foods: studies in foods and dishes at risk: proceedings of the Oxford symposium on food and cookery St Antony's College, Oxford University, , pp.172-188 [Details]

Articles

 YearPublication
(1999)The re-discovery of gammelsaltet sei in Petits Propos Culinaires: essays on food, cookery and cookery books.
Sexton, Regina (1999) The re-discovery of gammelsaltet sei in Petits Propos Culinaires: essays on food, cookery and cookery books. London: Articles [Details]

Guest Lectures

 YearPublication
Numerous.
Sexton, Regina Numerous. Guest Lectures [Details]
(2007)Irish Cultural Centre Paris, Centre Culturel Irlandais: Irish food and the book.
Sexton, Regina (2007) Irish Cultural Centre Paris, Centre Culturel Irlandais: Irish food and the book. Guest Lectures [Details]
(2007)Skibbereen Food Festival: The enigma of Ireland's food culture: coming to grips with the notion of traditional food.
Sexton, Regina (2007) Skibbereen Food Festival: The enigma of Ireland's food culture: coming to grips with the notion of traditional food. Guest Lectures [Details]

Documentary

 YearPublication
(2001)RTÉ 1 television, eight-part television documentary, A little history of Irish food.
Sexton, Regina (2001) RTÉ 1 television, eight-part television documentary, A little history of Irish food. Dublin: Documentary [Details]

Guest Speaker

 YearPublication
(2001)Bord Bia: Irish beef with Richard Corrigan at Lindsey House, London.
Sexton, Regina (2001) Bord Bia: Irish beef with Richard Corrigan at Lindsey House, London. Guest Speaker [Details]

Newspaper Articles

 YearPublication
(2012)Irish Examiner: the mystery of Cork asparagus.
Sexton, Regina (2012) Irish Examiner: the mystery of Cork asparagus. Cork: Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2011)Irish Examiner: wild food.
Sexton, Regina (2011) Irish Examiner: wild food. Cork: Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2011)Irish Examiner: Christmas food.
Sexton, Regina (2011) Irish Examiner: Christmas food. Cork: Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2011)Irish Examiner: fair game.
Sexton, Regina (2011) Irish Examiner: fair game. Cork: Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2008)Irish Examiner, food writer, 1995 - 2008 Column: a taste of the past.
Sexton, Regina (2008) Irish Examiner, food writer, 1995 - 2008 Column: a taste of the past. Cork: Newspaper Articles [Details]

Radio Presentation

 YearPublication
Ongoing: regular contributor on food/culinary history with RTÉ radio 1, 2fm, Newstalk.
Sexton, Regina Ongoing: regular contributor on food/culinary history with RTÉ radio 1, 2fm, Newstalk. Radio Presentation   [Details]

Other

 YearPublication
(2015)George Boole: food and dining in Victorian Cork.
Regina Sexton (2015) George Boole: food and dining in Victorian Cork. Cork: Other [Details]

Video recording / TV

 YearPublication
(2013)TV 3 television, The Big House.
Sexton, Regina (2013) TV 3 television, The Big House. Dublin and Belfast: Video recording / TV [Details]
(2012)RTÉ 1 television, secrets of the Irish landscape.
Sexton, Regina (2012) RTÉ 1 television, secrets of the Irish landscape. Cork: Video recording / TV [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2015Contributor: George Boole Chronicles George Boole Chronicles Finalist in the US-based International Book Awards 2015, in the category Education / Academic
2006Contributor: World's Best Culinary History Book award to Culinary Cultures of Europe: Identity, Diversity and Dialogue (2005) Gourmand World Media Awards
1999Sophie Coe Memorial Prize in Food History, Special Award, presented at St Antony's College, University of Oxford under the joint chairmanship of Dr. Theodore Zeldin and Alan Davidson Oxford symposium on food and cookery
1999British Guild of Food Writers: Jeremy Round Award British Guild of Food Writers
1997Glendiffich Regional Food Writer of the Year - shortlisted Glendiffich Food and Wine Awards
1995Sophie Coe Memorial Award in Food History, joint winner presented at St Antony's College, Univeristy of Oxford under the joint chairmanship of Dr. Theodore Zeldin and Alan Davidson Oxford Symposium on food and cookery

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Blas na hÉirenn:The Irish Food Awards Judging panel To international industry standards, awards to Irish food and drink producers02-OCT-14 /
Ongoing: Food and Wine Magazine (Ireland) Judging panel. Annual food and wine awards to the restaurant industry01-JUL-10 / 01-JUL-14
Ongoing: Bord Bia Food history consultancy/
Ongoing: Fáilte Ireland Food history consultancy/
Ongoing: Teagasc Food history consultancy/

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2017)University College Cork: Innovation in Irish food: past, present and future,
Regina Sexton (2017) 'Traditional Irish Food: little more than the art of staying alive.' How education can play a role in changing perceptions of Ireland's food culture. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], University College Cork: Innovation in Irish food: past, present and future, UCC , 10-MAR-17 - 12-MAR-17. [Details]
(2016)Dublin Gastronomy Symposium: Food and Revolution,
Regina Sexton (2016) Food and Revolution in post-Famine Ireland. [Plenary Lecture], Dublin Gastronomy Symposium: Food and Revolution, Dublin . [Details]
(2016)Amsterdam symposium on the history of food 2016: Utensils,
Regina Sexton (2016) Toasting the oatcake: an exploration on the use of the hardening stand in bread-making. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Amsterdam symposium on the history of food 2016: Utensils, Amsterdam - 16-JAN-16. [Details]
(2014)From Gaelic kingdom to Anglo-Norman lordship,
Sexton, Regina (2014) Food and identity in later medieval Ireland. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], From Gaelic kingdom to Anglo-Norman lordship, Fermoy, County Cork , 02-MAY-14 - 04-MAY-14. [Details]
(2015)13th Annual Historic Houses of Ireland Conference, Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses & Estates, Maynooth University, Co Kildare,
Sexton, Regina (2015) Elite women and their recipe books in eighteenth and early nineteenth-centuries Ireland. [Peer Reviewed Abstract], 13th Annual Historic Houses of Ireland Conference, Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses & Estates, Maynooth University, Co Kildare, Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses & Estates, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare , 11-MAY-15 - 12-MAY-15. [Details]
(2014)Agricultural History Society of Ireland Summer Conference: Cattle in Ireland: beef, bulls, butchering and biodiversity,
Sexton, Regina (2014) Beef in the kitchen: eighteenth-century beef recipes in the Townley Hall Papers. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Agricultural History Society of Ireland Summer Conference: Cattle in Ireland: beef, bulls, butchering and biodiversity, Birr, County Offaly , 14-JUN-14 - 15-SEP-14. [Details]
(2014)The society for folk life studies annual conference The Irish Kitchen, Landscape Interpretation,
Sexton, Regina (2014) Toasting the oatcake: an exploration of the use of the hardening stand as a baking utensil. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], The society for folk life studies annual conference The Irish Kitchen, Landscape Interpretation, Killarney, Co Kerry , 11-SEP-14 - 14-SEP-14. [Details]
(2013)Agricultural History Society of Ireland Autumn Symposium: Irish Fisheries: a historical perspective,
Sexton, Regina (2013) 'Taly to salt, head to boil' : some observations on the treatment of fish in eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Irish manuscripts books. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Agricultural History Society of Ireland Autumn Symposium: Irish Fisheries: a historical perspective, Dublin , 09-NOV-13 - 09-NOV-13. [Details]
(2013)Agricultural History Society of Ireland Summer Conference: Irish food products: a historical perspective,
Sexton, Regina (2013) Meat and associated ingredients in early and later medieval Ireland. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Agricultural History Society of Ireland Summer Conference: Irish food products: a historical perspective, Kilkenny City, County Kilkeeny , 14-JUN-13 - 15-SEP-14. [Details]
(2002)The Oxford symposium on food and cookery: the fat of the land,
Sexton, Regina (2002) The role of fat in the diet of the early Irish penitent. [Oral Presentation], The Oxford symposium on food and cookery: the fat of the land, St Anthony's College, Oxford University . [Details]
(2001)University College Cork Understanding Tradition Conference,
Sexton, Regina (2001) The varied career of the potato as an ingredient in the kitchen. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], University College Cork Understanding Tradition Conference, University College Cork , 22-JUN-01 - 23-JUN-01. [Details]
(1999)The Leeds Food Symposium: food and rites of passage,
Sexton, Regina (1999) Weddings and wakes: Irish food and rites of passage. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], The Leeds Food Symposium: food and rites of passage, Leeds . [Details]
(1995)University College Cork UCC150 conference dedicated to the scholarship of the late Professor M.J. O'Kelly: Early medieval Munster,
Sexton, Regina (1995) Porridges, gruels and breads: the cereal foodstuffs of early historic Ireland. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], University College Cork UCC150 conference dedicated to the scholarship of the late Professor M.J. O'Kelly: Early medieval Munster, Univeristy College Cork . [Details]
(1994)The Oxford Symposium on food and cookery: disappearing foods,
Sexton, Regina (1994) ' I'd ate it like chocolate: the disappearing offal food traditions of Cork City. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], The Oxford Symposium on food and cookery: disappearing foods, St. Anthony's College, Oxford University C . [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
Agricultural History Society of Ireland Committee secretary2013 /
Adult Continuing Education, management board Committtee member/

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
1993University College Cork Master of ArtsHistory

Outreach Activities

 Description

In my role as course designer/developer with Adult Continuing Education, I have established on-going links with a nubmer of outreach bodies and groups including: Cork City Libraries, Cork City Council; Ballymaloe House, Co. Cork; The Irish Heritage Trust and West Cork Development Partnership (Clonakilty and Skibbereen). My outreach activities with the Irish Heritage Trust continue to grow and to date I have developed four outreach culture-related courses at Fota House and Gardens, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork

Other Activities

 Description

For UCC's Bicentenary celebrations of George Boole, Regina researched and wrote a short piece about food and culinary cultures in Cork city, c. the late 1840s. This story gained extensive media exposure; for the coverage of George Boole 200 and George Boole's College Puddings see https://storify.com/UCC_Ireland/cork-1849-city-of-feasts-and-famine

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

School of English, MA in Creative Writing, Food Writing, EN 6037
School of History, An Introduction to Irish History for Visiting Students, HI 1115
Food Industry Training Unit, Diploma in Speciality Food Production, Local Food Production Systems, FE 1805 

Modules Taught

 Term (ID))TitleLinkSubject
2019Local Food Production Systems FE1805Local Food Production Systems

Research Information

Internal Collaborators

 NameInstituteCountry
Dr Jools Gilson School of English, UCCIRELAND

Contact details

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Adult Continuing Education

Aosoideachas Leanúnach

The Laurels, University College Cork , Western Road, Cork

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