Modern recipes and cooking advice
from Modern Cookery for Personal Families by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Natural, Reader, and Dyer, 1871. p.48.)

With the advent of the making press in the 16th and 17th generations, numerous publications were published on how to manage households and make food. In Holland and England competition grew between the respectable families as to who can make the most lavish banquet. By the 1660s, cookery had advanced to an art form and good chefs were in demand. Most of them published their very own books detailing their recipes in opposition with their rivals. Many of these books have been translated and can be found online.

By the 19th century, the Victorian preoccupation for domestic respectability caused the emergence of cookery publishing in their contemporary form. Even though eclipsed in reputation and respect by Isabella Beeton, the first contemporary cookery author and compiler of recipes for the house was Eliza Acton. Her pioneering cookbook, Modern Cookery for Private Families printed in 1845, was aimed at the domestic audience rather than the qualified cook or chef. This was greatly influential, establishing the structure for modern authoring cookery. It introduced the now-universal practice of listing the ingredients and proposed preparing occasions with each recipe. It involved the first recipe for Brussels sprouts. Modern chef Delia Jones named Acton “the most effective writer of recipes in the British language.” Modern Cookery extended survived Acton, remaining in print until 1914 and accessible now in facsimile.

Acton’s work was an essential influence on Isabella Beeton, who published Mrs Beeton’s Guide of Household Management in 24 regular areas between 1857 and 1861. This was a guide to running a Victorian home, with advice on fashion, child care, animal husbandry, poisons, the management of servants, research, religion, and industrialism. Of the 1,112 pages, over 900 included recipes. Most were explained with colored engravings. It is stated that many of the recipes were plagiarised from earlier in the day writers such as for instance Acton, however the Beetons never claimed that the book’s contents were original. It had been supposed as a dependable manual for the aspirant middle classes.

The American cook Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) published in 1896 her famous perform The Boston Cooking School Cookbook which covered some 1,849 recipes.