Monday, November 30, 2009

I've decided to collect vintage cookbooks. First editions only.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, noted late nineteenth century painter, illustrator and poster artist, brought the same enthusiasm to the art of cuisine as he did to his painting. He created his own recipes, gathered other recipes from friends, acquaintances and "clever cooks and conscientious mothers." This wonderful book is illustrated with menus Lautrec designed as well as other Lautrec works that were deemed appropriate to a cookbook. Full page menus as well as sketches serving as background to the recipes make this a wonderful book to browse through. There is also a tipped-in plate of a portrait of Lautrec done by Edouard Vuillard, a contemporary of Lautrec. Maurice Joyant was Lautrec's boyhood friend and their relationship deepened over the course of their lifetime. Joyant ran a Parisian art gallery and was responsible for recording the recipes as well as much of Lautrec's art collection. The recipes were translated from the French and appear in their original form. Although many of the recipes can be duplicated in the average kitchen, many require ingredients that are beyond the reach of just about everyone. "Saint sur le Gril (Saint on the Grill)", requires the assistance of the Vatican in procuring a real saint.

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