Epicurean, 1894, 1920: The Epicurean. A Complete Treatise of Analytical and Practical Studies on the Culinary Art. Including … a Selection of Interesting Bills of Fare of Delmonico’s, from 1862 to 1894, Making a Franco-American Culinary Encyclopedia. Written by Charles Ranhofer, chef at New York’s Delmonico’s Restaurant from 1862 to 1876 and 1879 to 1896. Originally self-published in 1894, listed as Charles Ranhofer, Publisher, New York. This 1920 edition was copyrighted by Rose Ranhofer, Charles’s wife, and published by John Willy, Publisher, Chicago.
In the 1820s, the Delmonicos opened their Manhattan restaurant, bringing European-style fine dining to America. Not until Charles Ranhofer arrived in Delmonico’s kitchen in the 1860s, however, did Delmonico’s become a world-famous establishment, attracting fine chefs from all over Europe. Boasting a guest list that included Charles Louis Napoleon, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, Walter Scott and Lillian Russell, Delmonico’s quickly established itself as the place to be seen among affluent Manhattanites and visitors to New York. First published in 1894 (almost 20 years before that classic culinary bible, Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire), The Epicurean is a massive compendium of menus, techniques, terminology and recipes. The bills of fare are listed monthly. The bills of fare are fit for kings and queens. See our Recipe category for some examples! You will be buying one of the most important cookbooks ever produced, with 800 in-text and full-page illustrations.
This copy is in nearly as-if-new condition. It has the difficult-to-find brown leather cover, brown leather decorated with elaborately detailed embossing. The emblem under the title is a silver covered dish with a candelabra and a water goblet next to it. (Later printings feature gold embossed lettering and a lovely silver coffee pot, salt and pepper and covered dish against a red background.) The binding is slightly loose, but holding well. The hinges are intact. And each and every page is completely clean. No one ever used this cookbook. Absolutely no writing on the pages. No name or signature of an earlier owner. This is a huge, heavy book. It has 1184 pages. It weighs 8.6 pounds and is 11″ high by 8″ wide by 3 1/4″ deep. The cover has some shelf wear at the edges, as you can see from the images. What a wonderful gift!