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, with the publisher listed as Charles Ranhofer, Publisher, New York. This 1920 edition was copyrighted by Rose Ranhofer, Charles’s wife, and published by John Willy, The Hotel Monthly Press, Chicago, in 1920.
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, and they are fit for kings and queens. See our Recipe category for some examples!
This edition of one of the most important cookbooks ever produced, with 800 in-text and full-page illustrations, was issued in a striking original art deco binding. (Later printings weren’t quite as attractive, because the coffee pot and dishes weren’t silver and their background wasn’t red. The embossed area was all solid navy blue.) The boards are in great shape, with just some shelf wear on the top and bottom edges and on the corners. All 1183 pages are in clean and clear condition. Not a spot on any page. Absolutely no writing on the pages, with the exception of the original owner’s signature inside the front cover. Hinges are in perfect shape. Binding is in perfect condition. This is a huge, heavy book. It weighs 8.6 pounds. 11″ high by 8″ wide by 3 1/4″ deep. This copy of the Epicurean is in excellent antique condition.