Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - Two of Escoffier's menus
From the Carlton Hotel. Pall Mall. London.
Menu 1 -- from the Carlton Grill Room dated May 11th 1909. Menu 2 -- a daily 'Carte du Jour' dated May 10th 1909.
Both menus as new. The ala carte menu has a 1" tear in the fold with no damage to text. Housed in a cardboard, marbled folder with a label on the front cover. Also comes with a black and white photograph of the Carlton Hotel - circa 1910.
- Escoffier was Maitre Chef de Cuisine at the Carlton Hotel from 1899- 1919. These are two of his menus. As such, and in this fine condition, very rare.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 10992

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste    
Ma Cuisine
Ma Cuisine AUGUSTE ESCOFFIER Translated from the French by VYVYAN HOLLAND Edited by MARION HOWELLS Foreward by ANDRE L. SIMON. PAUL HAMLYN. LONDON
Good D/W slightly chipped along the edges. Dark purple cloth cover and spine with blind tooling, gilt lettering and gilt outline of a cooking pot. 1fep. Half Title. [1] Title page. [1] 1pp Contents. [1] 7-9 Forward by A.L. Simon. 10-11 Preface. 12-13 Introduction by Escoffier. 14-15 Weights & Measures [1] 17-818. 819-884 Index. 1fep. A very good copy.
- Escoffier was eighty eighty years old when the first French edition of Ma Cuisine was published in 1934. He died the following year. The first English edition was published - 1965. This copy is the first English edition - second impression - 1966. A very impressive book aimed at the housewife. Containing over 2000 recipes, it is a monumental and important work. The Forward by Andre L. Simon is interesting for its very personal and endearing description of Escoffier and his qualities. An important addition to any collection of cookery books.

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Modern category
ref number: 11008

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - 2 Escoffier menus, 1 hand-written by him.
Framed menus; Carlton Hotel, London.
A draft menu hand-written by Escoffier, undated, and another Escoffier menu, but written by another hand in cursive script, dated 1908. Both menus are from Escoffier's tenure at the Carlton Hotel, London.
Enclosed in a glass fronted gold framed picture 322mm x 378mm. The menu in the cursive script is on display. Escoffier's hand written menu is taped under plastic on the back of the picture. All in fine condition. Very rare.
- The very rare draft menu written by Escoffier in his typically messy scrawl would have then been sent to a comptroller who writes on the menu, the date and the name of the recipient of the special Dinner, as seen on this one in blue crayon. It is then sent to someone (probably in the Food & Beverage department) to be written properly and sent to the client. In this case, written in ink in a beautiful hand. Another would be written and then posted in the kitchen on the banquet notice board one week before the dinner. It appears that the letter may be written for the client, a Mrs Williams. But I think this one has come from the Kitchen itself, possibly Escoffier’s office. There were three lots in the auction from where these two items came. All lots were similar with written menus in Escoffier’s hand and menus written on Carlton Hotel headed paper in the same beautiful hand as this one. Also some Carte du Jour menus were in the lots. (See also item # 10980. The written menu by Escoffier, and a Carte du Jour menu as well, all from Escoffier’s time at the Carlton). These two items here are very rare Ephemera and give an interesting glimpse of the way the process works from Escoffier’s office to the client to the Kitchen to the eventual meal served and placed in front of the guests.

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Modern category
ref number: 11219

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - A signed handwritten letter
A letter to P. Andrieu, signed by Escoffier.
A two page letter written at his retirement home in Monte-Carlo, 20 November, 1934
Addressed to Monsieur P(ierre) Andrieu, --- Paris. The two pages are covered in Escoffier's handwriting. There is also a one page English translation of the letter. A very clean item. Enclosed in a neat marbled cardboard folder. With a label on the front cover. The letter is from the library of Pierre Orsi, the famous Lyon restuaranteur. A rare item.
- The letter is written one year before Escoffier's death. He writes in a rather shaky hand -- [Dear Sir, I am very surprised that you did not receive my letter which was in answer to yours, whereby you were asking me to write an article for the newspaper "L'action automobile". This article should have been about regional cuisine as seen from the point of view of the chef - Curnonsky treats it from the point of view of the gastronome. Between the chef and Curnonsky there is a wide gap that I do not wish to bridge. Mr Curnonsky speaks as a writer, he is charming and his articles are interesting in places but I have no desire to be the cause of any arguments. To answer your question, I could only do it after reading the article "les princes de la cuisine francaise". Despite all my desire to be agreeable to you and Mr Roussel, it will be impossible for me to do it. I must also tell you that the different regional cuisines do not exist anymore. Ever since all the "regions" have been merged by the advance of the automobile which created easier access from one country to another, we have now in France only one cuisine and that is French Cuisine. -- With deepest regret for not acceding to your wishes, Yours sincerely, A. Escoffier. -- My best wishes to Mr Roussel.] Pierre Andrieu was an author of many articles and books in the domain of wine and gastronomy. He was also a collaborator of Curnonsky's. Together they published in 1935 a book about the restaurants of France, titled 'Les Fines Gueules de France'. This letter pertains to the research for that book. Maurice Edmond Sailland (October 12, 1872, Angers, France – July 22, 1956, Paris), better known by his pen-name Curnonsky and dubbed the Prince of Gastronomy, was the most celebrated writer on gastronomy in France in the 20th century. He wrote or ghost-wrote over 65 books and enormous numbers of newspaper columns. He is often considered the inventor of gastronomic motor-tourism as popularized by Michelin, though he himself could not drive. The contents of the letter display an ironic point of interest. Escoffier, one year before his death is offering a glimpse of the changes he is seeing to his beloved French cuisine. Having re-organised, during his life time, the French kitchen so fundamentally from that of the Bel-Epoque era he is still only really interested in viewing the changes from the chef's point of view. It is obvious that even at the grand old age of eighty eight, he is still active and well informed.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 10989

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - With two of Escoffier's original menus.
RITZ'S Carlton Restaurant.
ON BOARD THE S.S. "KAISERIN AUGUSTE VICTORIA" (HAMBURG AMERICAN LINE) Under the Management of THE CARLTON HOTEL, LONDON.
Large 4to. 3feps (with 2 menus tipped in to last fep) Title Page. 160 pages. All pages blank on the reverse of the text. Many photographs of the Ships different facilities, (including the Restaurant). 3 feps. Many pages strengthened on the the blank side due to brittleness. Internally very clean. The two menus tipped in before the title page are both dated 1908. The 'Kaiserin' one is a breakfast menu and the 'Amerika" one appears to be a Table d'Hote Lunch menu. Both are from Escoffier's time of tenure and responsibility for both of those ship's restaurants. Bound in modern half dark calf and bottle green cloth boards. The spine has blind tooling. The original cover from the Al'a Carte Restaurant pasted on the front cover. All pages very slightly age browned. Overall a very handsome and rare item.
- This book is a very sumptuous production and a joint venture between the 'Hamburg American Line' and 'The Carlton Hotel' advertising the 'S.S. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria's' conception, preparation and maiden voyage from Hamburg to New York on May 10th, 1906. The 705 foot, 24581 ton giantess, S.S. Kaiserin, was launched on August 20th 1905, and for the next year was outfitted with many new features. One that highlighted the new ship and caused a lot of excitement was the opening of an a'la Carte Restaurant, staffed and run by the famous Ceasar Ritz. The Restaurant also boasted its own dedicated Kitchen, staffed and run by the equally famous Auguste Escoffier. This was an important new facility built to a very fine specification and quality. Grill Rooms had featured on previous voyages and had been very popular. The opening of the new a la Carte Restaurant proved to be equally popular and became, against initial expectations, fully booked. This was undoubtably due to Escoffier's involvement and the unusual shipboard experience of being able to sample French cuisine of the highest standard . We are informed in the book that the Kitchens on the maiden voyage were not large enough to meet demand, and that they had to completely alter one of the decks to double the kitchen capacity. Escoffier and Ritz were also responsible for Restaurants on board other Hamburg America Line ships, one other being the "S.S. Amerika". Both of these ships were built side by side at the Harland Wolff shipyards in Belfast. 'Amerika' was launched on April 20th 1905, and the 'Kaiserin' one month later. This well produced book records an aspect of Escoffier's career that is the least documented. It is also very rare, especially with two of Escoffier's menus enclosed

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Information

Modern category
ref number: 11049

Escoffier.   Georges Auguste     - Extremely rare.
Signed photograph.
A group of nine chefs with George Auguste Escoffier, one of whom is also Escoffier's famed pupil - Charles Scotto.
Vintage sepia mounted photograph framed beautifully in a dark brown matte cardboard border and enclosed in a brown and gold frame, measuring 12”x13”. The photograph itself measures 6 ½” x 4 ½”.
- This is a very rare signed photograph. It is a group shot of chefs outside the legendary ‘Casino Dieppe’ France, circa - 1927. The uniqueness comes about by the inclusion within the group of the famous Chef, Auguste Escoffier seated in a dark suit, and also his famous friend (especially in America) and pupil, Charles Scotto -- seated to Escoffier’s left. The signatures of Escoffier and Scotto are respectively on the bottom left and right of the picture. Charles Scotto was born 1887 in Monte Calro and in his youth became a close friend of Escoffier. At the turn of the century Scotto had been a commis chef in the brigade at the Savoy Hotel London where Escoffier was Maitre Chef de Cuisine. Scotto helped Escoffier all thro’ his professional life with planning and opening many new kitchens and restaurants such as the new Carlton Hotel in London’s Pall Mall and the extremely popular, new and innovative al'a Carte 'Ritz restaurants' on board the Hamburg-Amerika line, especially in the kitchens of S.S.Imperator where he was Escoffier's partner in this undertaking. He represented and helped Escoffier in the setting up and the opening of many of his other ventures over the years, including the famous 'Casino Dieppe. In 1928, at the Sorbonne in Paris, The World Chefs' Association was formed and it is still in existence today. Scotto was the first president. He also opened other hotels including the famous Pierre Hotel in New York. For the opening Scotto invited Auguste Escoffier (described by Andre L. Simon in his obituary to Escoffier in the 'Wine & Food Society' Magazine as his last official act). In 1935 Escoffier passed away in Monte Carlo. In America ‘Les Amis d' Escoffier’ held their first memorial dinner at the Jensen Suite of the Waldorf with 53 friends of the famous chef attending a memorable feast. In 1936, approximately a year after the death of Georges Auguste Escoffier, members of the American Culinary Federation [ACF] in New York City invited hoteliers and leading citizens to join with the chefs to preserve the culinary traditions of the master. The then - ACF President Charles Scotto, well known as Escoffier's "beloved apprentice," and General Secretary Joseph Donon, hosted the premiere meeting of their new society for gourmets in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on March 30, 1936. Rules were established that forbade drunkenness. Only wine or aperitifs were served. Les Amis prohibited smoking at table, claiming that anyone who smoked between courses did not deserve the title of gourmet. Speech making was not allowed either. Ultimately, dining rules required silence during dinner so guests could focus on the dish at hand without distraction. Charles Scotto passed away in 1937 aged only 51, following kidney surgery. More than 1,000 of his admirers and colleagues attended the funeral. A solemn high mass was celebrated at the Church of Our Lady of Refuge, on Ocean and Foster Avenues in Brooklyn, His widow traveled with his remains to Monte Carlo where he was buried. While photographs of Escoffier are quite common, those of Scotto are scarce and signed images of both chefs together are rare in the extreme.

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Information

Ephemera category
ref number: 11187

Evelyn.   John     - The first book about Salads
Acetaria
A DISCOURSE OF SALLETS. By J.E. S.R.S. Author of the Kalendarium. [A quotation in Greek from the Greek dramatist, Cratinus] 'It is in every man's power to season well' LONDON, Printed for B. Tooke at the Middle-Temple Gate in Fleetstreet, 1699.
FIRST EDITION. 1fep. Title Page with double lined border. 20pp.Dedication. 10pp.Preface 6pp.The Plan of a Royal Garden. 1-192. 2pp.Folding Table between 108-109. 35pp.Appendix. 13pp.Table. 1pp.Errata. [1] 1fep. All pages uniformly browned. Title page and first page of the dedication backed with clear page tape without visual loss of text. Very nice early full mottled calf binding, raised bands with gilt lines, dark orange label with gilt lettering. With a nice aged patina. Very rare.
- John Evelyn (1620-1706) was a prolific writer and translator, touching on politics, manners, and religion as well as the more practical arts of architecture, painting and engraving, sculpture, numismatics, and perhaps what he is best known for (besides his diary) gardening and forestry. His most important original contributions are perhaps 'Sylva' which he composed at the behest of the Royal Society in 1664. Acetaria is but a chapter in 'Sylva' subtitled 'A Discourse of Sallets'. Part of Evelyn's literary knowledge of the garden were his translations of the French horticultural manual by Nicolas de Bonnefons and the garden poem (in Latin) by Renatus Rapinaus. Acetaria is certainly full of observations of how the English ways, either in the garden or at table, differed from French, Italian and Spanish - with occasional reference to India, Germany, Holland, Africa and America for good measure. The text also underscores the relative novelty of some aspects of the art of kitchen-gardening in England: we had much to learn by way of cultural techniques from the Dutch and the French, as well as plants that were of recent introduction, for example the Dutch cabbages brought over by Sir Anthony Ashley. His recipes for dressing salads is knowledgeable and interestingly not changed much in UK and Europe. Quite what Evelyn in his time, would have made of the myriad concoctions assembled to dress salads in America, and particularly in health obsessed California, one wonders. Due to the relative preparation of salads, where cooking is at a minimum, this book is quite ageless compared to other cookery books that mirror changing times.

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Information

Antiquarian category
ref number: 10946

Fagan.   Louis    
1836 - 1886. The Reform Club:
ITS FOUNDERS AND ARCHITECT. BY LOUIS FAGAN, Of the Department of Prints and Drawings, the British Museum. Honorary Member of the Society of Engravers of France; Author of "The Life of Sir Anthony Panizzi, "K.C.B.;" "The Art of Michelangelo;" "Catalogue Raisonne of the Works of William Woollett;" "Collectors Marks," "Raphael's Sonnett;" etc., etc. WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR. LONDON Bernard Quaritch, 15 PICCADILLY 1887.
Large 4vo. 1fep with frontis illustration of the Reform Club library on verso. The Title page in red and black text. The verso with a printers device. List of Illustrtions. [1] (1)vi-viii List of 143 illustrations. 1 page Preface by Louis Fagan. [1] (1)2-143. [1] (1)ii-xiii Index. [1] 1fep. Except for a little water-staining on the borders of the frontis, everything as new. The cover has been very sympathetically rebound recently in the same blue cloth cover as the original and the original gilt lettering on boards and spine. Almost as new.
- The 19th century brought an explosion in the popularity of gentlemen's clubs, particularly around the 1880s. At their height, London had over 400 such establishments. This expansion can be explained in part by the large extensions of the franchise in the Reform Acts of 1832, 1867, and 1885. Each time, hundreds of thousands more men were qualified to vote, and it was common for them to feel that they had been elevated to the status of a gentleman, thus they sought a club. The existing clubs, with strict limits on membership numbers and long waiting lists, were generally wary of such newly enfranchised potential members, and so these people began forming their own clubs. Each of the three great Reform Acts corresponded with a further expansion of clubs, as did a further extension of the franchise in 1918. Many of these new, more inclusive clubs proved just as reluctant as their forebears to admit new members when the franchise was further extended. An increasing number of clubs were characterised by their members' interest in politics, literature, sport, art, automobiles, travel, particular countries, or some other pursuit. In other cases, the connection between the members was membership of the same branch of the armed forces, or the same school or university. Thus, the growth of clubs provides an indicator as to what was considered a respectable part of the Establishment at the time. There are perhaps some 25 traditional London gentlemen's clubs of particular note, from The Arts Club to White's, Brooks etc. The Reform Club on the south side of Pall Mall in central London was founded on February 2nd 1836 by Edward Ellice, Member of Parliament for Coventry and Whig Whip, whose riches came from the Hudson's Bay Company, but whose zeal was chiefly devoted to securing the passage of the Reform Act 1832. Significantly, The Reform Club it was the first to change its rules to include the admission of women on equal terms in 1981. It also attracts a significant number of foreign members, such as diplomats accredited to the Court of St. James's. The Reform was known for the quality of its cuisine. Its first chef being Alexis Soyer, the first celebrity chef and cookery book author. He was followed by Charles Elme Francatelli, a former Head Chef of Queen Victoria. This a very handsome copy printed when the Club was at its height.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11209

Farley.   John & Co-Partners.     - Superlatively rare, signed by Farley and two other directors.
An original Indenture for the London Tavern signed by John Farley the famous cook.
Signed individually by all parties, for “ a new partnership in the trade and business of a Vintner of and in the said House and Tavern called the London Tavern in Bishopsgate Street aforesaid for the Term of Seven Years”.
Two large vellum membranes - 711 x 838mm. Folded in typical indenture folds for filing and storage with top outer part showing in fine ink script, dated 1800 and Farley, Terry and Peacock’s names and their ‘Articles of Co-Partnership’. The exterior fold has some light soiling and browning to one outer edge where its has been stored on a shelf for many years, but internally its very clean. The beginning of the indenture has a large elaborate heading in ink and a good cursive hand is evident throughout the whole manuscript. The signatures of Farley, Terry and Peacock are at the bottom, each with a small red seal. Overall an excellent item.
- John Farley was the well-known Head Cook of the London Tavern whose famous cookery book ‘The London Art of Cookery’ was first published in 1783. When he started and finished his tenure there is hard to establish. We do know that his time at the London Tavern extended for many years, and he played a large role in its fine reputation and success. In Old Bailey trial accounts for the 16th September 1795, it is recorded that a man, Clark Hillard, was indicted on August the 4th for stealing from the London Tavern. The accusers, named as the directors of the Tavern, were John Bleadon, John Farley, Edward Terry and John Henry Peacock. Five years later John Bleadon has left and the three remaining directors have re-applied for, and been granted this Vintner’s licence on August 8th 1800, for a period of seven years at a cost of £1500.oo per annum. The document further states that the directors were fined £400.oo for letting the licence lapse on the June 29th of the same year. It appears the variance in lapse dates happened because John Bleadon had stepped down as a director. The license also notes that if there is going to be a change in the future Vintners partnership it should be done by the fourth year of its term. In John Timb’s book ‘Club Life of London’ we are informed The London Tavern was re-built on the western side of Bishops-gate Street Within on the site of the former White Lion Tavern, which burned down on November 7th 1765. It was completed by Richard B. Jupp, architect, and opened in September 1768. Taking up a large footprint on the site of the current Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, the Tavern was a huge building, 80ft wide and 70ft tall. It boasted many private dining rooms and a very large public room; the Great Dining Room or 'Pillar Room', measuring 40x33 feet. On the floor above was the Ballroom measuring 33 feet in width and extending the whole length of the building. This room could also be converted to a banqueting room that would hold 300 dining guests. The room also had two galleries at each end to allow 150 ladies as spectators. An unusual concept!? After doing further research I could not find any other facts that confirmed this was a common setup in other eating establishments. This strengthens though, the fact that dining out in Taverns and Clubs was the domain of men only. (This setup would only be truly broken when Cesar Ritz designed and run his famous Hotels in the latter part of the nineteenth century for the exclusive comfort of women, in the sure and very astute understanding that when the women came to dine, the men would follow, with the inevitable desire to book rooms as well.) Not only did the London Tavern have many floors, it also had many levels in its basement, which even stretched under the adjoining buildings on both sides. One of basement floors had a number of huge vats installed, that each held two tons of live Turtles. We are further informed that if the Turtles are kept in the same water as they were shipped in they will survive very well for 3 months. To change the water would lessen the weight and flavour of the animal. This beautifully written Vintners license covered a huge cellar. Timb’s description states that the cellar covered one huge basement storey, filled with barrels of Porter, pipes of Port, butts of Sherry etc. There were labyrinth walls of bottles and a huge region of bins, six bottles deep; described as the catacombs of Johannisberg, Tokay and Burgandy. Also in storage, 1200 Champagne, 700 Claret and thousands of genial wines. We are informed those wines also absorb an interest of 5% per annum. All over this vast wine store Timb’s quaintly describes “floors with rivers of sawdust”. The final chapter in the story of The London Tavern happened around 1910 when it was demolished. After 142 years of being one of the most famous and prestigious grand City restaurants, its name was appropriated by the proprietors of the nearby King's Head Tavern in Fenchurch St. Finally, this exceptionally rare, large Indenture is a fantastic piece of ephemera, not only because of Falrley’s rare signature, but as a glimpse of what a serious business it was to be granted and hold a Vintners license in eighteenth century England.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11217

Farley.   John     - The rare first edition
The London Art of Cookery,
AND HOUSEKEEPER'S COMPLETE ASSISTANT. On a NEW PLAN. Made Plain and Easy to the Understanding of every HOUSEKEEPER, COOK, and SERVANT in the Kingdom. CONTAINING, Proper Directions for the Choice of all Kinds of Provisions. Roasting and Boiling all Sorts of Butchers Meat, Poultry, Game, and Fish. Sauces for every Occasion. Soups, Broths, Stews, and Hashes. Made Dishes, Ragouts, and Fricasses. All Sorts of Pies and Puddings. Proper Instruction for dressing of Fruits and Vegetables. Pickling, Potting, and Preserving. The Prepeartion of Hmas, Tongues, and Bacon. The whole Art of Confectionary. Tarts, Puffs, and Pastries. Cakes, Custards, Jams, and Jellies. Drying, Candying, and Preserving Fruits, &c. Made Wines, Cordial Waters, and Malt Liquors. To which is added, AN APPENDIX, Cotaining Considerations on Culinary Poisins; Directions for making Broths, &c. for the Sick; a List of Things in Season in the different Months of the Year; Marketing Tables, &c. &c. Embeliched with A HEAD of the AUTHOR, and a Bill of Fare for every Month in the Year, elegantly engraved on Thirteen Copper-plates. By JOHN FARLEY, PRINCIPAL COOK AT THE LONDON TAVERN. LONDON: Printed for JOHN FEILDING, No.23, Pater-noster Row; and J. SCAT-CHERD and J. WHITTAKER, No.12, Ava Maria Lane, 1783. [Price Six Shillings Bound.]
FIRST EDITION. 1783. 3feps. [1]Engraved Frontispiecs of Farley - Publish'd Jan 1. 1783 ---. Title page. [1] (1)iv-vi Preface with facsimile signature of Farley. (1)viii-xx Contents. 12 engraved plates of Bills of Fare. (1)2-455. 456-459 Marketing Table. [1] 3feps. Full dark brown modern calf with blind tooling to the edge of the boards. The spine with raised bands and panels with gilt dentelles and enclosed gilt lines. Two labels, one red, one green with gilt writing. Water stains to the frontis and title page not affecting the text, nor Farley's portrait. Otherwise very clean internally. A lovely copy.
- Towards the end of the eighteenth century, large taverns had become fashionable banqueting places for gentlemen in London. This was reflected by their chefs and their published cookery books; This book by John Farley, Principal Cook at the London Tavern. Also Richard Brigg’s, ‘The English Art of Cookery’ from the Globe Tavern, Fleet St, the White Hart Tavern, Holburn and at the Temple Coffee House. Not forgetting Francis Collingwood and John Woolams, ‘The Universal Cook,’ from the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand. Farley's place of employment, The London Tavern in Bishopsgate Street was the largest restaurant and banqueting facility in the City. It held functions for up to two thousand five hundred people at a sitting. In E. Callow's book on 'Old London Taverns - 1901 & J. Timbs 'Clubs of London' 1872, we learn that the establishment was 'par excellence' and the 'temple of gastronomy' in London. It did not have a bar nor coffee house, with a facade so large and discreet that many people thought it was the Bank of England. It had a prodigious cellar that stretched to both sides lengthways, even under the neighbouring buildings and far out in the front under Bishopsgate Street itself. It held among its huge stock hundreds of barrels of Porter, butts of Sherry, 4,300 dozen bottles of port, 1,200 dozen Champagne, walls of bottled Claret six deep, etc etc. We are informed that the floors of the cellars were a river of sawdust. Also in a huge tank in the cellar that occupied a whole vault, we find two tons of live turtle. We are informed that they can keep in excellent condition for three months if kept in the same water in which they were brought to the country. We learn that to change the water to that available here lessens the weight and flavour of the Turtle. We can find in Farley's book tips and information on how he grew mushrooms in the cellars. What a place to work! The kitchen brigade must have been huge, the wage bill for the whole Tavern - a small fortune each week. In PPC 42 & 43, Fiona Lucraft lays out a very comprehensive and compelling piece of research that rightly condemns Farley of devious and outright plagiarism and proves that most of The London Art of Cookery has been taken straight from the cookery books of Hannah Glasse and Elizabeth Raffald. Nevertheless one gets a sense from Farley’s book that he was a very good professional cook proud of his high standards. He is one of the first English cooks to express (so typical of the French for more than a century) a continuing need for progress and improvement in the culinary arts. Farley in his introduction states with some pride that -- 'Cookery, like every other Art, has been moving forward to Perfection by slow Degrees; and, though the Cooks of the last Century boasted of having brought it to the highest Pitch it could bear, yet we find that daily improvements are still making therein, which must be the Case of every Art depending on Fancy and Taste: ---’ Farley appears to have very high standards of cleanliness and safety, repeatedly stressing in his book, the need for saucepans to be both clean and well tinned and he has an appendix on ‘culinary poisons’, particularly the risk of copper poisoning, which can happen when the tin wears down and exposes foodstuffs to the copper underneath. Whatever Fiona Lutcraft's excellent article in PPC proves, this is still an exceptional cookery book and gives a very good idea of the foods and dishes available at a highly reputed establishment. One has to assume that as Farley brought out his very popular book that ran to many editions, albeit, some of it plagarised, he also cooked and served a large percentage of the recipes at The London Tavern. As a footnote; the first luxury restaurant to open in Paris paid homage to Farley’s place of work. In 1782 - ‘La Grande Taverne de Londres,’ was founded. The owner, Antoine Beauvilliers, a leading culinary writer and gastronomic authority, later wrote L’Art du cuisinier (1814), a cookbook that became a standard work on French culinary art. This book on offer here is the extremely rare first edition, and is equally as rare as the first editions of Glasse and Raffald.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11035