Simon.   Andre Louis     - A continous set: 1934 - 1950.
The Wine and Food Society.
A GASTRONOMICAL QUARTERLY EDITED BY ANDRE L. SIMON Published for the Wine and Food Society by SIMPKIN MARSHALL, LTD. STATIONERS' HALL COURT LONDON, E.C.4. (1934).
17 Volumes. In each volume there are 4 quarterlies bound together and they all have individual title pages. All volumes bound at various times in half black calf with black cloth boards and gilt lines. The spines of volumes dated 1940 & 42 are slightly sunned. All spines with raised bands, gilt lines and tooling, with gilt lettering in three compartments. Overall all volumes internally and externally in good condition with a slight variance in standing size and thickness due to being bound at different times. A very handsome set.
- André Louis Simon (Image #1 below) born 1877 - 1970, was the charismatic leader of the English wine trade for most of the first half of the 20th century, and the grand old man of literate connoisseurship for a further 20 years. In 66 years of authorship, he wrote 104 books. For 33 years he was one of London's leading champagne shippers; for another 33 years active president of the ‘Wine & Food Society’. Although he lived in England from the age of 25, he always remained a French citizen. He was both Officier de la Légion d'Honneur and holder of the Order of the British Empire. A. L. S. was born in St-Germain-des-Prés, the second of five sons of a landscape painter who died of sunstroke in Egypt, while they were still youths. From the first his ambition was to be a journalist. At 17 he was sent to Southampton to learn English and met Edith Symons, whose ambition was to live in France. They married in 1902 and remained happy together for 63 years. A.L.S. was a man of judgement, single-mindedness, and devotion. He was also a man of powerful charm. He became a champagne shipper, the London agent for the leading house of Pommery through his father' friendship with the Polignac family. It gave him a base for 30 years in the centre of the City's wine trade, at 24 Mark Lane. From it he not only sold champagne; he soon made his voice heard as journalist, scholar, and teacher. Within four years of his installation in London he was writing his first book, ‘The History of the Champagne Trade in England’, in instalments for the Wine Trade Review. He spoke English as he wrote it, with a fondness for imagery, even for little parables but with an ineradicable French accent that was as much part of his persona as his burly frame and curly hair. His first History was rapidly followed by a remarkable sequel: ‘The History of the Wine Trade in England from Roman Times to the End of the 17th Century’, in three volumes dated 1906, 1907, and 1909. It was the best and most original of his total of over 100 books. None, let alone a young man working in a language not his own, had read, thought, and written so deeply on the subject before. It singled him out at once as a natural spokesman for wine, a role he pursued with maximum energy, combining with friends to found (in 1908) the Wine Trade Club, where for six years he organized tastings and gave technical lectures of a kind not seen before; the forerunner by 45 years of the Institute of masters of wine. In 1919 he published ‘Bibliotheca Vinaria’, a catalogue of the books he had collected for the Club. It ran to 340 pages. Also in 1919, Simon bought the two homes he was to occupy for the rest of his life: 6 Evelyn Mansions, near Westminster Cathedral (where he attended mass daily), and Little Hedgecourt, a cottage with 28 acres beside a lake at Felbridge, Surrey. He also ended his association with Pommery after 33 years.. Simon began a second life at 55, with A. J. A. Symons he founded the Wine & Food Society (now International Wine & Food Society). Its first (Alsace) lunch at the Cafe Royal in London in the midst of the Depression caused a sensation. But its assured success came from the ending of prohibition in America. Sponsored by the French government, Simon travelled repeatedly to the US, founding its first Wine & Food Society branch in Boston in December 1934 and its second in San Francisco in January 1935. Starting in the spring of 1934 with the first Wine and Food Quarterly. A.L.S. immersed himself in the research, writing, and editing (and finding paper to print) the Society's Quarterlies that was to occupy him throughout the Second World War. In 1962, his friend Harry Yoxall suggested that at 85, daily responsibility for the Society and its magazine was too burdensome and bought the title from him for Condé Nast Publications. But in his 90s, Simon was still exceptional company at dinner and gave little picnics for friends beside his woodland lake. He passed away in 1970. On what would have been his 100th birthday, on 28th February, 1977, 400 guests at the Savoy Hotel in London drank to his memory in claret he had left for the occasion: Chateau Latour 1945. (Hugh Johnson -- The Oxford Companion to Wine. 3rd edition.)

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Modern category
ref number: 11156

SKEATS, B.C.A.   A.C. EDITOR.     - 2 volumes in fine condition.
COMMERCIAL CONFECTIONARY
A Practical Guide for Practical Men BY MANY EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS. Edited by A.C. SKEATS, B.C.A. Lavishly Illustrated in Colour and in Black-and-White a VOLUME 1 THE GRESHAM PUBLISHING COMPANY LIMITED 66 Chandos Street, Covent Garden, London 1937.
FIRST & SOLE EDITION. 4to. VOL.1. 1fep. ½ Title on Verso Frontispiece of Confectionary display. Title page. [1] 2p Contributors. 1p Preface. [1]1p Introductions. [1] (1)-xii Contents. Volume 1. (1)–xv List of Plates. [1] (1)2-130. (1) -132 Index to Volume 1. 1fep. Internaly very clean – like new. Thick-glossy paper. Dark Green cloth covers and spine. Blind-tooling on front cover with fresh clean gilt tooling on the spine. VG - Like new. VOL 2. 1fep. ½ Title on Verso Frontispiece of Confectionary display. Title page. [1] 1p Contributors. [1] (1)-vii Contents. Volume 1. (1)x-xi List of Plates. [1] (1)2-133. [1] (1)136-139 Index to Volume 11. [1] 1fep. Internaly very clean – like new. Thick-glossy paper. Dark Green cloth covers and spine. Blind-tooling on front cover with fresh clean gilt tooling on the spine. VG - Like new.
- This is a fantastic professional’s book. A.C.Skeats and nine experts, most of them Gold Medallists in Bakery, Icing & piping, Gateaux, Petit Gateaux, Wedding cakes, Meringue goods, Afternoon teas, Pork pies, Slab cakes, Pastry, Bake-house management, Fermented goods, Almond goods & Biscuits & even an expert on Catering Costings for small bakeries, Outdoor wedding receptions etc etc it is hard to find any aspect of the Trade that is missing. With 99 plates in the 2 volumes, it is also handsomely illustrated. A seminal work, put together by Skeats and his experienced writers, He explains that there are training centres available for all the tradesmen to learn the craft skills of the Confectionary and Bakery trades., although he and his team of contributors realised there was a large need by the tradesman who could not afford nor get the time to attend the training schools. A fine work that one imagines all professional Bakers, Confectioners & Pastry Chefs would buy. Printed in 1937, two years before the War, which subsequently resulted in a serious shortage of many of the ingredients listed. One wonders how many of those skilled tradesman volunteered to fight and never returned back to resume their trade or places of work. A very fine set.

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Modern category
ref number: 11235

Skuse.   E.     - Fantastic original condition; as new.
Practical Confectioner.
[10th Edition.] Copy-Right.] [Price 7/6, Postage 4d. SKUSE’S COMPLETE CONFECTIONER A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE ART OF SUGAR BOILING IN ALL ITS BRANCHES THE MANUFACTURE OF FONDANTS, CREAMS, CHOCOLATES, PASTILLES, JUJUBES (GELATINE AND GUM), COMFITS, LOZENGES, (PLAIN AND MEDICATED), CARAMELS, NOVEAUS, NOUGATS, JAP NUGGETS,PRALINES, &c., ICE CERAMS AND ICES OF EVERY DESCRIPTION, JAMS, JELLIES AND MARMALDES (BY FIRE AND STEAM) CONCENTRATED TABLE AND JELLIES, PRESERVED AND CRYSTALISED FRUITS, CANDIED PEEL., &C. ENGLISH AND SCOTCH PASTRY. (single line) All Information Respecting Colours and Flavours: the best to use and how to use them. (single line) USEFUL NOTES ON MACHINERY FOR EVERY PURPOSE. (single line) PUBLISHED BY W.J. BUSH & CO., LTD,. ASH GROVE, HACKNEY, LONDON.
220 x 149 mm. Front inside pastedown with Advertisements. Title page. Verso with Advertisements. 1p Preface. 7p well illustrated Advertisements. 1-213. (1)215-222 Index. Plain back pastedown. The text highlighted by many nice illustrations and all recipes and chapters with large bold heading. Original dark brown cloth cover with black blind tooling in the art nouveau style. In immaculate condition. Circa 1900.
- This book is very interesting to the student or collector of all aspects of the special skills of the Patissier, Boulangier, Chocolatier, Sugarworker and Sweet-makers etc. A glance at the title page is a glimpse of the full Victorian sweets repertoire. Then the industrial revolution happened and took the sweets of the home-cook into the factories. Mass production methods revolutionised sweet-making from the 1860s on. Specialised machines were the key to the new confectionery industry in Britain and America, and new technology remains a central concern of the modern confectionery business. Chocolate enrobing machines, almond blanchers, coconut graters, lollipop makers -- there was a specially designed machine for every one of the finicky jobs involved in sweet-making, and manuals such as Skuse's Complete Confectioner showcased the latest contraptions, such as the caramel machines. Commercial sweet-making is still veiled in secrecy, because individual machines are often customised to create that special new sweet. Unfortunately the end result of all the endeavour is the modern packed sweet-shops, obese children, rampant diabetes and a steep decline in home baking. Never the less, this is a fascinating book, not only for the recipes, the good illustrations, but the advertisements that show the sweet-makers equipment. This book gives a feeling of feverish industrial activity. An important item for any serious cookbook collection. Originally published London, 1878. The BL only records an 11th ed of 1911. Bitting an 11th as well. Cagle has a 10th and states no other recorded. Rare.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11233

SMITH.   Robert    
Court Cookery: or the Compleat English COOK.
Containing the Choicest and Newest RECEIPTS FOR MAKING Soops, Pottages, Fricasseys, Harshes, Farces, Ragoo's, Cullises, Sauces, Forc'd-Meats, and Souses: With various Ways of Dressing most Sorts of Flesh, Fish, and Fowl, Wild, and Tame; with the best Methods of Potting, Collaring and Pickling. AS LIKEWISE Of Pastes, Pies, Pasties, Patties, Puddings, Tansies, Biskets, Creams, Cheesecakes, Florentines, Cakes, Jellies, Sillabubs and Custards. ALSO Of Candying and Preserving: With a Bill of Fare for every Month in the Year, and the latest Improvements in Cookery, Pastry, &c. By R. Smith, Cook (under Mr. Lamb) to King William, as also to the Dukes of Buckingham, Ormond, D'Aumone (the French Ambassador) and others of the Nobility and Gentry. The Second Edition, with large Additions. LONDON: Printed for T. Wotton, at the Three-Daggers in Fleet-Street. M.DCC.XXV.
8vo. 1fep. Title page with double line border. [1] 6p To the Nobility and Gentry with printers device at the top of the page. 1+2-212. 213-218 Bills of Fare. 14p Index. 1fep. Text and pages very slightly age browned at the edges but overall nice, clean and crisp. Full dark brown calf original boards with a lovely patina. The spine rebound in sympathetic dark brown calf with raised bands, blind-tooled lines, with a dark green label with gilt letters and lines. With the date 1725 in gilt at the bottom of the spine. overall a very nice copy with the bookplate of Mary Chadsey.
- In the Preface, Robert Smith, who worked under Patrick Lamb in the kitchens of King William states he knew most of Lamb’s receipts and methods of dressings; yet several of those receipts now in Lamb’s famous cookery book ‘Royal Cookery’ were never made or practised by him. He further states that other receipts are extreme [sic] defective and imperfect, and made up of ingredients unknown to him; he further claims they were more calculated at the purses, than the ‘gout’ of the guests. Strong criticism of a fellow chef indeed.! A riposte from Lamb is not recorded. A search of Wikipedia highlights an interesting point --- according to legend, the macaroon was invented in an Italian monastery in 1792. Later, two Carmelite nuns, hiding in the town of Nancy during the French Revolution, baked and sold macaroons to cover their expenses. They became known as the "Macaroon Sisters." The cookie recipe was supposedly passed on to the Jewish community in France, who subsequently made it a staple of Passover baking --- However, recipes for macaroons (also spelled "mackaroon" "maccaroon" and "mackaroom") appear in 1724, the date of this edition of Smith's ‘Court Cookery. A scarce and interesting book.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11034

Smith.   L.O.     - A fascinating professional Chef's reference.
EXHIBITION GOODS,
by L.O.Smith. Publishedby MACLAREN & SONS LTD. STAFFORD HOUSE, NORFOLK STREET, LONDON, W.C.2
259 x 159 mm. n/d. 1fep. Half Title. [2] Frontispiece. Title page. [1] 1p Contents. [1] (1)viii – x. (1)xii. (1)2 – 355. [1] 358 – 360 Index. 1fep. Text block very clean, as new. Thick good quality paper. Maroon leather cover and spine with blind tooling. In excellent overall condition.
- This is a very interesting book from the professional chefs point of view. Many chefs take a huge pride in their skills and the best are always watching and learning, always on the look out for new ways and new equipment for improving their everyday skills. This type of passion drives all the best people in their various fields of endeavour. This book is all about advice for the best ways and skills needed to win the coveted gold medals at culinary exhibitions for Bakery and Confectionary. These are just two branches of many other areas of the very large Kitchens. Stunning displays of hand-crafted exhibits that will include works in pulled and blown sugar, chocolate work, pastillage and fat sculpture, as well as vibrant buffets, with Pates, decorated meats, fish and shellfish, food platters etc etc, that showcase the incredible skills within the industry. The International Salon Culinaire at Hotelympia is the UK's largest and most prestigious chef competition programme, and will incorporate 80 classes plus, over the course of four days each year in March. A programme of classes for chefs at the start of their career (apprentices, students and those new to competitions), which will enable them to hone and demonstrate the skills that will be vital to their career such as fish filleting, butchery, knife skills, preparing classical sauce etc, plus the Skills Theatre will also include some service competitions that will challenge front of house staff. A fast paced series of hot live classes, in which chefs will compete in a variety of competitions from preparing a three course menu, to putting a new twist on classic ingredients, creating a show-stopping dessert or racing against the clock to producing a contemporary pasta dish plus many more.

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Modern category
ref number: 11239

Southgate   Henry     - In expceptional condition.
Things a Lady Would Like to Know
CONCERNING DOMESTIC MANAGEMENT AND EXPENDITURE ARRANGED FOR DAILY REFERENCE WITH Hints regarding the Intellectual as well as the Physical Life BY HENRY SOUTHGATE AUTHOR OF 'MANY THOUGHTS OF MANY MINDS,' 'NOBLE THOUGHTS IN NOBLE LANGUAGE,' 'GONE BEFORE,' 'BRIDAL BOUQUET,' ETC. ETC. ETC. SECOND EDITION. 'A judicious woman that is diligent and religious is the very soul of a house: she gives orders for the good things of this life, AND FOR THOSE TOO OF ETERNITY.' - Bishop Horne. 'Housekeeping and husbandry, if it be good, - Must love another, as cousins in blood; - The wife, too, must husband as well as the man, - Or farewell thy husbandry, do what you can.' Tusser. WILLIAM P. NIMMO: LONDON, 14 KING WILLIAM STREET, STRAND; AND EDINBURGH. 1875.
217x155mm. 1fep. Half title. A peom on the verso. [1] Frontispiece. Engraved Title page with a tissue guard with very light slight foxing. [1] Title page. [1] 2p Dedication, poem on verso. (1)8 Preface. (1) Contents. [1] 11-16 Prelude. (1)18-536. 537-543 Index. [1] 16p Advertisements. 1fep. All edges gilt. Beautifully fresh, red, black and gilt embossed and tooled spine and front board. Blind tooled red cloth back board. Very clean inside. A very handsome copy of the scarce second edition in the original state, almost as new.
- Henry Southgate, anthologist, born in 1818, a native of London, entered his father's business, and from 1840 to 1866 carried on his practice as an auctioneer of prints and engravings at 22 Fleet Street. The firm was known as Southgate & Barrett until about 1860 (when the partnership was dissolved), after which Southgate became gradually more involved. In the meantime he had made a considerable reputation as a compiler of selections in prose and verse from English classics. He moved about 1870 to South Devon, where he resided at Salcombe, and afterwards at Sidmouth; thence he moved to Ramsgate, where he died on 5 Dec. 1888. This second edition in the unusual red cover is just as scarce as the first of 1874 especially in this immaculate condition. Other copies and editions are not so scarce.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11166

Southgate.   Henry    
Things a Lady Would like to Know
CONCERNING DOMESTIC MANAGEMENT AND EXPENDITURE ARRANGED FOR DAILY REFERENCE WITH Hints regarding the Intellectual as well as the Physical Life BY HENRY SOUTHGATE AUTHOR OF 'MANY THOUGHTS OF MANY MINDS,' 'NOBLE THOUGHTS IN NOBLE LANGUAGE,' 'GONE BEFORE,' 'BRIDAL BOUQUET,' ETC. ETC. ETC. 'A judicious woman that is diligent and religious is the very soul of a house: she gives orders for the good things of this life, AND FOR THOSE TOO OF ETERNITY.' - Bishop Horne. 'Housekeeping and husbandry, if it be good, - Must love another, as cousins in blood; - The wife, too, must husband as well as the man, - Or farewell thy husbandry, do what you can.' Tusser. WILLIAM P. NIMMO: LONDON, 14 KING WILLIAM STREET, STRAND; AND EDINBURGH. 1874.
FIRST EDITION. 217x155mm. 1fep. Half title. [2] Frontispiece. Engraved Title page. [1] Title page. [1] Dedication. Poem on verso. (1)8 Preface. (1)12-16 Prelude. (1)18-536. 537-543 Index. [1] 1fep. Lovely fresh brown and gilt embossed and tooled and blind tooled cloth boards and spine. Very clean inside. A very handsome copy of the very scarce first edition in the original state.
- Not much is known about Henry Southgate, other than he was an auctioneer in Fleet Street before he eventually turned author. His book is full of extensive Victorian-Christian advice to women that would make modern women's toes curl and cause unexpressed expletives to come to mind. Nevertheless an interesting book albeit of a totally different age. The BL holds five copies -- an 1890 copy, a 6th ed. - 1885; a 5th .- 1877; a 4th - 1876, and a 2nd - 1875;

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Information

Antiquarian category
ref number: 11086

Soyer .   Alexis Benoit     - An interesting rarity
Memoirs of Soyer (by his late secretaries)
MEMOIRS OF ALEXIS SOYER; WITH Unpublished Receipts AND ODDS AND ENDS OF GASTRONOMY. COMPILED AND EDITED BY F. VOLANT & J.R. WARREN, HIS LATE SECTRETARIES. LONDON: W. KENT & CO., 51&52, PATERNOSTER ROW. MDCCCLIX.
FIRST AND SOLE EDITION. Front paste-down and endpaper with advertisements. [1] Half-title. [1] Title page. [1] 1pp. Preface. [1] 2pp. Introduction. 8pp. Contents. 1-286. 287-303 Addenda. [2] Back end-paper and paste-down with advertisements. Original boards and spine in lovely blue with nice illustrations and an illustrated portrait of Soyer on the front cover. Slightly rubbed but still very handsome. Internally as new with very light foxing on the half-title. A very rare book especially in this fine original condition.
- Alexis Benoît Soyer (4 February 1810 – 5 August 1858) was a French chef who became the most famous cook in Victorian London. He also tried to alleviate the suffering of the Irish poor in the Great Irish Famine (1845-1849), and improve the food provided to British soldiers in the Crimean War. Soyer was born at Meaux-en-Brie on the Marne in France. His father had several jobs, one of them as a grocer. In 1821 Soyer was expelled from school and went to live with his elder brother Phillipe in Paris. He became an apprentice at G. Rignon restaurant in Paris. Later, in 1826 he moved to restaurant 'Boulevard des Italiens', where he became chief cook of the kitchens. By June 1830, Soyer was a second cook to Prince Polignac at the French Foreign Office. During the July revolution of 1830, Soyer fled to England and the next year joined the London household of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, where his brother Philippe already worked. Later, he worked for various other British notables, including the Duke of Sutherland, the Marquess of Waterford, William Lloyd of Aston Hall and the Marquess of Ailsa at Isleworth. In 1837, Soyer became chef de cuisine at the Reform Club in London. He designed (what was to become) the famous kitchens with Charles Barry at the newly built Club. He instituted many innovations, including cooking with gas, refrigerators cooled by cold water, and ovens with adjustable temperatures. His kitchens were so famous that they were opened for conducted tours. When Queen Victoria was crowned on 28 June 1838, he prepared a breakfast for 2,000 people in the Club. His salary was more than £1,000 a year. His Lamb Cutlets Reform are still on the menu of the eponymous club. His wife, Elizabeth Emma Jones born in London - 1813, achieved considerable popularity as a painter, chiefly of portraits. She died in 1842 following complications suffered in a premature childbirth brought on by a thunderstorm. Distraught, Soyer erected a monument to her at Kensal Green Cemetery. Soyer died on 5 August 1858. At the time he was designing a mobile cooking carriage for the Army. He was buried on 11 August in Kensal Green Cemetery. This little volume of his memoirs is a very loving testament by his very faithful secretaries. It is also an interesting read. A must for collectors or students of Soyer. As of August 2008, Soyer and his wife's impressive but weather-beaten monument has been granted public money for a complete renovation, to be started by the October of that same year. The plot holds four bodies. The first Emma Soyer (1842) the wife of Alexis, Alexis Soyer(1858) himself, then Francois Simonau (1859) the artist, stepfather to Emma Soyer. Then finally a Lady Watts (1929) who was Francois Simonau's grand niece.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11001

Soyer.   Alexis Benoit     Extremely rare letter; signed twice.
Written by Soyer, whilst in the Crimea.
"Scutari Barrack Hospital, Constantinople. 26th April 1855. My Dear Sir I am happy to inform you that since the last time I had the pleasure of shaking hands with you, I have employed my time with the greatest success and no doubt inform the receipt you will have heard thro the public press of the rapid progress I have I have made – I have now left for a few days the great Barrack Hospital of Scutari for Kullalee, where my services are also required - I shall shortly proceed to Balaclava. I have not yet presented my accounts which I need hardly say far exceeds the amount advanced me by the Government, having brought with me two cooks from Paris, besides my Secretary, but will do so very shortly – A Soyer - I apprehend W. Hilton, the Purveyor in Chief is the gentleman to whom I shall have to apply – With the highest consideration I have the honour to be yours very ably. A Soyer. ___ Croome Esquire."
1½ pages of Soyer's light script written while in the Crimea. Signed at the bottom of the first page, including the extra half page postscript with the second signature. Measuring 13 x 7½ inches with folds‚ in good clean condition‚ with an integral blank leaf. The letter housed in a slip inside a handsome folder with red marbled paper and label.
- The Crimean War was a military conflict fought between October 1853 and March 1856, in which Russia lost to an alliance of France, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia. Alexis Soyer (1810 – 1858)‚ the French chef who became the most celebrated cook in Victorian England, enhanced his reputation by his involvement in the welfare of the wounded soldiers in the war. His reputation was already assured as he had also worked to alleviate the suffering of the Irish poor in the Great Irish Famine (1845–1849)‚ and towards their relief, he contributed a penny for every copy sold of his pamphlet 'The Poor Man's Regenerator' (pub; 1847). During the Crimean War‚ Soyer went to the Crimea at his own expense to advise the army on cooking more nutritious and healthy food. Later he was paid his expenses and wages equivalent to those of a Brigadier-General. In the North Wales Chronicle of Saturday May 5th 1855, in a quite full account written by Soyer himself and sent to the paper, we learn that he opened his large kitchen on the site of a previous Turkish kitchen, on Easter Monday, at the huge Barrack Hospital in Scutari. Present was a number of Ladies and Gentlemen who tasted the new diet, compared to dishes alongside of the old diet. It was a huge success. In the article, Soyer expresses a fulsome gratitude to Florence Nightingale for her good organisational skills and help in providing him with all the materials he needed to start the Kitchen. Soyer's work was very successful; it started to save countless lives that otherwise, before his efforts, would have been lost. The mortality rate alone at Scutari's Barrack Hospital was 100 soldiers and upwards daily. An unimaginable toll. Florence Nightingale's well documented, heroic nursing standards were not enough. She very much appreciated Soyer and his efforts. The fine synergy between their differing aspects of care was crucial. In the Memoirs of Soyer's two secretaries, F.Volant & J.R.Warren, they inform that the death rate was putting such a strain on the hospital staff, that the bodies were just rolled up in their bed blankets and buried in mass pits. Soyer also provided the new diet at Balaclava, and at three institutions at Kullalee, and was very well supported there by Lady Stafford, having been previously interviewed about his needs by her husband, Lord Stafford. At that time also, Soyer was waiting for his soon-to-be-famous new model camp-stove which was capable of cooking continously for 200 soldiers every three hours. One can only imagine the magnitude of effort there. Soyer himself did not escape unscathed. Soyer's two secretaries also write that Soyer himself, due to overwork, fever and severe dysentery over a long period of time nearly died. Interestingly, he was saved by the intelligent ministrations of a very young 21 year old doctor, Mr Ambler. Despite, at first, large misgivings about the young Dr Ambler, he quickly revived Soyer with a diet of iced drinks, a little solid food and a daily quantity of eggs beaten up with port wine. For the rest of his time in the Crimea, the young doctor became a very good friend and companion to an extremely grateful Soyer. Finally, at the end of the Welsh newspaper article is a wonderful praising statement by Brigadier General, Commanding Troops - W. Pauley, where he fully approves of the way Soyer has taken the usual provisions, re-arranged the proportions and made such a difference with the simple act of cooking. As all Soyer’s personal papers were burned just after his death, then this extremely rare and pertinent letter, could only have come from the aforementioned Mr Cromme’s extant estate.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 11244

Soyer.   Alexis Benoit    
Soyer's Shilling Cookery for the People.
A SHILLING COOKERY FOR THE PEOPLE EMBRACING AN ENTIRELY NEW SYSTEM OF PLAIN COOKERY AND DOMESTIC ECONOMY. BY ALEXIS SOYER AUTHOR OF "THE MODERN HOUSEWIFE" ETC. ETC. Seventieth Thousand. LONDON: GEO, ROUTELDGE & CO., FARRINGDON STREET. NEW YORK: 18, BEEKMAN STREET. 1855. The author of this work reserves the right of translating it.
Front paste-down and endpaper, recto and verso, with advertisements. [1] Frontispiece of Soyer with signature. Title page. [1] 1pp. Dedication to The Earl of Shaftsbury. [1] vii-viii. Preface. ix-x. Contents. 1-5 Introductory Letters. [1] 7-177. 178-182 Appendix. 1pp. Soyer's Kitchen for the Army. 184-190 Index. 1-6 Advertisements. 2pp Omission. 1-16. Advertisements. Back endpapers, recto and verso, and paste-down with advertisements. Covers and spine with original illustrations in very good condition. Very slightly rubbed. Internally very clean, almost as new. Back guttering slightly cracked but holding. A nice item especially in this original condition.
- During the first half of the nineteenth century, Alexis Soyer (1809-1858), a Frenchman, was the most famous cook and one of the most famous men in London. A combination of self-promotion, talent and energetic social conscience took him into many of the great events of his times. Through each phase of his meteoric career we can see a different aspect of nineteenth-century life, including the destruction of the English peasantry, the growth of London's private clubs, the Irish famine, the Great Exhibition and Britain's disastrous involvement in the Crimea. Soyer rose from obscure origins to early fame in his 20s, as private chef to England's nobility and then as chef de cuisine at London's new Reform Club. A combination of chef, inventor and cookbook author, Soyer designed a kitchen at the club so innovative that it became a tourist attraction, filled with his clever inventions: the first to use gas for stove-top cookery (preventing the carbon monoxide poisoning by charcoal cooking that had killed previous chefs such as Carême), to the drainer and the multi-egg poacher. He went on to open London's first real restaurant in conjunction with the Great Exhibition in 1851. A dashing figure (wearing clothes in flamboyant colours, cut on the bias, or in his parlance - 'ala zoug-zoug'), who never remarried after the tragic death of his first wife and child during childbirth, Soyer was linked to some of the most famous and beautiful actresses and dancers of the day. For all his flamboyance, Soyer was practical and big-hearted, writing cookbooks for the poor and designing his famous 'Magic Stove' (see image 5 below) and progressing the idea further by designing a very large stove for a model soup-kitchen which which he used in Ireland during the potato famine. In 1855 he went to the Crimea to take over the running of the kitchens in Florence Nightingale's hospital at Scutari, having first designed a new army cook-stove, a design that remained in use up until the first Gulf war. When he died in 1858, he was helping Florence Nightingale reform British army catering. Soyer's ‘Shilling Cookery for the People’ and his other famous cookery books, are a testament to this remarkable man who was determined to revolutionize the culinary world and who remains one of the greatest cooks of the nineteenth century. A Shilling Cookery for the People was first printed in 1855. Soyer, who agreed not to attach his name to any other cookery book at a similar or lower price, received £50 for the first edition of 10,000 copies. Within four months sales had reached 110,000, and by 1867 more than a quarter of a million copies had been sold. This edition states “seventieth thousand” on the title page which places it in the third month of the first printing of 1855.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11002