Spago Desserts Cookbook Review - Collectibility

This review of the Spago Desserts cookbook covers collectibility and value of the cookbook. I love restaurant cookbooks--maybe because they are harder to find -- maybe because the recipes tend to lean towards the more exotic. I stumbled upon not one, but two different Spago cookbooks for the first time in my collecting history. One is a Spago Desserts cookbook, the other was a Spago Chocolate cookbook. I am fortunate to have found this one signed by Mary Bergin so the value will be higher than what I include here. Anyway, I never have had the chance to personally eat there, and likely can't afford it.

Almost everyone involved with cookbooks or anyone living in Los Angeles knows of the legendary Spago -- where Oscar parties have been held and where Wolfgang Puck truly made a name for himself on the restaurant scene. Of all the restaurants in Los Angeles, I'd name Spago as one of the top ten most famous of the past 25 years.

This cookbook is not a Wolfgang Puck cookbook but instead by Mary Bergin and Judy Guthers. Mary Bergin was head pastry chef at the original Spago and moved to Vegas to work at the Spago location there. Judy Guthers often collaborates with Wolfgang Puck on his books and has written many cookbooks. Have you ever eaten at Spago? If so, what's your favorite Spago recipe? Please feel free to post comments.

Cookbook Title: Spago Desserts
Authors: Mary Bergin and Judy Gether
Publisher: Random House, New York
Copyright: 1994
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
Specialization Categories: Restaurant Cookbooks
Average Price: $25.00 ($27.50 new retail price in 1994)
Noted Recipes: Creme Brulee, Spago's Old Fashioned Apple Pie, Opera Cake, Pear Cherry Napolean with Phyllo Nests, Spago Banana Split, Mary's Cartoon Character Cake of Bart Simpson


Availability: 5.0
Popularity: 4.0
Investment Outlook: 4.0
Final Collectibility Factor: 4.33

Spago Desserts Cookbook Availability Rating - 5.0

I've come across many cookbooks in my collecting days and have not come across this cookbook until last week. I do see some copies available online, but not many. This is not a widely available cookbook in the hardcover version though I still see new, retail copies available on many large retail sites such as Target. I've rated it a 5.0 since it is harder to find in the original hardcover verison which is the one a collector should strive to find. Softcovers, unless the community and older spiral-bound cookbooks, are not usually as valuable and are often later printings and lower quality than the hardcover originals.

Spago Desserts Cookbook Popularity Rating - 4.0

This book is not a mainstream cookbook, not a classic. It is likely more known in the Los Angeles/California circles--where the restaurant is a household name. The book therefore gets a lower popularity rating.

Spago Desserts Cookbook Investment Outlook - 4.0

This book was originally $27.50. The used copies of the hardcover span from about $15-$25. I notice the $15.00 ones are usually missing the jacket or are ex-library so $20-$25 is probably closer. The book probably won't appreciate much, though it holds close to its original retail price which is unusual for most cookbooks. If Spago ever closes it would probably be more valuable but with multiple locations now...and its continued popularity, it's doubtful that will happen.

Spago Desserts Cookbook Final Collectibility Factor Rating - 4.33

For a collector, this book is probably not a good bet in terms of future value. If you specifically collect restaurant cookbooks as I have in the past, this is something you'll want to own. Spago is well known for its great desserts and has won several awards as a result. If you are an Angelino, this book will if nothing, hold some sentimental value.