5 Nostalgic Restaurant Cookbooks for Your Collection
As many of our customers know, Cookbook Village loves restaurant cookbooks. This is one of our top selling categories on our web store. Collectors seem to love collecting cookbooks from their favorite restaurants as much as we do. We already published one great article on the 5 top collectible restaurant cookbooks. It was so popular with our audience, we thought we'd explore some nostalgic restaurants that are either closed down or thriving, but that have a long past. Here is our list of 5 of the nostalgic restaurant cookbooks to add to your cookbook collection. Take a trip down memory lane.
1) Ralph and Kacoo's Cookbook - A Taste of Louisiana
In 1969 the first Ralph and Kacoo's seafood restaurants opened in several Louisiana locations including Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Bossier City. Since that time the restaurant has been recognized as serving "The Best Cajun Seafood in Louisiana." The Ralph and Kacoo's Cookbook features recipes from the owners, as well as from their restaurant favorites. It has one of the greatest cookbook covers we've seen around (and we've seen many). We love the book's colorful artwork and playful design, and hence have included it as one of our standouts. We cater to those who collect -- not just recipe lovers, but true cookbook fanatics. When we review, we look at the uniqueness of the cookbook as well as it's popularity, scarcity, and finally its dishes. Inside this fun cookbook is some seriously good cooking ... from the Stuffed Crabs and Marinated Crab Fingers to the Bread Pudding. This cookbook is out of stock.
Author: Ralph & Kacoo Olinde
Publisher: Wimmer Brothers Books
Format: Plastic softcover spiral bound, 348 pages
Copyright: 1984. First printing
Average Price: $10
Ralph & Kacoo Olinde
Louisiana: Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Bossier City
Cuisine: Seafood, Southern, Cajun
2) Dinner At Omar Khayyam's Cookbook
Dinner at Omar Khayyam's is a cookbook with recipes from the famous San Francisco Armenian restaurant of the same namesake. This vintage cookbook from 1969 includes dishes that amateur chefs can master along with the professionals. It's a popular collectible with local San Franciscans who fondly remember Omar Khayyam's in its glory days. The restaurant's owner George Mardikian is the book's author. The cookbook was originally published in 1944 and has been printed many times over with several editions. Our photo is from the 1969 paperback printing. Some of the favorite dishes included in the book are Lavash (the popular bread served at the restaurant), Paklava, Roast Shank of Lamb, and Haigagan Kebab (Armenian Mystery Package), one of the restaurants most popular dishes. Check our inventory for Dinner at Omar Khayyam's cookbook.
Author: George Mardikian
Publisher: Utah Printing Company
Format: Softcover, 150 pages (1944 First Edition is Hardcover with a Dust Jacket)
Copyright: 1969 Revised Printing
Average Price: 1969 Softcover $15 and similar printings; First Edition Hardcover $25, Signed $50
Omar Khayyam's (no longer in operation)
200 Powell St
San Francisco, California
Cuisine: Armenian, Middle Eastern, African and European
3) Famous Recipes From Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House Cookbook
This cookbook comes from the legendary Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room in Savannah, Georgia. The historic restaurant was once a famous boardinghouse and communal dining room. Today, located at 107 West Jones Street, the establishment still serves family style Southern food to hungry visitors seeking a homestyle meal. Famous Recipes from Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House cookbook shares recipes from the restaurant and dishes from its former proprietress, Selma Wilkes. Often called the "Julia Child of country cooking," Wilkes is as legendary as her recipes. She frequently autographed her cookbooks. Don't be surprised to find a copy with her "Mrs. Wilkes" signature on the opening or title page. Some of our favorite recipes inside this book are Wilkes' Boarding House Style Biscuits, Fried Chicken, Shrimp Creole, Tuna Corn Chowder, and Pecan Whiskey Cake. Check our web store for Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House cookbook.
Author: Sema Wilkes / Mrs. L.H. Wilkes
Format: Hardcover spiral comb bound
Copyright: 1976 (the 1989 edition contains 53 additional recipes)
Average Price: $15 First Edition and/or Autographed, $6-$10 Other Editions.
Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room
107 West Jones Street
Cuisine: American / Southern
4) Little Joe's Italian Cookbook - San Francisco
Rain or shine, there's always a line. Sound familiar? If you recognize this claim to fame, you must have dined at Little Joe's restaurant, fourth on our list of nostalgic restaurant cookbooks. This is another culinary blast from San Francisco's past. At the time of writing, Little Joes was located on Broadway. It moved around several times and appears to have landed on Market Street. Customer reviews claim the original was amazing. This cookbook should help resurrect some of those fond memories for dishes like Little Joe's Cannelloni, Meatballs, Lasagne, and Oranges in Liqueur. Check our web store for Little Joe's Italian Cookbook.
Author: Franco Montarelleo
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Format: Paperback, 123 pages
Closed - relocated multiple times
523 Broadway (at time of writing)
San Francisco, California
5) The Four Seasons Cookbook
The final cookbook that made our list of nostalgic restaurant cookbooks is The Four Seasons Cookbook. The recipes inside reflect over a decade of culinary genius from the famed New York City restaurant. Dishes served at The Four Seasons are part of seasonal menus of New American cuisine. The first menu was developed in consultation with culinary legend James Beard. It is fitting that the foreword of this cookbook is written by Beard. Recipes in The Four Seasons Cookbook are not for casual cooks. It is noted that they require both practice and patience. Scotch Crepes Four Seasons, Torte Sorrano, Loin of Young Pork with Glazed Apricots, Chartreuse of Vegetables, Soft-Shell Crabs Amandine, The Four Seasons Fancy Cake, are some of the excellent recipes you'll find in the pages of our fifth recommendation for restaurant cookbook collectors. Check our web store for The Four Seasons Cookbook.
Author: Charlotte Adams
Publisher: Crescent Books
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket, 319 pages
The Four Seasons
99 East 52 Street
New York, New York