In the Kennedy Style

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9780385489645: In the Kennedy Style

"The atmosphere crackled with excitement as JFK and his beautiful lady presided over the receiving line. Jack and Jackie actually shimmered....They were truly the golden couple...." --William Styron
The Kennedy White House years are becoming ever-more recognized as a legendary time. This book re-creates the most memorable evenings of that storied era--from the outdoor dinner at Mount Vernon to the Pablo Casals gala--with guest lists, menus, recipes, china, table settings, anecdotes from those who attended, and more. Edited by Letitia Baldrige, Jacqueline Kennedy's Social Secretary during the White House years, In the Kennedy Style is an uniquely personal and intimate tribute.
The pages of this elegant gift book are strikingly designed to combine text, quotes, photographs, anecdotes, guest lists, recipes and menus in a highly evocative way. Featured are six of the most remarkable social occasions from the Kennedy era: the outdoor dinner at Mount Vernon, the Pablo Casals gala, the André Malraux dinner, the Nobel Prize winners evening, dinner for the Grand Duchess and Prince of Luxembourg, and dinner for the Shah of Iran. In addition to photographs, recollections, and memorabilia are menus with recipes, allowing readers to re-create some of the atmosphere of those unforgettable evenings.

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Review:

Letitia Baldrige's dedication reads, "For all those who have heard about the grace and charm of the Kennedy White House and wondered, was it really that extraordinary? The answer is 'Yes.'" The vibrant couple who moved into the White House in January 1961 were unlike anything that venerable home had ever seen. They were young, attractive, and cosmopolitan, and they were intent on putting their own indelible stamp on American culture. During the next three years, John and Jacqueline Kennedy wrote an entirely new chapter in the annals of presidential entertaining. Baldrige, Jackie's social secretary, and René Verdon, the White House chef, worked with them behind the scenes to bring off state dinners that are still talked about today (like the famous "Nobel Laureate Dinner"). Alas, the Kennedy days are over, but Baldrige and Verdon bring back the memories in this marvelous book, which pairs Baldrige's fun, gossipy recollections of each star-studded social occasion with Verdon's sophisticated pre-nouvelle cuisine menus (including recipes simple enough for today's home cook). It's the photographs of the glittering guests, Jackie's ravishing gowns and perfect collarbone, and Kennedy--tan and handsome in black tie--that invoke the most wistfulness for that "one brief shining moment" that for some represented the pinnacle of American cultural history. After all the dirt, this book is like a long drink of cool water. END

From Booklist:

Written in an informal style, this memoir that Baldridge and Verdon have collaborated on draws from the heady years they spent in the Kennedy White House. That time seems so far away, a time when the country seemed full of a new promise; and it is that sense that Baldridge captures in the chapters of this engaging book. With reproductions of menus, formal invitations, and plenty of photographs, evenings that are now a part of our nation's history are presented in intimate detail. Each chapter takes on a particular event--the entertaining of a world figure, from Princess Grace to AndreMalraux; but there are few glimpses behind the veneer of power. The recipes are detailed, and in these delicious creations, Verdon shows why he has earned all his honors. At a time when so much has been published about what was wrong with the Kennedy White House, it is refreshing to be reminded of something that was very right about those tragically few years. Raul Nino

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Published by U.S.A.: Doubleday (1998)
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