Epicurean Delight: The Life and Times of James Beard

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9780671750268: Epicurean Delight: The Life and Times of James Beard
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Chronicles the life of the famous chef, from his Oregon childhood to his rise to the top of the international food world, and includes over ninety of his favorite recipes

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From Publishers Weekly:

Anyone who secretly wishes that Swann's Way included Proust's recipe for madeleines will savor this biography of the late dean of American cooking. Jones, who with Judith Jones, his wife and Beard's editor, coauthored The Book of Bread , puts passion into the subject of food, describing the fare Beard (1903-1985) created or consumed during his decades-long career as consultant, teacher and cookbook author. He lards the book with recipes as well as anecdotes featuring a who's who of tastemakers. Jones prefers not to explore the issues that led failed actor Beard, at one point so grossly overweight that he got stuck in a hotel shower, to complain repeatedly that "I've never loved anyone" and, at the end of his life, to moan, "I'm not famous enough." Nor does Jones draw any conclusions from the reservations expressed here by many interviewees--including Beard's friends--about his lucrative endorsements of commercial products (e.g., Green Giant corn) or his willingness to take credit for other people's ideas. On the other hand, Jones's research is copious, his knowledge of the professional foodie circuit unimpeachable and his flair for social history utterly beguiling. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

In this biography, Jones gives us the ingredients that went into the creation of one of the great 20th-century American chefs. Beard grew up in Portland, Oregon, but aspired to be an actor and moved to New York. Difficulty in maintaining steady acting employment led Beard to start a catering business for the New York theatrical elite. The rest is culinary history. Beard's early recipes, many of which are included in this text, were adaptations of those used by his British-born mother and her Chinese chef in her residential hotel business. Jones provides further context by discussing the influences of late 19th-century American Western pioneer culture, Welsh-English, European, and Oriental cooking and hospitality traditions, and post-Depression-era New York City high society on Beard's life and career. While at times interesting, this biography will most likely appeal only to die-hard fans of Beard's cookbooks.
-Ann E. Cohen, Rochester P.L., N.Y.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780394574158: Epicurean Delight: The Life and Times of James Beard

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ISBN 10:  039457415X ISBN 13:  9780394574158
Publisher: Knopf, 1990
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