Recipe Inc., located in Davis, California, specialize in rare, vintage,
and out-of-print cookbooks, recipe pamphlets, and culinary history
and criticism. Learn a little more about the
fascination with cookbooks, the art of manifold cooking, and the
cookbooks every chef should own.
How did you get started in bookselling?
I am an avid cook and cookbook collector. My fascination with
the cookbooks led me to establish a bookstore for our growing collection,
so that I could re-gain access to the living areas of our homes.
Bookselling is not the easiest way to make a living. What keeps you doing it?
I love the cookbooks and the recipes! I especially love
looking for the older vintage recipe pamphlets and cookbooks, which
have so much valuable information. Cookbooks create happy feelings--even
people who don't cook love cookbooks.
What is the most unusual book you ever bought?
personal favorite is The Chinese
a lovely book of Northern Chinese dishes originally published in
Shanghai in the 1930's. It has a laid-in red felt invitation
to a banquet, and lovely illustrations, including a how-to on
using chopsticks. Another favorite is Manifold
which teaches you how to cook under the hood of your car, and
answers the question, "How
many miles does it take to roast a chicken?"
How did you choose your specialty?
I think the cookbooks chose me.
Do you collect anything else?
Do you have any legendary stories you tell
about incidents in your store or as a bookseller?
No legends really. But I am
constantly amazed by the emotional attachments our customers have
to the vintage cookbooks, the ones their mothers and grandmothers
used. I truly enjoy hearing about favorite recipes hidden inside
Do you have a shop pet?
Yes: Trixie, a vintage Cocker spaniel,
and Bo the mixed lab Wonder Dog.
What books do you recommend?
I always recommend basic Sunset cookbooks
to the beginning chef. The recipes are well-written, beautifully
illustrated and tested. I believe every chef needs a Fannie Farmer,
a James Beard, a Julia, and a Silver Palate. We also love Joy of
Cooking, Meta Givens, Moosewood Cookbook, and Huntley
Dent's The Feast of Santa Fe.
Any last words?
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