Lüchow’s German Cookbook - Rare Inscription by author (1952)

$60.00

by Leonard Jan Mitchell, Doubleday, first printing, 1952. Inscribed by author on the front dedication page. Color drawings of the restaurant in full service by Ludwig Bemelmans on inside covers, plus witty introduction and b&w illustrations by Bemelmans throughout. "The story and the Favorite Dishes of America's Most Famous German Restaurant" (1882-1982). For decades, this was the go-to book on German cooking. Doubleday, hardback with elusive DJ, 224 pages.

The first printing has one rare and intriguing oddity: the author, Leonard Jan Mitchell, who bought the restaurant in 1950, changed his name on subsequent editions to Jan Mitchell. It was changed not only on the DJ cover but the inside back panel author’s bio note, the introduction by Bemelmans, and even in the author’s history of the restaurant. Seems lot a lot of trouble unless there was a back story lost in the mist of time.

Bemelmans, most famously known as the author and illustrator of the delightful "Madeline" children's books, also knew food -- he had worked in hotel kitchens (including The Ritz, in New York) for years before he turned to writing.

First printings of this book are increasingly hard to find, and signed and inscribed copies SCARCE. Price reflects condition: book is clean and tight, but the DJ lamination is peeling, has some wear and tear at extremities. VG+/G-. Still, a scarce item.


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