At the peak of his career Alexandre Dumas took a break from writing the best selling novels in Europe to do something quite scandalous: he wrote a cookbook. His Grand dictionaire de Cusine shocked many, not for how it cemented his status as a gourmand, nor for its culinary celebration of his Haitian heritage, for which he made no apologizes. Rather, it was the fact a writer of such renown did not consider it beneath him to stoop to such a simple endeavor.
Luckily he did, and other writers have followed his example by giving their favorite recipes in person and in print. Taken from letters and interviews, these recipes give insight into the simple yet indulgent lives of these not-so-starving artists.
Sylvia Plath’s poems are that much more intimate when read with a piece of her Lemon cake. Elizabeth Bishop’s brownies are as rich as Hemingway’s wine-soaked hamburgers. People with this cookbook will know the pleasure of dipping Emily Dickinson’s gingerbread cookies into violet ice cream ala Dumas. Others will lead lives full of hungry desperation, and HotPockets.
Give this book to the writer in your life, fuel them, get them to make some of it’s recipes for you. Or at least one of it’s cocktails. We’re not saying drinking like Fitzgerald or eating like Dideon will make you a great writer, but it will make you full, and that’s something.
The book features several high-quality images of the original recipe, including this cake recipe by Emily Dickinson. the poem she wrote on the back in also included.