Lot 2 of 373:
First Cookbook by an African American Chef  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$5,100
$1,000 - $1,500

Good Things to Eat as Suggested by Rufus: A Collection of Practical Recipes for Preparing Meats, Game, Fowl, Fish, Puddings, Pastries, etc.

Estes, Rufus


Published by the Author



Frontis. portrait of Estes, Color vignette for first letter of the foreword. Pebbled white cloth lettered in black. First Edition. 

Born into slavery in Murray County, Tennessee, in 1857, Estes went to work as a chef after the Civil War for the Pullman company, serving his dishes in the elegant first class railway cars across the United States and Canada.

His cookbook, the first by an African American chef, showed his passion for both the Southern cooking of his youth, and the refined French fare he learned to cook as a professional chef. Virginia stew and crisp white corncake share space with beef marrow quenelles and birds nest salad. His "Hints to Kitchen Maids" chapter is clearly aimed at African-American staff in American households. According to Toni Tipton-Martin in The Jemima Code, "Africanized interpretations of the foods of the fifth quarter (offal) seep into his repertoire." An extremely rare copy of an important work.


Lot Amendments

Soiling to covers, waxy paper adhered to rear cover (removable with a sharp fingernail); faint dampstain to upper gutter & margins of last 20 pages or so; offset from news clipping to one page, occasional interior spots, else very good and extremely scarce. Contemporary pencil recipes for several salads to blank "Additional Recipes" pages in rear.

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