Chicago, Ill. John Willy, Inc.; The Hotel Monthly Press, 1940.
Octavo (20.5 x 13.5 cm.), 318 pages. Photographic illustrations unpaginated. Index. ~ Evident second edition (an enhanced revision of a work published by Bobbs-Merrill in 1933). A restaurant-related cookbook, its contents collated from the author’s “careful record of the requests for recipes by patrons of the dining rooms under my supervision,” including “for the most part my own original creations” as well as “my interpretations of standard dishes.” Recipes are simultaneously numbered in sequence and arranged in the author’s recommended menu combinations, for instance: 286. Canapé Martha, 287. Baron of Beef Hussarde, 288. Baked Tomatoes Soubise, 289 Baked Mushrooms Soubise, 290. Yankee Salad, 291. Washington Cream Pie. ~ Many of the European chefs whose names are remembered from the luxury hotel dining rooms of the Jazz Age to the New Deal await their biographers. Little is known of the origins and training of Ernest Amiet (b. 1883?), apparently of French origin, probably apprenticed in Switzerland and recruited there for employment by American hoteliers. He appears to have assumed the role of executive chef of the Golden Empire Room in Chicago’s Palmer House in or before 1927, where he instituted a massive brigade de cuisine. Newspaper notices polished his reputation, and he was reported to have won France’s “Grand Prix” (whatever that was) no fewer than three times. He retired in 1946, and taught kitchen management for a time at the Washburne Trade School (according to a notice in the Chicago Tribune of 11 April 1947). Interested in health and nutrition, Amiet also collaborated as a consultant with two companies that are still active, Swiss Food Products, a restaurant and institutional food supplier, and Integrative Flavors, some of whose original soup labels feature the caricature that appears on the jacket of The Palmer House Cook Book. ~ From 1933 the glittering dining room of the Palmer House was also an entertainment destination, known for elaborate banquets, marquis celebrities, and radio broadcasts. But luncheons in the Fountain Room were almost as well attended. The first hotel to advertise as “fireproof” (its nineteenth-century predecessor had succumbed to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871), Palmer House was also the first hotel to adopt electric lighting throughout, and the first to install a telephone system. Located within the Loop, at Monroe and State Streets, Palmer House operates still, as a constituent enterprise of the Hilton chain. ~ In near fine, blue cloth with handsome art deco-inspired design. Worn and chipped dust jacket. Inscribed by the author to the physician Angus Washburn Morrison of Minneapolis: “With best wishes to Mr Angus W. Morrison, Ernest E. Amiet.” [Edition not in Brown].