Food Talks. Being a series of Little Talks which first appeared as newspaper advertisements and are here reprinted in response to many requests.

Brooklyn, New York; [New York]: Hotel Clarendon; [the author]; [printed by Redfield Brothers Inc.], [1910].

Booklet sewn on cord (16.5 x 12 cm.), [22] pages. Illustrated. Printed throughout in dark brown and tan. FIRST EDITION. A series of eighteen single subject “talks” which, as the title tells us, “first appeared as newspaper advertisements”. Subjects include Eating, Cold Storage, Milk Cream, Butter, Eggs, Oysters, Guinea Chickens, Squabs, Ice Creams, Banquets, Healthy Body, In Explanation, and Criticisms. There is much emphasis on the best ingredients, and in full compliance with new food safety laws (The Food & Drug Act of 1906 was fresh in people’s minds). Hill also stresses the freshness of ingredients, and a move away from canned vegetables to fresh. A second edition was issued in 1915, with the title Food Talks: Culinary candor for epicures and for all who wish to eat wisely. The Clarendon Hotel was one of Brooklyn’s grand hotels, originally standing at the corner of Johnson and Washington, across from the Central Post Office Building. The most recent iteration of the hotel was raised to make way for Cadman Plaza. The Clarendon was a designed by architect J.G. Glover in Romanesque Revival style, and was centrally located, both to Brooklyn’s City Hall, and near the elevated line that ran across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan. The hotel was managed by John Hill, author of this booklet, and was famous for its banquets, dinners and business meetings. ~ Less than a month after publication of this booklet, the hotel suffered a calamity. On October 22nd the basement hot water tank exploded, destroying the dining room and disabling the hotels elevators. The setback was temporary Presumably this booklet was issued prior to this calamity or almost certainly the fastidious Hill would have mentioned the event and everything that had been done since to correct the problem. After Hill left the hotel, he set himself up as a caterer, based at 133 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, and was the author of another scarce little cookery-related book, John Hill's Book, which also emphasized the best and freshest ingredients, "We will not talk of eggs in the abstract, but of John Hill eggs, about which there is nothing abstract." ~ In publisher’s black- and brown-decorated tan stiff wrappers, with French flaps; sewn on brown cord. Tiny Library of Congress recording stamps to title page, and to rear wrapper panel (dated “Sept. 27, 1910”). Near fine. Scarce. [OCLC locates no copies (but three copies of the 1915 title with alternate title; not in Bitting, Brown, or Cagle].

Price: $350.00