Paris: Librairie Hachette et Cie, 1888.
Quarto (27 x 18.5 cm.), xi, 864 pages. Illustrated with four chromolithographic plates and one hundred eighty-two wood engravings after oil paintings and drawings by E. Ronjat. The chromolithographs were engraved by and printed by Regamy Chromolithography of Paris. Stated Seventh Edition. One of the great French illustrated cookbooks of the 19th century. When originally published in 1867, this was the first published work of the renowned French chef and pâtissier, Jules Gouffé (1807 – 1877). Nicknamed “l’apôtre de la cuisine décorative”, his work had a deep impact on the evolution of French gastronomy. "This work is considered one of the most important and most sought, though due to the varied materials required in the recipes, more suited to large establishment than to the ordinary household" (Katherine Bitting). "Cet ouvrage culinaire est, avec ceux d'Urbain Dubois, un des plus complets et des plus sérieusement traités qui existent; les recettes que l'on y trouvent sont fort recherchées, mais il faut avoir un budget assez important, affecté aux dépenses de table, pour pouvoir suivre les savants conseils de ce maître de l'art culinaire" (George Vicaire). Gouffé had been a student of Careme and was invited by Alexandre Dumas and Baron Brisse to be chef de bouche of the Jockey-Club de Paris in 1867. It was this position that gave him the stature and support to depart on his series of essential culinary works, the original issue of this work being the first (1867), followed by Le Livre de Conserve (1869), and Le Livre de Pâtisserie (1873). Le Livre de Soupes et des Potages followed in 1875. His work remains revered today, by great chefs including Bernard Loiseau, and by molecular gastronomy researcher Hervé This. Gouffé’s work is rightfully placed alongside Francatelli and Urbain Dubois, the three chefs belonging to the generation following that of Careme; all three worked for significant European royalty outside of France and all three bore responsibility for a range of significant culinary innovations. Gouffé’s work stands out in this esteemed company for the sheer beauty of its presentation in book form, in good part because his publishers embraced chromolithography at the height of its practice. The chromolithographic plates and woodcuts in this volume were after the paintings and designs of Etienne-Antoine-Eugene Ronjat (1822-1912), an artist with a remarkable skill in exact copying. He was one of the two painters responsible for the 1859-1860 reproduction of Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa (1819). His exact copying skills were put to use illustrating Gouffé’s works achieving, in some cases, what might today be considered Hyperrealism. ~ Some leaves (including plates) with moderate foxing. In full royal blue cloth, gilt-titled at the spine. Light edgewear to the boards. Very good. [Bitting, page 195, Oberlé 226; Vicaire 417].