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“The Cookbook Book: Why Books and Benchmarks Matter” a Panel Discussion at NYU, October 25th

October 9, 2012
N-63, 2012-13

Video: “The Cookbook Book: Why Books and Benchmarks Matter,” a panel discussion.

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Celebrating the publication of 101 Classic Cookbooks 501 Classic Recipes, edited by Marvin J. Taylor and Clark Wolf

New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections, the home of the nation’s largest collection in food studies, is celebrating the publication of its first cookbook anthology: 101 Classic Cookbooks 501 Classic Recipes, edited by Marvin J. Taylor and Clark Wolf (Rizzoli New York) with a panel discussion, entitled “The Cookbook Book: Why Books and Benchmarks Matter.”

“Cookbooks are, of course—in addition to providing recipes—one of the most important places to go to see how a culture thinks about its food,” said Taylor, director of Fales Library and Special Collections.  “In these cookbooks, we see Americans forging a new cuisine, while preserving the best of American foods.  They applied French culinary techniques, returned to the best, organic, local produce and meats, and borrowed new ingredients and new techniques from the entire world’s foods.  A new American palate was born,” Taylor said.

The panel discussion, moderated by Wolf, host of the Fales Library’s “Critical Topics in Food Series,” through the lens of 101 Classic Cookbooks, will look at a uniquely American food history as it is inscribed in the cookbooks which shaped our collective culinary experiences in the past century.

The discussion takes place on Thursday, October 25, 2012 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at NYU’s  Hemmerdinger Hall, Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East, NYC. [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street.].

For the General Public--Suggested donation: $10; RSVP to: with your name and title/date of the event.  For more information the public may call Kristin Raymond 212-998-6964 or via email

The panelists, all contributors to the 101 Classic Cookbooks book are:

  • Mark Bittman Food Journalist & Writer
  • Marian Burros Food Writer & Columnist
  • Madhur Jaffrey, cookbook author & food writer
  • Marvin J. Taylor, Director of Fales Library and Special Collections;
  • Host: Clark Wolf, food and restaurant consultant.  Wolf has more than thirty years of experience in the food industry and is founder and President of Clark Wolf Company, a New York-based food and restaurant consulting firm.

A reception and book signing will follow immediately after the discussion.  101 Classic Cookbooks 501 Recipes be available for purchase at the event.  The reception will feature tastes from some of the next generation of great food purveyors of New York City including such legendary families as the Lobels (5th generation butchers), Todaro Brothers (est 1917, now headed by Peter Todaro), ALC by Lou Coluccio (newly opened in Bay Ridge), BienCuit (fine bakers of Smith Street, Brooklyn) and others.

MEDIA ONLY:  Reporters interested in covering or attending the event must contact Christopher James at 212-998-6876 or email

About 101 Classic Cookbooks 501 Recipes:

Taylor and Wolf have assembled an impressive list of 101 American authors’ cookbooks, arranged chronologically beginning with Fannie Merritt Farmer’s The Boston Cooking School Cook Book published in 1896 and ending with Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, published in 1999.  Each of the 101 cookbook entries includes biographical information, anecdotal details about the cookbook’s author, and nostalgic images from the vintage first editions.  The cookbooks chosen were thoughtfully selected and vetted by an expert advisory committee that included such culinary luminaries as Jonathan Gold, Michael Pollan, Florence Fabricant, and Ruth Reichl.

The second half of the book offers 501 signature recipes selected from these classic cookbooks and arranged into a recipe table of contents by Drinks, Hors d’Oeuvre, and Nibbles; Soups and Salads, Stews, Caseroles, and One-Pot Dishes; Vegetables and Legumes; Condiments, Pickles and Jams; Eggs, Breakfast, and Brunch; Fish and Seafood Fowl; Stocks and Sauces; Meats; and Baked Goods and Desserts.

"The Cookbook Book: Why Books and Benchmarks Matter," part of Fales Library’s “Critical Topics in Food Series,” is sponsored by New York University Fales Library; Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health; and Clark Wolf.

About Fales Library and Special Collections:  The Fales Library, comprising nearly 255,000 volumes, and over 12,000 linear feet of archive and manuscript materials, houses the Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, the Downtown Collection, the Food and Cookery Collection and the general Special Collections of the NYU Libraries. The Fales Collection was given to NYU in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Collection documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including extensive film and video objects. The Food and Cookery Collection is a vast, and rapidly expanding collection of books and manuscripts documenting food and foodways with particular emphasis on New York City. Other strengths of the collection include the Berol Collection of Lewis Carroll Materials, the Robert Frost Library, the Kaplan and Rosenthal Collections of Judaica and Hebraica and the manuscript collections of Elizabeth Robins and Erich Maria Remarque. The Fales Library preserves manuscripts and original editions of books that are rare or important not only because of their texts, but also because of their value as artifacts.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Division of Libraries, Fales

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Christopher James | (212) 998-6876

“The Cookbook Book: Why Books and Benchmarks Matter” a Panel Discussion at NYU, October 25th

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