Teaser: Origins, start-ups of cookbook collections,
usually begin when mothers pass down their favorites
to their children. Many estates passed to beneficiaries
include collections...from one or two to dozens, even
hundreds. Here's a one-in-a-million way to build
a valued stash.
Stained Glass Artist
Former Prep / Banquet Chef, Denver
Photo / Kathleen Dlabick
The James collection had a unique start. His wife,
Kathy Dlabick, was a combo photographer and graphic
designer for The Coumbus Dispatch. A couple times a year
the food editor disposed of her cookbook excess by laying
them out for an employee auction, proceeds going to some
favorite charity. Let it be known that food editors of major daily
newspapers receive hundreds of hardback cookbooks, each
seeking free ink review space. In the case of the Dispatch, Ohio's
largest newspaper, the paper was home plate for Peter D. Franklin,
syndicated cookbook reviewer for 30 years, more than 250 daily
newspapers. Note: This website is the result of the Franklin
cookbook collection. He donated 8,000-plus cookbooks to the
Rare Books Department, The Ohio State University.
Wife Kathy Dlabick always shopped the in-house auction, paying
a buck or three for each selection. A Gary James count for this
Keeper posting: 87 shelved in the James home for quick access.
Each was a gift to husband Gary where they are highly prized.
James is unique in that he uses almost all of them over the
year in his daily cooking at home. He does all the meal preps.
This James household goes for flavor varieties, those created by
Bobby Flay. Comfort foods are in his past, but the refined
sort as suggested in cooking shows presided over by Julia Child.
Gary James Off Maine Coast
Artist James was once Chef James. In his most interesting
pre-wedlock career he was prep chef for a full service restaurant,
The Padre, in a Denver Catholic church. The place was fully staffed
with conventual managers and bar tenders for a seven-day
operation. There, James explains, he learned volume cookery.
James and wife are creatures of good taste and habit
when it comes to summer vacations: Maine. Why so
repetitious? "Nothing is more beautiful than the Maine
coast...and the lobster doesn't hurt, either..."
Keeper James current favorite:
Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook
Explosive Flavors From the Southwestern Kitchen
by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson
Clarkson Potters Publisher
Flay is a star for today's exploding interest in reading
cookbooks...emphasis on reading. He, at recent count,
owns six restaurants. Emphasis on owns. Flay is a TV
product. In this case, he's partially named the cookbook
after his first restaurant, Mesa Grill, circa 1991.
His old standby as No. 2:
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One
by Julia Child
Alfred A. Knopf
The 87-count stash of James family books also,
for reasons of floor space, has to be a repository
for his books on cats...the family kitty rules...