Owner: Alexander Books
Gary and Barbara Alexander
Proving a point made by this website, Alexander says "most people
who have a cookbook never give it away...they keep'em."
He says his city, Lafayette, has a food culture just as impressive
as New Orleans. It just lacks the puffery. "Down here the food culture
is different...men do a lot of cooking...in fishing camps, hunting camps,
especially in the Cajun camps," he notes. His store, while small,
invites informality. " We have a coffee pot if anyone wants to use
it...there's a few chairs if you want to read."
Owner Gary Alexander's book store has cookbooks reflecting
his locale. From his Cajun Section he has many favorites
relating to Cajuns as natives of Louisiana originally descended
from French Arcadian immigrants, thus Cajun cookery; thence
to Creole cookery reflecting the full-flavored combination
of the best of French, Spanish and African cuisines.
Alexander has a favorite cookbook, but it is not on his shelves.
Why not? His wife Barbara keeps it at home.
Barbara Alexander's prized keeper:
Talk About Good
Le LIVRE de la CUISINE de LAFAYETTE
Publisher: Junior League of Lafayette
Ring binder: 450 pages, English
The cover says it all for the region. Talk About Good
is in the Tabasco Community Cookbook Hall of Fame.
The book has sold more than 670,000 copies.
His favorite in stock, of course:
River Road Recipes
The Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine
by Junior League of Baton Rouge 1972 (*)
NOTE: This book is the 1972 reprinted edition of the 1959 version.
Number of pages: 270
Junior Leagues across the nation have long been serious
cookbook publishers. The Baton Rouge, LA, chapter is one of
the old timers when it comes to collecting favorite recipes from
members. In this updated version contents are gumbos and
soups, seafood, poultry, game, barbecue, preserves and relishes.
Some of the editions offer this chapter: How Men Cook.
This Junior League production has had 72 printings since
noon yesterday. A book note reads: "For three years we have
dreamed cookbook. We collected furiously, tested prodigiously,
edited relentlessly, typed incessantly, proofread continuously
and highly hoped...that our book would be enjoyed and used
by you." The Baton Rouge Leaguers have produced the nation's
No. 1 best-selling community cookbook series.
Where are the old and new
cookbooks shelved today?
Almost every major city
today has an unsung
indepentent book store
attraction with cookbooks
that can be touched, read,
Since Cookbook Keepers
are growing in numbers and
interest, this column shortly
will compile a list...where
they are...with teasers as to
shop owners, personalities,
what they have on shelves...
and if a tea and coffee
service is available.
- Santa Fe
- Walnut Creek
- Portland, Oregon
- Portland, Maine
- Des Moines
- New York
- Savannah (No Paula Deens)