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OP: Le Memorial de la Patisserie

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by Pierre Lacam

Chez l’auteur, Paris, 1906. Hardcover. Very Good. Seventh edition.

Le Mémorial de la Pâtisserie (1890) is a historical reference for French pastry at its peak at the end of the 19th century.

In addition to 3000 recipes for, seemingly, everything a pastry chef might need in their repertoire to succeed in the business, author and former pastry chef to Prince of Monaco Charles III, Pierre Lacam (1836–1902), includes historical and practical information on the origins of ingredients and recipes, a glossary of terms, and biographies on many of the 19th century’s great chefs. There is even, bound in, a reproduction of a letter written by Antonin Carême to a friend.

Lacam is notably proud of his profession and of its history, taking a particularly optimistic view of the state of the industry as it moves into a new century, stating, “the future has something else in store for us, because we have good workers in the pâtisserie.”

Our copy, a 1906 seventh edition, is handsomely bound in a three piece binding with a gilt embossed leather spine and paper boards—exquisite craftsmanship by Period Binders in Bath, England whose bindery ticket can be found at the rear. Despite a bit of chipping and a few tears, the block is remarkably clean and bright. Dampstaining affects the bottom edge and fore corner. A significant addition to any historical pastry collection. In French.

This copy comes from the Sontheimer Foundation Library, bearing a bookplate on the front paste down, stating “This book is a gift from The Sontheimer Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut.” Carl Sontheimer (1914–1998) invented the original Cuisinart food processor.

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