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OP: Love, Time, and Butter

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by Joe Hyde

When Kitchen Arts & Letters opened in 1983 Joe Hyde (1928–2007)—a much-beloved, inspired, and totally colorful chef and caterer, who lived, cooked, taught, and carried on in Martha’s Vineyard—was mightily celebrated. 

Following menial hotel jobs in the 1940s, he went international during the Korean War, cooking for military detachments in Japan and Korea and, afterward, cooking in Paris and Lyons—part of the time under the famed Fernand Point of La Pyramide. Upon his return to the US, he cooked in California, Rhode Island, at the Waldorf in New York, and elsewhere. 

Finally, as a caterer on the Vineyard and in the posh hamlet of Snedens Landing, NY, he did grand events for the likes of Katherine Cornell, James Cagney, Jerome Robbins, Mary Martin, and Elizabeth Taylor. 

His lively Love, Time, and Butter (1971) reflects his varied background and years of professional experience. The recipes are grouped by cooking method, offering his readers a firm grasp on the technique before moving on. The method is generally French, but such treasures as his highly acclaimed clam chowder or broiled bluefish with anchovy butter show him to be much broader in his food adventuring. 

Hyde takes his role as a teacher seriously with smart, direct instructions for creating the most efficient and effective kitchen for a serious cook. The approach is thoughtful and offers more than just great recipes. Robert Stribman’s charming black and white illustrations accompany the text, adding to the overall effect of comforting and friendly advice.

The well-designed book is 9” x 9”, and our copy, a first printing, is in Very Good, clean, strong condition, save for a small divot taken out of the bottom edge of the case. A manufacturing error has caused a crease on one page of the introduction, moderately affecting the legibility of five lines of text. The jacket shows wear along the edges, a pen scribble and some scratches to the front, and a 2” x 1.5” bit of paper missing from the back. The groovy text design is largely unharmed and remains vibrant.

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