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OP: Party Spirit

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by Robert Farrar Capon

Robert Capon (1925–2013) was an Episcopal priest born in Jackson Heights, Queens who loved food, reveled in working with it, and, above all, sought to understand what it was all about. He wrote over twenty books, contributed to the New York Times and Newsday, and taught cooking classes.

Capon is perhaps best known for his book Supper of the Lamb (1969), a meditation on a single meal, examining each ingredient and process in rigorous detail. Despite his Episcopalian background, a Buddhist-like mindfulness of the depth and complexity of those things we often take for granted is evident in his approach.

A decade after Supper, Capon repeated the mindfulness exercise in Party Spirit (1979). Here, with wit and sly humor, Capon reflects on the meaning of invitation and belonging, whether a cocktail party is a party at all or simply “all hors and no oeuvre,” and how to effectively curate a meal progression, among other ruminations. He speaks directly to you, his reader, taking you on a journey through what we might recognize as the internal monologue of a deeply philosophical epicure.

We are pleased to offer a Fine first printing in a price-clipped dust jacket that is otherwise Near Fine. For those who think deeply about food, service, and greater meaning, Party Spirit is a delight.

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