OP: The Yul Brynner Cookbook

OP: The Yul Brynner Cookbook


Yul Brynner
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Best known for his two-time Tony and one-time Academy Award-winning role as King Mongkut in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical The King and I, Yul Brynner (1920–1985) was also a musician, a trapeze artist, and a photographer. He was of Swiss, Russian, Romani, and Mongolian descent and spoke 11 languages. The magnetic star lived and traveled the world many times over.

Published in 1983, The Yul Brynner Cookbook honors the actor’s multicultural experience. It begins with Russian and Japanese dishes, the cuisine of Brynner’s birthplace, Sakhalin Island—alternately claimed by both Russia and Japan—and the Romani and Swiss fare of his mother and father’s heritage, respectively. 

Brynner immigrated to China, where he lived for much of his early childhood, and then to Paris in the early 1930s; the cuisines of both countries are thus also featured. The food of Thailand represents the final section, no doubt an homage to the role he performed over 4,000 times. 

You will find a dizzying diversity of dishes: 

  • blini, borsch, and stuffed cabbage 
  • sauteed bamboo shoots, nigiri, and yakitori
  • dandelion soup, goulash, and rabbit stew
  • fondue, veal cordon bleu, and chiffon cake
  • chiao tze, vegetable duck soup, and Szechuan pepper beef
  • coquilles St. Jacques, vichyssoise, and souffle Rothschild
  • masaman curry, ginger fish, and coconut rice custard

It is uncommon to find a cookbook that so effectively captures such a range without muddying the subject matter. Not the final word on any cuisine, but worthwhile and engaging, unburdened by the usual kitsch of a celebrity cookbook.

We offer a Fine first printing of this scarce title. The page edges are beginning to fox, otherwise the book block and case are as new. The jacket is unclipped and Fine, save for the remnants of an old price sticker on the cover.
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