OP: Trader Vic's Kitchen Kibitzer
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Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron (1902–1984) is most remembered for role in the American tiki cocktail craze that began in the 1930s and lasted for decades. In addition to his many well-regarded cocktail guides, he also wrote a number of cookbooks.
One of the earliest, Trader Vic’s Kitchen Kibitzer (1952), comes with the subtitle: The Cookbook for Men. In this humorous—if not brash—tome, he broaches all the hallmarks of male-oriented cookbooks from this era: outdoor cooking, offal and game, “show-off” cooking, weekend projects, bachelor fare, and “guys’ parties.”
The robust outdoor cooking section includes such ambitious projects as a calf’s head buried and baked in a fire pit, as well as a whole, spit-roasted pig. Hunters and fishers might try beaver tail roasted over coals, venison stew, or pickled trout. For showier fare, there are lobster Newburg, fondue, and a variety of dishes for flambeing.
The bachelor chapter simplifies things with recipes for baked potatoes, broiled steak, and basic salad dressing. And the casual weekend cook will find spoon corn bread (from a box), cream of spinach soup, and pots de crème.
Cocktail recipes and lively prose are interspersed throughout for a well-rounded good time. Kitchen Kibitzer is truly a hodgepodge of recipes but one that encourages an earnest enthusiasm for culinary edification. Alec Yuill-Thornton’s sprightly illustrations add to the playful irreverence.We offer here a first printing in Very Good condition with some hints of staining affecting the case suggesting unjacketed use in the kitchen. The jacket is missing paper along the top edge and shows general wear. Good fun.