La Bonne Table
1964, Ludwig Bemelmans' gastronomic memoirs
First edition. Hardback in dustwrapper. 24 × 16cm, 446pp.
A glorious, illustrated, celebration of a lifetime love affair with dining, by the author-illustrator of the classic Madeline series. Here is the best of Ludwig Bemelmans on the subject he loved most: the good table. The entrancing memories and charming pictures collected here transport the reader behind the scenes of the great hotels of Europe and America—including the immortal Hotel Splendide—and such restaurants as the Tour d'Argent in Paris and Le Pavillon in New York. Memorable dishes, the eccentric geniuses of the kitchens who created them, the opulent and often astonishing patrons who ordered them, the legendary wines and the occasions they toasted, are all evoked in rich and piquant flavor. The gifted and exuberant Ludwig Bemelmans was trained as a boy for a career as a restauranteur, and La Bonne Table is in effect his gastonomical autobiography. The high—and sometimes riotous low—points of his life with food, from Austrian cafes to the late, lamented Ritz of New York, are narrated with delight and zest as he celebrates beer and sausages, pressed duck and caviar, and the chefs who cooked for him. He remembers with decidedly mixed emotions the ways of the busboy and the waiter, and the qualities that make up the perfect maitre d', and muses over great menus and great eaters. La Bonne Table is a feast of reading on the art of dining well.
A good copy. The book itself is in good solid shape, with some light tanning to the endpapers and pastedowns but with secure binding and clean pages. There is one neat previous owner's name to the ffep. The dustwrapper is a little faded to the spine and along the top edge, which is also creased and rubbed. The wrapper has not been price-clipped.Sold