Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook
Alice B Toklas


This is one of very few books that genuinely deserve the label legendary; indeed it is one of the bestselling cookbooks of all time. Toklas and her lover, the writer Gertrude Stein, lived first in Paris and then in rural France, and for more than 25 years she collected the recipes with which they entertained Picasso and others. The fruit of hundreds of hours in the kitchen, market-place and vegetable-garden, this gloriously entertaining culinary companion ranges from inventive responses to wartime austerity to French bourgeois cooking at its richest and best. Always delicious, the recipes vary from simple snacks – mushroom sandwiches and tricoloured omelette made with spinach and tomato – to elaborate dishes like supreme of pike à la Dijonaise and pheasant with cottage cheese.

Toklas wrote the book to make up for her unwillingness at the time to write her memoirs, in deference to Stein’s 1933 book, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.

Paperback, 304pp
Serif, 2004 (1954)
ISBN 9781897959190