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    Historians tell us the genesis of food service dates back to ancient times. Street vendors and public cooks (caterers) were readily available in Ancient Rome. Medieval travelers dined at inns, taverns, monestaries and hostelries. Colonial America continued this tradition in the form of legislated Publick Houses. The restaurant, as we know it today, is said to have been a byproduct of the French Revolution. Modern food service is a product of the Industrial Revolution. Advances in technology made possible mass production of foodstuffs, quick distribution of goods, safer storage facilities, and more efficient cooking appliances. Advances in transportation (most notably trains, automobiles, trucks) also created a huge demand for public dining venues. Another thought to ponder: how military foodservice impacted civilian industry.

    "Foodservice organizations in operation in the United States today have become an accepted way of life, and we tend to regard them as relatively recent innovations. However, they have their roots in the habits and customs that characterize our civilization and predate the Middle Ages. Certain phases of foodservice operations reach a well-organized from as early as feudal times...Religious orders and royal households were among the earliest practitioners of quantity food production...Records show that the food preparation carried out by the abbey brethren reached a much higher standard than food served in the inns at that time...The royal household, with its hundreds of retainers, and the households of nobles, often numbering as many as 150 to 250 persons, also necessitated an efficient foodservice...In providing for the various needs, strict cost accounting was necessary, and here, perhaps, marks the beginning of the present-day scientific foodservice cost accounting..."
    ---West and Wood's Introduction to Foodservice, June Payne-Palacio & Monica Theis, editors [Prentice-Hall:Upper Saddle River NJ] 9th edition, 2001 (p. 5-6)


    Restaurants & catering

    While public eateries existed in Ancient Rome and Sung Dynasty China, restaurants (we know them today), are generally credited to 18th century France. The genesis is quite interesting and not at all what most people expect. Did you know the word restaurant is derived from the French word restaurer which means to restore? The first French restaurants [pre-revolution] were not fancy gourmet establishments run by ex-aristocratic chefs. They were highly regulated establishments that sold restaurants (meat based consommes intended to "restore" a person's strength) to people who were not feeling well. Cook-caterers (traiteurs) also served hungry patrons. The history of these two professions is historically connected and often difficult to distinguish.

    According to the current edition of Larousse Gastronomque (p. 194-5), the first cafes (generally defined as places selling drinks and snacks) was established in Constantinople in 1550. It was a coffee house, hence the word "cafe." Cafes were places educated people went to share ideas and new discoveries. Patrons spent several hours in these establishments in one "sitting." This trend caught on in Europe on the 17th century. When cafes opened in France they also sold brandy, sweetened wines and liqueurs in addition to coffee. The first modern-type cafe was the Cafe Procope which opened in 1696.

    The French Revolution launched the modern the restaurant industry. It relaxed the legal rights of guilds that [since the Middle Ages] were licensed by the king to control specific foods [eg. the Patissiers, Rotisseurs, Charcutiers] and created a hungry, middle-class customer base who relished the ideals of egalitarianism (as in, anyone who could pay the price could get the same meal). Entrepreneurial French chefs were quick to capitalize on this market. Menus, offering dishes individually portioned, priced and prepared to order, were introduced to the public for the first time.

    Who started the first restaurant?
    There are (at least) three theories:

    1. Boulanger, 1765
    "In about 1765, a Parisian 'bouillon seller' named Boulanger wrote on his sign: 'Boulanger sells restoratives fit for the gods'...This was the first restaurant in the modern sense of the term."
    ---Larousse Gastronomiqe, completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1999 (p. 978)

    2. Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau in Paris, 1766
    "According to Spang, the forgotten inventor was Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau, a figure so perfectly emblematic of his time that he almost seems like an invention himself. The son of a landowner and merchant, Roze moved to Paris in the early 1760s and began floating a variety of schemes he believed would enrich him and his country at the same time."
    http://dir.salon.com/books/review/2000/03/24/spang/index.html

    3. Beauvilliers, 1782
    "However, the first Parisian restaurant worthy of the name was the one founded by Beauvilliers in 1782 in the Rue de Richelieu, called the Grande Taverne de Londres. He introduced the novelty of listing the dishes available on a menu and serving them at small individual tables during fixed hours."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, (p. 978)

    About restaurants
    "...France was the birthplace of what we now call the restaurant...this happened toward the end of the eighteenth century. With the exception of inns, which were primarily for travelers, and street kitchens...where in Europe at that time could one purchase a meal outside the home? Essentially in places where alcoholic begerages were sold, placesewquipped to serve simple, inexepensive dishes either cooked on the premises or ordered from a nearby inn or food shop, along with wine, beer, and spirits, which constituted the bulk of their business. Such tavern-restaurants existed not only in France but also in other countries. In Germany, Austria, and Alsace, Brauereien and Weinstuben served delicatessen, sauerkraut, and cheese, for example; in Spain bodegas served tapas. Greek taverns served various foods with olive oil..where meals were exempt from taxes, served a variety of fortifying dishes such as stews, meat with sauce, and organ meats...All of these places...were apt to serve plain and simple fare rather than more elaborate culinary creations...For a genuine meal one had to look either to a good inn or go to a rotisseur or traiteur (caterer, from the Italian trattorie). In France, these two guilds, together with the charcutiers, had been granted a monopoly on all cooked meat other than pates...Only common people actually ate in the traiteur's shop, perhaps seated at a table reserved for guests in some establishments. Even a moderately well-to-do person would have preferred to order food delivered to a private home or a room at an inn or hotel or an elegant salon rented for the occasion...In 1765 a man by the mame of Boulanger, also known as "Champ d'Oiseaux" or "Chantoiseau," opened a shop near the Louvre...There he sold what e called restaurants or bouillons restaurants--that is, meat-based consommes intended to "restore" a person's strength. Ever since the late Middle Ages the word restaurant had been used to describe any of a variety of rich bouillons made with chicken, beef, roots or one sort or antoher, onions, herbs, and, according to some recipes, spices, crystallized sugar, toasted bread, barley, butter, and even exotic ingredients..."
    ---"The Rise of the Restaurant," Food: a Culinary History, Jean-Louis Flandrin & Massimo Montanari [Columbia University Press:New York] 1999(p. 471-480)

    "Restaurant...The word appeared in the 16th century and meant at first a food which "restores" (from restaurer, to restore), and was used more specifically for a rich, highly flavoured soup thought capable of restoring lost strength...Until the late 18th century, the only places for ordinary people to eat out were inns and taverns. In about 1765, a Parisian "boullion-seller" named Boulanger wrote on his sign: Boulanger sells restoratives "fit for the gods"...This was the first restaurant in the modern sense of the term. Boulanger was followed by Roze and Pontaille, who in 1766 opened a maison de sante (house of health). However, the first Parisian restaurant worthy of the name was the one founded by Beauvilliers in 1782...called the Grand Taverne de Londres. He introduced the novelty of listing the dishes available on a menu and served them at small individual tables during fixed hours. One beneficial effect of the Revolution was that the abolition of the guilds and their privileges made it easier to open a restaurant. The rest to take advantage of the situation were the cooks and servants from the great houses, whose aristocratic owners had fled. Moreover, the arrival in Paris of numerous provincials who had no family in the capital created a pool of faithful customers, augmented by the journalists and businessmen. The general feeling of well-being under the Directory, following such a chaotic period, coupled with the chance of enjoying the delights of the table hitherto reserved for the rich, created an atmosphere in which restaurants became an established institution."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated edition [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 978)

    "The Restaurant Revolution
    An eye-witness, Grimod de La Reyniere advances three reasons why restaurants emerged in France with the French Revolution: the rage for English fashions, including the taking of meals in taverns; the influx of large numbers of revolutionary deputies from the provinces; and cooks seeking re-employment after the break-up of the aristocratic households....We need to remember that the near universal way to serve meals until this time [1825] was to place the pot of pots on the table for all to share. The grander the meal, the more dishes. In fancy dining, the artistic creation was at the table...Hotels served limited ranges at fixed time...The caterers (traiteurs) did not provide portions, but whole courses'--an entire joint, say--and anyone who whished to entertain a few friends must order them well in advance'. With the restaurant, artistic creation became the individual plate. In one blow, high quqlity became publicly available; even more significantly, cooking/sharing was individualized...Restaurants hastened the emergence of the sovereign consumer. At the table of a first-class restauranteur, any person could dine as well as a prince..."
    ---A History of Cooks and Cooking, Michael Symons [Universtiy of Illinois Press:Urbana IL] 1998 (p. 289-293)
    [NOTE: this book contains much more information than can be paraphrased here. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy]

    "Restaurant. According to contemporary dictionaries, a restaurant is simply an eating place, an establishment where meals are served to customers. By this definition, restaurants--by whatever name they have been given--are almost as old as civilization. The ruins of Pompeii contain the remnants of a tavern which provided foods and wines to passers-by...the prime function to these early eating places' was to cater to the needs of people away from home who, unless they had brought their own food and cooks with them, were obliged to take whatever was available--or go hungry. From the second half of the 17th century there were cafes, public places where people could meet and talk, eat and drink....In England there were also taverns which, catering to a socially superior clientele, employed well-known cooks and offered an extensive choice of dishes. The restaurant, as it was conceived in Paris towards the end of the 18th century, had a different vocation. Its principal advantage was that it offered diners a choice: according to Brillat-Savarin [he was lawyer and gourmand who wrote the Physiology of Taste], restaurants allowed people to eat when they wanted, what they wanted, and how much they wanted, knowing in advance how much this would cost. The top restaurants of the day boasted a vast menu, with a choice of 12 soups, 65 entrees...and 50 desserts. Prior to this, French catering was highly regulated and shared between various corporations [guilds]...The regulations surrounding these trades gave each one certain privileges. The rotisseur, for example, roasted meat but was not allowed to bake dishes in the oven, nor to make ragouts'[stews]...By 1771 the world restauranteur' was defined...as someone who has the art of preparing true broths, known as restaurants', and the right to sell all kinds of custards, dishes of rice, vermicelli and macaroni, egg dishes, boiled capons, preserved and stewed fruit and other delicious and health-giving foods...The word restaurant', used to describe an eating house, first appeared in a decree of 1786...Restaurants were...an important consequence of the Revolution and concurred with its aims in promoting egality around the table. Eating was no longer the privilege of the wealthy who could afford to maintain a cook and a well-supplied kitchen."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 660)

    On Restauranteurs, The Physiology of Taste, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (c. 1828)

    Restaurants in early America
    Colonial taverns and inns sold food, but they were not generally known for their cuisine. Nor was the food offered on menus. The French restaurant concept was introduced to the newly established USA in the very last years of the 18th century. Food historians place the genesis of grand city restaurants, often based in fine hotels, to the first quarter of the 19th century.

    "The French Revolution encouraged the growth of restaurants by abolishing the monopolistic cooks' guilds and by forcing the aristocrats' former chefs to find new, proletarian uses for their talents...Travelers to France excitedly brought the news of these Parisian restaurants to an American public that already enjoyed a spiritual kinship with France ever since that country allied itself with our own Revolution. French culture had already had a considerable effect on our own...This affinity for French cooking convinced a former cook to the archbishop of Bordeaux to open his own French-style eating house in Boston in 1794. His name was Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat, and he called his establishment by his nickname, "Jullien's Restarator," where he became known as the "Prince of Soups," echoing the original meaning of the word "retaurant."...But the growth of the concept of freestanding restaurants depended ultimately upon a large enough number of people willing to accept it and pay for it. In 1800 the total population of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and Charleston combined was only 200,000, but soon it began to soar. New York grew fastest--160,000 inhabitants by 1825...By 1805 New York had four coffeehouses, four oyster houses, four tea gardens, two victualing houses, and a cookshop, as well as forty-two combination boardinghouses and taverns and these increased rapidly for absorb the new prosperity...The food available in these new eating houses--which went in and out of business at an amazing rate of failure--continued to be for the most part coarse, heavy, and of mediocre or poor quality. Game was plentiful, including venison, pigeon, racoon, and elk. Turtle was considered a delicacy...Fresh meat went bad quickly, so many workers slaughtered the pigs that freely roamed the streets consuming refuse, and Broadway was lined with vendors selling roast pork. Others hawked oysters, fast becoming a passion with Americans...Once the food was set on the table, the customers tore into it with what one observer called "inconceivable rapidity," and other defined as a technique of "gobble, gulp and go." This was pretty much the standard procedure in most eating houses and taverns. Even in the grand, new, modern hotels like New York City's Hotel (1794), a service philosophy of "come-and-get-it" was accepted as normal, and communal dining rooms serving up fixed meals at set hours were till the rule, although the spendiferous Tremont House in Boston, which opened in 1828, inaugurated "French Service" in its two-hundred-seat dining room, where guests might dine at individual tables and use th new four-tined fork. By the 1830s the "American Plan," by which travelers were forced to pay for room and board whether they ate a meal or not, was becoming standard in the hotel industry. In lesser hotels and taverns, it was not so much a question of "come-and-get-it" as it was "try-to-to-eat-it."
    ---America Eats Out, John Mariani [William Morrow:New York] 1991 (p. 25-7)

    Recommended reading:
    The Invention of the Restaurant, Rebecca L. Spang

    See also: Fast food

    CATERING

    "Restauranteurs vs Traiteurs
    While competing in the marketplace, cooks have, since ancient times, formed guilds. A little booklet of Notes on the History of the Company of the Mistery of Cooks of London, published by the Cooks' Company perhaps in the early 1960s, dates the Fraternity's formation to 1311-12. The trades regulated themselves and were regulated in terms of fair trading and health, were taxed and given some protection by the City and crown. That is, they operated as a profession, with its mutual promotion and restrictive trade practices--limiting entry through (often exploited) apprenticeships, sharing tricks of the trade, and fixing prices...The guild of cook-caterers, the cuisiniers, paralleled the hierarchy in the court kitchens...Do not forget we are talking about public cooks: cuisiniers are not to be confused with queues, master cooks employed in noble households and convents. Furthermore, the guild of cuisiners was forever splitting and being challenged by new specializations...The tradesmen sold goods to be carried away, but a further offshoot of the cuisiners was the traiteurs--eating-house keepers or caterers. They were popular with the modest people, for they sold small quantities at low prices. From statutes in 1559, they specialized in weddings and banquets, held on their own premises or elsewhere...When Antoine Beauvilliers opened the first great restaurant, La Grande Taverne de Londres--in 1782, according to Brillat-Savarin, and in 1786 according to others--a new trade, deriving partly from English taverns, had broken from the the traiteurs...The caterers had an exclusive right to sell cooked meat dishes, but limited themselves to selling whole cuts of meat, not an individual helping. That monopoly was contested in 1765 by Boulanger, a seller of bouillons. While the traiteurs claimed the exclusive right to sell ragout, stock fell outside their monopoly and was sold under the name restaurant, in the sense of restorative'."
    ---A History of Cooks and Cooking, Michael Symons [University of Illinois Press:Urbana IL] 1998 (p. 315-8)

    "When he went to Paris in the early eighteenth century, Joachim Nemeitz quickly discovered what was wrong with the French capital: the food...Forced to eat at an innkeeper's or traiteur's (cook-caterer's) table d'hote, the simple visitor to Paris would soon discover that he "does not fare well at all, either because the meat is not properly cooked, or because they serve the same thing every day and rarely offer any variety."...Throughout the eigheenth century, many a traveler would have cause for similar complaints...food served by French innkeepers and cook-caterers, though inexpensive, would further ruin...health...For centuries before the first restaurants opened their doors, travelers and Parisians without their own kitchens had depended upon the inns, cookshops, and wineshops...Early eighteenth-century Paris was, in fact, home to thousands of retail food and drink merchants, all organized by monarchial decrees into twenty-five different guilds. As defined in their statutes, the retail food trades were characterized by extreme divisiveness and exaggerateed compartmentalism...Master cook-caterers held the right to serve full meals to large parties...The cook-caterers (traiteurs), it is said, quickly brought legal charges against one particularly aggrandizing restauranteur named Boulanger who dared to sell a dish (sheeps' feet in white sauce) that was not a restaurant but a ragout (anything composed of several different ingredients and cooked in sauce). After a series of appeals, we are told, the courts eventually decided in favor of the cook-caterers, and restricted the "restauranteurs" to selling bouillons...The retail food trades were notoriously difficult to delimit, The futility of enforcing divisions among the food trades derived in part form the combinative nature of the work itself...Already in 1704, almost three-quarters of the master traiteurs were also cabaret-keepers; in 1748 the traiteurs' guild noted that "most of our masters" also have the privileges of pastrycooks or roast-meat-sellers...A 1760 decision of Parliment instructed that, in order to prevent monopolies, the Paris caterers should henceforth elect their four "syndics in charge"...The combination of titles, while fairly common in all the retail food trades, was particularly prevalent among the traiteurs. It is evident that the cook-caterers of Paris had long had their fingers in numerous pies, and that by far the majority of them would have been well within their legal rights had they run businesses that sold a variety of foods and a wide range of potables. Such an accumulation of tasks was easily possible, but it did not distinguish the first restauranteurs from the established cook-caterers. Indeed, many of the first restauranteurs were also master traiteurs with close business ties to many of the other established Paris food and drink trades." ---The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, Rebecca L. Spang [Harvard University Press:Cambridge MA] 2000 (p. 7-11)
    [NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. Please ask your librarian to help you obtain a copy.]

    African American caterers
    Historic newspapers and scholarly articles provide but brief glimpses into the catering businesses run by blacks in the late 19th century. They do confirm general observations regarding being edged out by new immigrant arrivals. W.E.B. Dubois observed and studied this trend. For a comprehensive study of this topic we recommend the resources held by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture/NYPL

    "The African Amercian caterers in particular were comparatively well-to-do; they employed other members of their community, met with prominent white families, and were social leaders and noted abolitionists...Philadelphia caterers developed reputations for particular dishes, such as terrapin stew and chicken croquettes, which were seen as African American specialties and prestigious foods on the tables of socially prominent white families...African Americans continued to dominate the catering business in northeastern cities into the 1890s...African American caterers also held positions of respect in southern cities throughout the era of segregation."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1(p. 24-25)

    "Ten per cent of the colored people are skilled laborers--cigarmakers, barbers, tailors and dressmakers, builders, stationary engineers, &c. Five and one-half per cent are in business enterprises of various sorts. The negroes have something over a million and a half dollars invested in samll business enterprises, chiefly real estate, the catering business, undertaking, drug stores, hotes and restaurants, express teaming &c. In the sixty-nine leading establishments $800,000 is invested-- $13,000 in sums from $500 to $1,000 and $200,000 in sums from $1,000 to $25,000. Forty-four of the sixty-nine businesses were stablished since 1885, and seventeen others since the war...Five leading caterers have $30,000 [invested]..."
    ---"The Black North: A Social Study, New York City," W.E. Barghardt DuBois Atlanta University, New York Times, November 17, 1901 (p. SM10)

    "It seemed natural at this time that this leading class of upper servants would step into the economic life of the nation from this vantage ground and play a leading role. This they did in several instances: the most conspicuous being the barber, the caterer, and the steward...he held his own in the semi-servile work...until he met the charge of color discrimination from his own folk and the strong competition of Germans and Italians...the caterer was displaced by the palatial hotel in which he could gained foothold."
    ---"The Economic Future of the Negro," W. E. B. Dubois, Publications of the American Economic Association 3rd Series, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Feb., 1906), pp. 219-242

    "The Italian, Sicilian, Greek, foreign to America's language and instutituions, occupy quite every industry that was confessedly the negro's forty years ago...Think of our city's most famous catereres of forty or fifty years ago. They were the Downings, Mars, Watson, Vandyke, Ten Eyck, Day, Green, and others, all colored. Their names were as familiar and as representative in high class work as are Delmonico and Sherry today. Who have succeeded to the business that theses colored caterers had on those days? With one exception, Italians."
    ---"The Economic Future of the Negro. The Factor of White Competition ," Alfred Holt Stone , Publications of the American Economic Association 3rd Series, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Feb., 1906), pp. 243-294

    "For more than a century the Negro has cominated the catering field in Philadelphia. Thsi buisness has been intimately linked with the history of the Quaker City from its earliest days until the present. One of the first successful Negro ctaerers was Peter Augustine, who started and establishment on Third street above Spruce in 1816. His fame was world-wide. Often he sent his terrapin for which he was noted, to Paris. The firm of Augustine & Baptiste, his successor, continues to provide eatables for some of Philadelphia's oldest and wealthiest famlies. For 100 years this business has been kept in the family. Mrs. Clara Augustine and Miss Tillie Baptiste now conduct it on Fifteenth street, betwen Locust and Walnut streets. Among others of the old guild of caterers was Thomas J. Dorsey whose culianry accomplishments won for him both name and wealth. Henry Jones was equally as well known and successful. James Prosser was given credit for being one of the pioneer caterers and is said to have systematized and stabilized the business. His establishment was at Fourth and Market streets. A contemporary of Prosser was James Porter Sr., who conducted a restaurant at Eighth and Market strets. He was the first steward of the exclusive Philadelphia Club, which in the beginning was housed in the old Napoleon residence on Ninth street above Spruce. George Porter, a son, was associated with him. Prominent Negro caterers in Philadelphia of a later date were Henry Minton at Fourth and Chestnut streets and subsequently Twelfth street, near Walnut and Richard Thompkins on Fourth street, near Walnut. The catering and restaurant business was brought to a degree of perfection by these men of antebellum days and by many who followed. Years ago the Negroes practially controlled these profitable avenues of endeavor and were materially responsible for Philadelphia becoming famous as 'a city of good food.' Philadelphia's Original caterer and creator of this branch of business was Robert Bogle."
    ---"Phily Citizen Was First Maker of Ice Cream," Lester A. Walton, Pittsburgh Courier, May 19, 1928 (p. 12)

    "The institution of catering...reaches its highest excellence in Philadelphia. This occupation was oriingate dby a Phildelphia Negro, Robert Bogle, whose services were marked by such superlative excellence that one of his discriminating patrons, Nicholas Biddle, the leading Philadelphia financier of thsi time, was moved to poetic expresion, and wrote his 'Ode to Bogle' in 1829. The Negro caterers have give to this art a quality and flavor which is unique and distinctive and which tradition is being continued along admirable lines by Holland's, Augustine and Baptiste, and others."
    ---"Social Worker Cites Contributions of Negro to Philadelphia's Progress," Wayne Hopkins, Philadelphia Tribune, June 2, 1932 (p. 9)
    [NOTE: Want to read
    Ode to Bogle?]

    "William Walker, a colored caterer, living at 439 West Thirty-ninth Street, with his wife, went into the restaurant of John Stark, at 436 and 438 Ninth Avenue for supper serveral weeks ago. Walker alleged that the proprietor snatched the bill of fare from his wife's hand, and told both that he would not serve them because of theri color. Walker was corroborated by his wife in his testimony that Restaurant Keeper Stark said he would no serve them because of their color. Mr. Stark denied the statements of Mr. and Mrs. Walker, and said that when they entered his restaurant he was closing up one of the rooms, which he usually does every night. When the plaintiffs entered he requested them to take a seat in the other part of the restaurant, which was to remain open all night. He said that the plaintiff became very indignant, and ordered his wife to sit down in the room they were in..."
    ---"Sued Under the Malby Act," New York Times, October 4, 1895 (p. 14)

    See also: Augustus Jackson

    Early American women caterers
    [In 18th century America some] "women in the food workplace were caterers or confectioners of a sort. They sometimes ran small shops that specialized in their own preserves, candies, or baked delicacies. They were more likely to be situated in towns in which people followed fashion and made their purchases with cash (rather than bartering)...Some women baked to order and undertook simple catering from their homes. Their advertisements appeared regularly in eighteenth-century newspapers."
    ------Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, (p. 554-555)

    The American Historical Newspaper and ProQuest Historic Newspaper databases are excellent sources for find 18th-20th century ads and business listings. Ask your librarian how to access.


    Personal chefs & private cooks

    The rich and famous have long enjoyed the services of personal chefs. Until recently, personal chefs were retained by wealthy families, royalty, top government officials, prosperous businessmen, and the like. Personal chefs traveled with their employers, serving them in battlefields, summer retreats, foreign lands, and voyages. Napoleon's personal chef is reputed to have invented Chicken Marengo for his finicky boss on the battlefield. Jacques Pepin traveled with Charles De Gaulle as his personal chef. Oprah Winfrey's personal chef was elevated to adjunct celebrity status by helping her employer lose weight.

    The modern American personal/private chef industry descends from this grand culinary tradition. After World War II America entered an age of economic growth. Baby Boomers reaped the benefits of higher education and unprecedented job opportunities. Those attaining "Yuppie" status freely spent their newly acquired wealth on expensive goods and premium services. Savvy entrepreneurs capitalized on the growing demand for specialized personal services. Personal financial planners, personal trainers, personal nutritionists, personal shoppers, personal party planners, & related fields proliferated. Personal and private chefs took the general concept of catering (cooks for hire) from special occasion to everyday. Before long, having one's own personal chef was THE ultimate status symbol. Brand-name chefs were actively recruited for lucrative positions.

    The industry mushroomed as people with cooking experience seeking alternative work opportunities were drawn into the mix. Both chefs and clients grew at a remarkable pace. When the economy slowed in the 1990s, the personal chef industry reinvented itself. Chefs began to penetrate the middle class market, targeting dual-income career couples. The new hooks were economics (less expensive option that eating out), health (balanced, specialized diets), and convenience (professional meals ready to heat). The economic problems facing our country today [2009] present significant hardship for the personal chef industry. New clients are difficult to source. Old clients are scaling back or dropping this service altogether. Time for another reinvention. Personal vs Private chef?(industry definitions):
    "What is the difference between a personal chef and a private chef? A private chef is employed by one individual or family full time, and often lives in, preparing up to three meals per day. A personal chef serves several clients, usually one per day, and provides multiple meals that are custom-designed for the clients’ particular requests and requirements. These meals are packaged and stored, so that the client may enjoy them at his or her leisure in the future...Who hires personal chefs? The typical client mix includes two-income couples with or without children, career-focused individuals, those with special dietary or health needs, seniors and those who enjoy fine dining. How many personal chefs are out there? The current number of personal chefs is estimated at 9,000 serving 72,000 customers. Industry observers predict the number will double in the next 5 years. What do personal chefs do? Personal chefs design and execute menus for clients. They plan, purchase and prepare meals (usually once a week) either at the clients’ home or in a rented professional kitchen. Meals are packaged and stored, either in the clients’ refrigerator or freezer with heating-instruction labels."
    ---
    American Personal and Private Chef Association

    "While there are many similarities between personal chefs and private chefs, it's important that we distinguish between these two culinary professions. A private chef is one who is employed by a specific person or organization exclusively. She earns a paycheck and is responsible for providing her culinary services to one person or group. She works scheduled hours, cooks menus to satisfy the needs of her employer, whether a family or an organization...a personal chef is a chef for hire who works for herself as a small business operator. There is no exclusivity agreement involved, and she can choose the number of clients with whom she will associated and for whom she will prepare custom menues. As the profession began to gain popularity among culinarians and the attention of the media, many critics called personal chefs a fad profession that would be around only as long as it was fashionable. However, over time, this supposed fad became a trend and gave chefs and cooks around the world the opportunity to work with food on their own terms. The personal chef trend has become a legitimate career path in the culinary industry and a viable alternative career for culinarians looking to leave traditional cooking situations."
    ---The Professional Personal Chef, Candy Wallace [Wiley:New York] 2007 (p. 1-2)

    Who was the first personal chef?
    Industry experts do not credit a particular person with this honor. Candy Wallace, founder ot the American Personal and Private Chef Association, states:

    "Culinary history has not officially recorded when the first personal chef opened his doors for business. Was it hundreds of years ago, when a talented chef cooked for several affluent families traveling from one estate to another? Or was the first personal chef someone who cooked for a friend's family that had fallen on hard times and needed help with the day-to-day chores of the household? History provides us with clues, but determining when the personal chef profession emerged is open to discussion."
    ---Professional Personal Chef (p. 1)

    Our survey of American newspapers chronicles the genesis, evolution, issues, and challenges facing of the modern private and/or personal chef industry:

    [1978]
    "Muhammad Ali had his Aunt Coretta in the kitchen. Joe Frazier's trainer, Eddie Futch, did his cooking. George Foreman had a culinary specialist while training in Africa. And now, Ken Norton has a personal chef at Gilman Hot Springs. It seems a heavyweight champion's camp isn't complete without one. Norton, preparing for the first defense of his World Boxing Council title, against Larry Holmes June 9 in Las Vegas, had been ordering from a restaurant menu until Joe Behar arrived last week...Behar's primary employer is the La Jolla Village Inn, owned by Norton's manager...Behar...prepared Norton's meals at the home of Mike Penrod, manager of the Massacre Canyon Inn, where Norton stays."
    ---"Norton Has a Personal Chef and a Hearty Diet," Jack Hawn, Los Angeles Times, May 28, 1978 (p. E15)

    [1979]
    "At least seven Cabinet secretaries have personal chefs who prepare their breakfasts and lunches, often at bargain prices, a survey of federal departments disclosed. It costs taxpayers more than $126,000 a year in salaries for the chefs, who put together meals in the secretaries' personal kitchens and serve then in their private dining rooms...Atty. Gen. Benjamin R. Civiletti, whose two chefs are paid $23,000 and $17,000, often lunches with his special assistants and division chiefs in a handsome Williamsburg-style dining room next to his offices. Civiletti and his associates pay only $1.50 for breakfasts, which may include juice, eggs, bacon, grits, sausage or pancakes. According to the chef's menu, Civiletti this week will lunch on broiled whitefish, deviled crab and Swiss steak, plus vegetables, salad, dessert and beverage, for $2.50..."
    ---"Taxpayers Subsidize Meals: 7 Cabinet Secretaries Have Own Chefs," Los Angeles Times, December 16, 1979 (p. B6)

    [1988]
    "A Personal Chef. A Chicago company called Room Service has been offering "white glove dining in your home" since February. Bob Horwitz, a partner and vice president, figures he has it easier than a Southern California delivery service because "I can cover 12,000 people in one block. Out there, it would probably be that many in 10 miles." Room Service's partners raised $750,000 to open the business, which delivers selections from eight well-known Chicago restaurants in 10 specially equipped vans costing $26,000 each. Driven by waiters or waitresses, they are stocked with heating ovens, refrigerators and running water. Within an hour of a customer's phone order, a tuxedo-clad Room Service employee picks up a slightly undercooked meal from the restaurant of choice and delivers it to home, office or apartment. There, the waiter or waitress sets up the meal, complete with placements, napkins, heavy-duty plastic cutlery, salt and pepper and wet towels. Most meals (at an average cost per delivery of $35) require a few extra minutes of cooking time. Horwitz said the service, for which the customer is charged 20% over the menu price plus a $3 delivery fee, is geared to upper-income customers....In Philadelphia, Steve Poses, a restaurateur and caterer, recently added a service called Personal Chef to his Commissary restaurant and takeout operation. "Today everyone needs a personal chef," he said. "Unfortunately, not everyone can afford one." The service sets up menus for entertaining at home. The party fare can be delivered or picked up."
    ---"Special Delivery, Personal Chefs and a Telephone for Your Freezer," Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1988, (p. 5)

    [1990]
    "Two incompatible types emerged in the 1980's: the couch potato and the insatiable restaurant goer. But by the dawn of the 90's, a few fortnate people were finding a way to reconcile their interests in staying at home and their desire to enjoy good food: hire a chef. Personal, or private, chefs have joined that arsenal of service people, from personal trainers to personal bankers, that smooth the lives of today's rich and famous and, increasingly, more down-to-earth professionals, too. Some chefs...are working full time for the wealthy and he well known, even living in their houses. But others may cook dinners only a few evenings a week for professional singles or couples, or just come in for special occasions. Carole Rydell, placement coordinator at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., said she saw a slow, steady increase in the number of requests the school received for private chefs in the last seven years. 'We get requests from wealthy people for someone to serve on their yacht,' she said. 'But at the lowest end, we get requests from doctors and lawyers and people in finance and advertising who entertain a lot for business or social reasons.' She said the requests increase during the summer, when people hire chefs for their vacation or weekend homes."
    ---"Tired of Eating Out? Send for Your Chef," Kathleen Beckett-Young, New York Times, August 22, 1990 (p. C1)

    [1994]
    "The latest trend for baby boomers struggling to squeeze more quality out of their quality time? Personal chefs-they'll do the shopping, cook a couple weeks' worth of gourmet, low-fat meals and leave the food in the freezer to be consumed at will. "It's a business whose time has come. I don't think this would have worked 10 years ago," said David Mac Kay, executive director of the U.S. Personal Chef Assn., which in less than two years has grown to more than 300 members serving clients in 46 states."
    ---"What's for Dinner? Personal Chef Has a Gourmet Answer Lifestyle: Harried baby boomers hire professionals to do the marketing, cook a couple weeks' worth of gourmet meals, and leave them in the freezer. The service isn't cheap, but it's growing in popularity," Luis Cabrera, Los Angeles Times, Sep 11, 1994, (p. 5)

    "Pursuing Rosie Daley through a supermarket takes some agility. She zips through the produce section at Whole Foods Market like a kid in a candy shop, grabbing red peppers with one hand and scooping up porcini mushrooms with the other. She wastes no time filling her cart with carrots, oranges, lettuce, greens, edible flowers and, later, bags of bulk whole-wheat flour and other grains. There's reason to tail her: Daley is Oprah Winfrey's personal chef. She knows what Winfrey wants, or at least what Winfrey ought to eat to maintain her slimmed-down figure. And Daley knows how to satisfy Winfrey's tastebuds while not straining her caloric budget. That's why three years ago Winfrey whisked Daley, 32, away from her job as chef at the Cal-a-Vie health spa in Vista, Calif., where Winfrey was spending a couple of weeks getting into shape. Personal cooks are fine for those who can afford such individual attention, but now Daley-with Winfrey's help-is putting some of Winfrey's favorite recipes into a cookbook for everybody to share. In the Kitchen With Rosie, Oprah's Favorite Recipes (Knopf, $14.95) goes on sale next Thursday, with a kickoff appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show and at Marshall Field's book department. But though it has an introduction by the famous talk show host and little Oprahesque vignettes that precede many of the 50 recipes, it is not a book about Winfrey, Daley says. "It's about making healthful food realistically." Daley cooks at Winfrey's Chicago apartment, at her farm in northern Indiana and at her condo in Telluride, Colo. And she stocks the Winfrey refrigerators with juices and healthful snacks and prepares foods for her to eat at the studio, on airplanes and elsewhere."
    ---"Oprah's Favorites Personal Chef Publishes Collection of Low-fat Recipes that Fuel the Star's Busy Schedule," Steven Pratt, Chicago Tribune, April 21, 1994, (p. 3)

    [1995]
    "When Stephanie Hersh got her fist job as a private chef for a family of four in Milton, Mass., in 1989, she did what she though private chefs do: she spent each day preparing haute cuisine for dinner. At the end of the first week, her employer sat her down and said they needed to talk about menus. As Ms. Hersh recalled it, her employer was reassuring but firm, telling her: 'Not that this hasn't been wonderful--it's jut not the way we eat. We like foods like macraoni and cheese and meatloaf and lasagna.'...Ms. Hersh promptly switched gears and began making simpler meals. There was a time when private chefs provided five-course meals for the leisure class. Now, both the clientele and the cuisine are changing. Because of time-crunched, nutritionally conscious, two-career families, a new breed of private chef has been spawned: one who goes into a home and cooks affordable meals that are meant to appeal to those who are tired of restaurant and takeout food. Now, there is even a business-support association for those wishing to start a personal chef service: the United States Personal Chef Association, which has 650 members in 46 states. It was founded in 1991 by David MacKay and his wife, Susan Titcomb, who is a personal chef in Albuquerque, N.M. Work as a personal chef usually offers an easier life than in restaurants. Four days a week, Nancy Davis, a former restaurant chef who runs a personal chef service in Austin, Tex., called Chef on the Run, dons her chef fatigues, loads her car with cooking equipment and groceries, and spends the day cooking in clients' kitchens--a venue she says she vastly prefers to a restaurant kitchen, with its high stress level and nighttime hours, which makes social life difficult. Ms. davis leaves 10 individually packaged entrees wand side dishes for two in the refrigerators of those clients who are on an every-there-week schedule. Her portions are large, and clients sometimes stretch two meals from one. Although she makes things like lemon-grass chicken and crayfish enchiladas, she will also accommodate blander palates. Her charge is $260 for 10 meals for two people...It often happens that clients who are initially skeptical about the prospect of a stranger in their kitchen cooking what they fear could turn out to be no more than expensive Lean Cuisine quickly become converts to the luxury of sitting down to professionally prepared meals withing minutes of arriving home from work...'When you look at the economics, it's a bargain compared to going out to eat three times a week,'...'Even so, most people regard us as somewhat extravagant, and the notion of having someone come to your home to cook is considered a but much.'...Members of the United States Personal Chef Association are not required to be trained chefs--though some are--and they range from retired jewelers to hairdressers and former military personnel."
    ---"Private Chefs for Busy People Who Like Their Meatloaf," Anne S. Lewis, New York Times, April 26, 1995 (p. C4)

    [1998]
    "Personal chefs--people who plan, shop for and prepare meals for clients in their homes--offer a novel approach in the vast food service industry that is catching on across the country...At an initial consultation, Linkens [a personal chef] sits down with customers to find out dietary preferences, and restrictions, and how they want the service tailored to fit their needs. A typical bimonthly contract includes 10 meals for two with Linkens bringing all ingredients and even his own pots and pans to the homes of customers, where he spends an entire day preparing their food. When he leaves, the refrigerator and freezer are stocked and the kitchen spotless. The menu and the budget are entirely up to the client."
    ---"Chef Creates a Business Providing Personal Service, Shopping to Table," Philadelphia Tribune, August 11, 1998 (p. 2B)

    "Once considered trendy or a perk for the wealthy, the personal chef business is gathering steam. Zierke is one of 1,800 personal chefs around the country and Canada, according to David MacKay, founder of the U.S. Personal Chef Assn. of Albuquerque, N.M. About 11 years ago, MacKay said, he "created a concept" to get his wife, Susan, out of the hectic restaurant business. "I thought, 'Hey, if the yuppies are paying to have maids come in to their house, they'll pay to have personal chefs come in,' " he said. In 1992, he started the association with five members. Today, there are conventions, training sessions, correspondence courses, certification and a bimonthly magazine. At the present growth rate there will be more than 5,000 personal chef service businesses in the United States in five years, MacKay said."
    ---Demand for Personal Chefs Heats Up; Business: Cooks travel to customers' homes to prepare meals. For many, service is a lifesaver," Greg Smith, Los Angeles Times, September 27, 1998 (p. 16)

    [2000]
    "Personal fortunes have always demanded personal service. And over the past quarter-century the vogue in one-on-one attention has shifted from psychiatrist to personal trainer to nutritionist. Today, those flush with fortune--or seeking to emulate serious wealth--want a chef to call their own. Friends who used to ask for restaurant recommendations now ring up requesting referrals for personal chefs. The United States Personal Chef Association of Rio Rancho, N.M., estimates that only 1,000 American families employed cooks 10 years ago compared with at least 100,000 families today. Cooking schools ike Peter Kump in New York have established referral services. Dozens of personal-chef placement services have sprung up, primarily in large cities..'I was out with several well-known chefs, and as we left the restaurant, I heard one rich guy say 'There goes so and so. He's my chef,'...'Can you imagine that? Wealthy people used to put chefs in business by backing their restaurants. Now forget about the restaurant--they just want to own the chef.'. Al Martino, who owns Chef's International, a placement service in New York says that former assistants to celebrity chefs like Daniel Boulud, Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck are in the highest demand. 'The very young and newly rich haven't lived long enough to educate their taste,' Martino says. 'Employing a brand-name private chef is a way of appearing to have taste.'"
    ---"A Chef of One's Own," Molly O'Neill, New York Times, October 15, 2000 (p. SM119)

    "Local cooking school officials and industry groups say a raging stock market, strong economy and long workdays have left people with more cash and less time, feeding the demand for personal chefs whose cuisine ranges from Asian fusion to macaroni and cheese. The product of a prosperous, health-crazed age, personal chefs have been popular on both coasts and now are gaining grounding the Midwest. "The more two-income households there are, the more people you find looking for personal chefs," said Tara Foulks, director of career services at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. The number of people seeking personal cooks through the school has roughly tripled in the last two years, Folks said. Once reserved for the aristocracy, chefs are cooking for a different clientele these days: health-conscious upper-middle-class parents and professionals sick of skipping meals or gorging themselves on fast food. According to the American Personal Chef Association (yes, there is one), some 100,000 U.S. households are sitting down to professionally cooked meals at home."
    ---"Time-sgarved Families Try Personal Chefs Fat Wallets, Busy Days Feed Demand for Cooks," Vanessa Gezari, Chicago Tribune, Aug 11, 2000, (p.1)

    [2001]
    "Personal chefs are a growing specialty -- and the ultimate in convenience foods. They take care of everything -- the meal planning, shopping, cooking and cleanup. Organized through the United States Personal Chefs Association (USPCA), the profession attracts people who love to cook and are good at it but don't want the stress and long hours of restaurant kitchens or the high pressure and late nights of catering. As personal chefs they get the good parts of cooking for a living -- the smiles on their clients' faces and the thank you's. They also get to control their own schedules.Born in the boom years, the USPCA has grown from about 500 people in 1995 to about 5,000 in all 50 states today, including about 100 in the Washington metropolitan area. Despite the current economic slowdown, aspiring personal chefs continue to fill up the organization's classes. Maybe that's because personal chefs don't just cook for millionaires. Their clients range from families with two working parents and too little time to cook, to singles who like good food but don't know how to cook, to people on special diets for medical reasons. Although USPCA chefs usually charge a set fee for their whole package (four portions each of five different dinner entrees), that fee is generally based on the estimated cost of a mid-priced restaurant meal in their locality. In the Washington area that means $17 to $21 per person, one of the highest in the country. It's not a paltry sum but it's well under the cost of many restaurant tabs."
    ---"House Calls; A Day in the Life of a Personal Chef," Judith Weinraub, Washington Post , June 6, 2001 (p. F1)

    "A power shift is astir in America's kitchens, and it has nothing to do with those little buttons on your blender. In the not-too-distant future, the country's most sought-after chefs may no longer be the celebs overseeing trendy urban restaurants and starring in TV cooking shows. Takeout food from restaurants and grocery stores may no longer be the automatic in-a-pinch choices for the harried, hungry masses. There may not even be a pinch. The emerging pacesetters are chefs who cook in customers' homes and empower them to specify the cuisine, menus, calorie content, spicing levels and dinner hour. These pros more closely resemble your grandmother than Escoffier: They also do your shopping, wash the dishes, even take out the garbage. They're graduating from cooking schools by the hundreds, and they are beginning to reshape the chef-diner relationship. "This is the kitchen equivalent of day care," says Clark Wolf, a New York-based food and restaurant consultant. "Just as we have accepted other people taking care of our kids with our instructions, we have accepted other people cooking for us with our instructions." What people want the most isn't found in any restaurant or grocery store. "What I'm selling people is time, not so much food, or I'm selling them health," says Jan Sims, who runs the 7-month-old personal chef service And What's for Dinner in Topeka, Kan. The mouth- filling slogan for her business: "Meals Like Mom Made, Made in Your Place to Your Taste." When in-home chef services came to national attention in the mid- 1990s, the prime customer base was affluent couples, usually with families. But the number of personal chefs has mushroomed since then, and today they're increasingly filtering into mainstream markets such as Sunbelt retirement communities and middle-class homes in the heartland. The United States Professional Chef Association, one of the industry's largest training and certifying organizations, places the number of full-time in-home chefs at 6,000, and the customers using them at 100,000 or more. Five years ago, "there were maybe just a few hundred personal chefs," says the association's president, David MacKay. "Today they're in every state and in every city above 50,000 (population)." A cottage industry As the number of in-home chefs has grown, the profession has taken on some of the trappings of a cottage industry. Most services are solo operations, sometimes advertised in free supermarket-shopper newspapers or by note cards pinned to bulletin boards. The chefs usually have at least an associate's degree (or the equivalent) from a culinary school. A service with 20 clients can bring in $30,000 to $40,000 a year. Typically, personal chefs visit a home once or twice a month. They prepare a dozen or more meals at a time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer for the client to reheat later. Clients pay about $14 to $20 per person per meal (usually a meat, starch and vegetable), with extras negotiable."
    ---"Personal chefs are no longer just for the rich 'Kitchen equivalent of day care' trickles down to the middle class," Jerry Shriver, USA Today, February 9, 2001, (p.1A)

    [2003]
    "Most personal chefs take food and cookware to a client's home, prepare a couple of weeks' worth of meals, some of which are frozen, and leave the place spic and span. Others cook and package meals at a commercial kitchen, since [Westchester County, NY] health codes prohibit chefs from selling the food that they prepare in their own home...Chefs must also have certification in safe food handling. Increased sophistication about food, spurred in part by star television cooks and celebrity restaurateurs, helped create this new niche in the food service industry, said Candy Wallace, executive director of the American Personal Chef Association, founded in San Diego in 1995. 'We also get a lot of clients with dietary restrictions and people watching their weight,' she said,' People can custom-tailor their food. You can't really do that in a restaurant, but if you hire a personal chef, you can sit there and watch while your meal is cooked if you want.' Ms. Wallace's organization counts 3,000 members, she said, 1,000 more than in 2001. The industry is also an outgrowth of the country's convenience culture. 'Over the years, we started with a baby sitter in the house and we have a house cleaner,' said Nancy Rossnagel of Pleasantville...'Having a chef was the next logical step.'...Being a personal chef offers unrivaled flexibility...One pitfall in a profession with such obvious upside potential is frequent client turnover."
    ---"Chefs Who Make House Calls," Marc Ferris, New York Times, March 2, 2003 (p. WE3)

    [2007]
    "As lives get increasingly busy with careers, kids, commutes and other chaos, a growing number of people are turning to personal chefs to make sure that there's a hot meal on the table at the end of a long day. Hiring a professional to cook for you isn't a whole lot different from hiring someone to clean your house or walk the dog, and it's not just for the wealthy, said John Moore, executive director of the United States Personal Chef Association. "It's not 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,'" Moore said. "People don't have personal chefs because they have tons of money, they have them because it solves a problem. It puts dinner on the table. "Personal chefs typically prepare several days' worth of customized meals in advance, potentially for several clients. The meals are prepared and packaged, ready to be popped in an oven or microwave whenever a client wants to eat.Some chefs charge a flat rate; others are paid by the hour. The chef does the grocery shopping, along with the cleanup, and those costs are added to the bill.Total costs usually range between $15 and $20 per person per meal, depending on the kind of food prepared and other related costs. That's not much different from a meal at a restaurant, Moore said."Except that people don't have to go out, pay for parking or leave a tip," Moore said. "And they get to eat a meal that was custom made just for them."Personal chefs have the potential to make more money than their restaurant counterparts, about $25 per hour on average, compared with about $14.75 for a head cook or chef in a restaurant, Moore said.As a result, the personal chef industry has gained numerous "restaurant refugees," who see the profession as a way to both get away from hectic restaurant schedules and make more money, Moore said.The association estimates that there are just over 5,000 personal chef businesses operating in the U.S. and Canada, up from about 1,500 a decade ago."
    ---"More people acquire taste for personal chefs," Chicago Tribune, October 11, 2007 (p. 5)

    [2009]
    "It takes a certain kind of personality to be a person's private chef. If that person is, say, R&B artist Keyshia Cole, then the daily menu might be low carbs, high protein and little feedback other than "that was good." If that person is a major league baseball pitcher, the Zone Diet might become a way of life, and the way you cook. Chef Barry Kraemer has that certain kind of personality, and he has cooked, professionally and personally, for Cole and the pitcher."When you're hired by a celebrity, or a family, to cook for them, you become a one-man show of housekeeper, dog walker, babysitter, chef, garbage man, grocer and go-to guy all in one," says Kraemer of the 10- to 14-hour days he has worked making low-carb meals for Cole and others. (Cole was shooting a video during Kraemer's tenure.) His job, with the help of Cole's trainer, was to "transform her body and sculpt her like a body builder." Says Kraemer of his work: "It's challenging, and I love it. But if you're looking for the 'attaboys,' this job's not for you." The chef says it's rare if he actually has contact with the famous people he's cooked for, other than an occasional "hello." The former Arden's Garden sales rep started catering for a few of his clients several years back and finally made the switch to full-time private chef when he answered Cole's trainer's ad on Craigslist. Today he runs a personal chef and catering company, Sage Kitchen. "If I didn't love serving people and taking care of them, I could never succeed at this," Kraemer says. "Because a lot of times you don't get any feedback at all." He also must like long, arduous workdays, because most are spent shopping (often going to several stores to find that one particular requested item) and prepping for not just the day but the entire week --- only to have the whole menu changed at the last minute, or a party of two at 8 turning into a party of 12 at midnight. "I just keep the freezer and pantry stocked and anticipate all the changes," Kraemer says. "And the answer to everything is 'yes.' "Jobs may last from a couple of months to years. It can be lucrative, but often when the show is over, or that transfer to another team happens, Kraemer is left holding the kitchen tongs. Kraemer, who lives in Norcross, is self-taught, learning to cook from tasting and doing. He gives his clients an extensive questionnaire once he's hired so that he can assess exactly what they want. The 43 questions cover everything from low-glycemic food preferences to dessert. The job requires an inordinate amount of organization, and Kraemer says that the kitchen must always look like "you're on TV" because guests --- from television executives to personal friends --- could drop in at any time."These are people who are used to being cared for," Kraemer says. "They have unpredictable schedules. It's a little like a cooking contest I have with myself every day.""
    ---"Personal chef only part of the job: Role delivers long hours, little feedback. Barry Kraemer works off questionnaire to better serve clients," Meredith Ford Goldman, The Atlanta Journal - Constitution, August 6, 2009 (p. E1)

    See also: Ancient Roman cook-caterers

    86'd (eighty-sixed)
    There are as many theories regarding the origin of the phrase "86" as there are meanings. The general concensus of the food historians and linguistic experts is this term originated in the 20th century.

    "Eighty-six. "Do not sell to that customer" (1943) or "The kitchen is out of the item ordered (1936). Perhaps from the practice at Chumley's Restaurant (once a speakeasy) in New York City of throwing rowdy customers out the back door, which is No. 86 Bedford Street."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 192)

    "Eighty-six. 1.(among waiters and bartenders) out of stock; out (of an item ordered by a customer." [1926-35 Watters & Hopkins Burlesque 47: Waiter...if you need any Scotch or gin, sir--...My number is Eighty-Six...Skid...Year. Eighty-Six. In know. (Waiter exits R. Skid draws enormous flask form pocket.)] 1936 AS (Feb.): Eighty-six. Item on the menu not on hand. 1945 Calif. Folk Qly. IV 55: Eighty-six...We do not have that item ordered. 1953. A. Kahn Brownstowne 214: "Eighty-six on the Danish," he proclaimed as he removed the last glossy grown pastry from under the glass cover. 2. an unwelcome customer who is to be denied service. 1943 G. Fowler Sweet Prince 227 [ref. to 1920's]: There was a bar in the Belasco building...but Barrymore was known in that cubby as an "eighty-six." And "eighty-six" in the patois of western dispensers means, "Don't serve him!""
    ---Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G, J.E. Lighter, editor [Random House:New York] 1994 (p. 700)

    "86, and bartenders' number code. Practicing barkeeps of the nation aren't going to like this explanation, but indications are that 86 may well have come from a number code created by the comparatively effete soda fountain clerks of the nation...Originally, according the the American Thesaurus of Slang, it was a password used between clerks to to indicate: "We're all out of the item ordered." The transition from this meaning--common enough in soda fountains of the 1920's--to the bartender's sense of "Serve no more because of the shape he's in" is fairly obvious. The number code developed by the soda clerks was very extensive, incidentally. The head fountain manager was 99, the assistant manager was 98--which also meant "pest"...and for some reason, 33 meant a cherry-flavored Coca-Cola, 55 meant root beer and 19 was a banana split."
    ---Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, William & Mary Morris [Harper & Row:New York] 1962, Volume 1 (p. 122-3)

    "The term '86,'...derives from the fact "that the Second Avenue El [New York City] stopped--completely--at 86th Street, so everyone had to get out. Bars picked up the conductor's call 86' to throw out drunks." Another interpretation is that the term originated in California "by bartenders who derived the expression from the California beverage code--Section 86--which prohibits serving alcoholic beverages to persons in an intoxicated states. At. P.J. Clarke's on Fifty-fifth Street in New York City, the explanation is this: "In the early days of this country, when much of the distilled liquor was served 100 proof, a bartender would cut off an offensive or intoxicated customer by \86ing him.' That is, by cutting the proof of the liquor to 86." ---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 152)

    "“86” (not from Chumley’s or Empire State Building) "Eighty six," in restaurant lingo, means to be out of an item. It is sometimes claimed that it comes from Chumley's, at 86 Bedford Street, or that it comes from the Empire State Building, where an elevator takes you to the 86th floor. I found the earliest citation so far -- in a Walter Winchell column from 1933. Winchell, the great Broadway slang man, records this bit of slang from Hollywood. This 1933 date and the fact that Winchell does not claim any New York connection rules out both Chumley's and the Empire State Building theories; both Chumley's (1927) and the Empire State Building (1931) were new. Slang for the Empire State Building would hardly be unknown. Other New York theories for "eighty six" seem equally dubious, and it is unlikely that Walter Winchell would not record them, had they existed."
    ---SOURCE:
    Big Apple/Barry Popik
    [NOTE: This web entry contains many addititional details and citings.]

    Men & women dining together in restaurants
    When did men and women begin dining in public together? Excellent question! We examined three cities: Paris, London and New York. While evidence suggests some mixed dining happened as early as the 18th century, this practice was not fashionable until the late 19th/early 20th century. The primary drivers were rise of the middle class (economic), growth of the hotel industry (restaurants catered to traveling couples), and demise of restrictive Victorian culture (social). Did you know? Long before it was fashionable for men and women to be seen dining in public together, they dined "out" in private rooms. Fine restaurants and hotels established separate dining rooms for ladies. Tea rooms, ice cream parlors and department store restaurants catered exclusively to female clientele.

    PARIS
    "After the 1760s, restaurateurs no longer advertised special 'apartments' for ladies alone, but they were quick to offer private rooms for intimate meals."
    ---The Invention of the Restaurant, Rebecca Spang [Harvard University Press:Cambridge MA] 2000 (p. 80)

    "By 1788, one description of the restaurants of the Palais Royal commented, 'Honest women, and those of good reputation, never go there'--but an 1803 guidebook instructed its readers: 'one may not lunch with a lady in a cafe, but one may have dinner with her in a restaurant.' Who was that woman in the restaurant, and how could one know for sure? Whoever the women were, their presence immediately separated a restaurant from a table d'hote or a cafe."
    ---ibid (p. 83)

    "...women had never been absent from restaurant dining rooms in Paris. Charlotte Bronson of Boston, on her Paris honeymoon [1830s], wrote copious letters to her parents and siblings in which she noted the site of every evening's meal and repeatedly assured her correspondents that eating in restaurants was 'quite the common thing for ladies' and 'very fashionable' among them. When she dines at the Cafe de Paris, there were 'many ladies'..."
    ---(p. 199)

    "Martha Amory, a honeymooning American of the 1820s, dined with her new spouse in one of the intimate private rooms of the Trois Freres Provencaux, but she did not find it a very 'novel' experience..."
    ---(p. 209)

    London
    "Those restaurants account for the very slow breakdown in the extreme formality of the Victorian restaurant, which began with the introduction of the grill room in hotels towards the end of the [19th] century...In the grill room the fare would be simpler, but it would be served primarily to a male gathering. Ladies would usually eat with their families in their hotel rooms. It was the Ritz at the Savoy who started the movement towards eating out in mixed mixed company, though only with suitable safeguards. Ladies had to wear hats and were to be accompanied. The regulations which had to be obeyed before you could spend our money in a top class restaurant appear in retrospect a trifle ludicrous unless you remember how important it was to protect the restaurant's reputation."
    ---Fortune Fame & Folly: British hotels and catering from 1878 to 1978, Derek Taylor [Chapel Tover Press:Andover UK] 1977 (p. 83)

    "One of the big shifts in eating out during the last 500 years is the full accommodation of women from the late 19th century onwards, mirroring the march of women into the work force and public life. Later in the 20th century children also began to be accommodated, as the novel idea that families could eat out together for fun began to take hold."
    ---London Eats Out: 500 years of capital dining, Edwina Ehrman [Philip Wilson Publishers:London] 1999 (p. 9-10)

    "Much to the surprise of foreigners, [17th century] taverns were also frequented by women...Women could and did dine in taverns without compromising their honour, and Mrs Pepys regularly met her husband and their friends for a meal at a favorite haunt."
    ---ibid (p. 35-36)

    "At the end of the [18th] century, John Britton records occasionally meeting women at the modest eating-house in Holborn where he dined. Earlier Dr. Johnson and the Ivy-Lane Club had entertained Charlotte Lennox, her husband and a woman friend to a bohemian supper at the Devil Tavern in Fleet Street; the party went on all night and was probably an exceptional occasion. The social life of genteel women was focused in the home with occasional visits to assembly rooms and routs, while men pursued their friendships and interests outside in coffee-houses, taverns and chop houses. In the summer, however, women were able to enjoy eating out at London's many tea and pleasure gardens."
    ---ibid (p. 63)

    "A significant development of the 19th century was the arrival of the restaurant and modern hotel, which both provided acceptable public surroundings for mixed dining. In 1851 the influx of visitors to London to see the Great Exhibition focused attention on the shortage of suitable venues for men and women eating together. Women could eat alone at confectioner's shops, ad they had done since the beginning of the century, and in 'Parisian cafes' at the fashionable Thames-side resorts such as Windsor, Richmond and Greenwich...More conventional or less confident women could eat in the separate ladies' dining rooms provided by some establishments. At the end of the century the cafes and refreshment rooms introduced in shops and department stores...offered another alternative for women up in town. However, for families or mixed parties there were few places where a meal could be eaten...Increasing middle-class demands for respectable eating places, suitable for members of both sexes, undoubtedly encouraged the growth of restaurants."
    ---ibid (p. 79-80)

    "In 1868 Frederick Gordon, a leading entrepreneur, leased Crosby Hall, a 15th century building in Bishopsgate, to convert it into a restaurant. The dining room was open to men and women, and waitresses, not waiters, attended the tables. The provision of a ladies 'boudoir' and retiring rooms with female attendants shows that Gordon was actively seeking women customers."
    ---ibid (p. 81)

    "Escoffier made no secret of the fact that he enjoyed cooking for women, so Ritz set out to alter the custom of centuries. Not only did he succeed in an astonishing short space of time, he also managed to change British law. With the help of allies and society leaders such as Lady de Grey and Mrs Keppel, it became fashionable for women to frequent the Savoy and subsequently other top class hotels and restaurants. When the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, dined at the Savoy with Mrs. Langtry it was the ultimate recommendation."
    ---The Savoy Food and Drink Book, Alison Leach editor [Pyramid:London] 1988 (p. 15-16)
    [NOTE: p. 15 offers a photo of the cover of Gentlewoman magazine, July 1906 showing a man and woman dining together.] \

    New York City
    "The Manhattan business lunch disrupted the domestic circle. No longer was it possible for families to gather at home for a leisurely midday meal. For older New Yorkers, this break in tradition marked the beginning of the modern era. It was yet another reminder that the city was now a money-driven powerhouse where the gentler manners of the Knickerbocker era no longer applied and women could take their meals outside the house. The propulsive energies carrying New York into the future conspired against private life, and private dining. 'As the fathers, brothers, and sons do not go home to dinner, the mothers, wives and daughters have no inducements to eat their meals in solitude,' Putnam's observed in 1853. 'So while the male members of the family are eating their little dinners at Delmonico's, Frederick's, or Sweeny's, as the case may be, the female members are solacing themselves with fricandeaus, meringues, and ices at Thompson's, Taylor's, or Weller's; so that it may be said that nearly half of the people of New-York dine out every day in the week but Sunday. Where women fit in remains a puzzling question. To a great extent, public dining was segregated by sex, either explicitly or implicitly. Unescorted women were not admitted to most hotel dining rooms and fine restaurants, and, by preference,they did not venture into masculine haunts like the downtown lunch rooms and oyster saloons. Yet not all doors were closed. Charles Richard Weld, an Englishman, paid a visit to the same Taylor's mentioned by Putnams and, with some surprise, noted the presence of female parties at several tables. For the benefit of his English readers, he added that 'this in not at all uncommon in New York.' In fact, at the Brevoort House he witnessed the very same phenomenon: a part of women who sat down, ordered, ate...and departed...The evidence is scant and contradictory. Did the gender policy depend on the type of restaurant, the management, or the neighborhood? It is difficult to say."
    ---Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York, William Grimes [North Point Press:New York] 2009 (p. 63-64)

    "Profound cultural change was sweeping over America. Women, increasingly part of the labor force in large cities, were slowly asserting their rights, and the pressures of a modern economy were breaking down old barriers segregating the sexes. These were formidable...With the new century moving briskly along, women still could not go into a bar...If they entered a restaurant without a male escort, they were directed to the ladies' cafe, if one existed, or to a lunchroom specifically designated for women. All this was about to change. When the Cafe Martin announced that women would be allowed to eat in the main dining room, it read the future correctly. The old rules were up for revision."
    --ibid (p. 169-170)

    First televisions in restaurants?
    Our research indicates televisions were installed in (some) restaurants right from the beginning. Then, as today, the primary motivator was sports:

    [1936]
    "Television's New York Debut yesterday in the start of a $1,000,000 field test undertaken by the Radio Corporation of America was favored with an ideal day in which the images might smile through space without being blurred by static. The pictures are unreeled and flashed into space form aerials atop the Empire State Building. Telephone calls which, according to a representative of R.C.A. 'swamped the operators,' were said to have revealed widespread interest in the test, many of the inquirers asking where they might go to watch the 'performance.' They were told that only a few receivers have been set up as observation outposts and that the sites had not been made public. It is understood restaurants, department stores, night clubs and other public gathering places have requested that receivers be installed so that their guests and clients may look in on the experimental 'entertainment.'"
    ---"Test of Television Started in Secret," New York Times, June 30, 1936 (p. 21)

    [1937]
    "Television over wire lines, transmitted from the lobby of the Hotel Lincoln for Jack Dempsey's Restaurant, was demonstrated yesterday as the first installation of a new system designed by J. Hoyt Peck, New York inventor, in which letters typed on a moving film of transparent cellophane are sent to a distant mechanical- electrical device which projects them as moving letters on a screen. The system is designed for transmitting from a central depot or studio brief news reports, sports items and other such material for display on a number of 'receivers' simultaneously. Mr. Peck, who heads Peck Television Corporation of 66 Broadway, has been perfecting the mechanism for at least two years. He said arrangements are under way to install receiving equipment in more than 200 restaurants and other semipublic places in the city in the near future. Mr. Dempsy sent the first message over the system, lauding the idea as one which will not conflict with other channels of news dissemination, but which will serve to whet the appetite of the public for similar but more complete information. The receiver, he said, is to remain in his restaurant indefinitely."
    ---"Television Device Demonstrated Here," New York Times, December 10, 1937 (p. 32)

    [1941]
    "Television with your beer is now being offered by more than 800 television set owners in taverns, cafes and restaurants in Metropolitan New York. The first piece of major television consumer promotion appeared last week in the form of window posters for the taverns, advertising the televising of last Tuesday's Red Burman- Melio Bettina fight from Ebbett's Field, Brooklyn."
    ---"On the Business Horizon," Barron's, July 28, 1941 (p. 5)

    [1947]
    "The CBS Research Department reports that as of Sept. 1 there was an estimated 50,000 television sets in use in the metropolitan area, of which approximately 15 per cent were located in bars and restaurants. It is known...however, the world series greatly stimulated the sale of video sets so that the current figures probably are appreciably higher."
    ---"New of Radio: World Series Air Audience Sets a Record," Jack Gould, New York Times, October 10, 1947 (p. 50)

    Compare with family home TV dining.


    Oldest menu on record?

    "...the Sumerians...had a written language. Thanks to them, we have the first written dinner menus. A clay tablet B.C. lists a proper meal for the gods. No doubt this was a kind of kitchen memorandum for the benefit of priests in training. The gods, according to this listing, might be served chickens, ducks, or doves; they were partial to the meat of sheep and goats and that of cows, and they also enjoyed fish. For dressing these deified entrees either olive oil or sesame oil might be used. For garniture dates, givs, and cucumbers were acceptable, as were pistachio nuts, apricots, prunes, and dried raisins. A god might also have a sweet tooth, for the memorandum ends with a reference to cakes. He sometimes drank a wine made from sesame seeds. Since a Sumerian king was considered a living deity, we can assume that these celestial meals were actually served to the king himself who consumed the food as a deputy of the gods."
    ---Cooks, Gluttons & Gourmets: A History of Cookery, Betty Wason [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1962 (p. 72-73)
    [NOTE: Ms. Wasons's book offers an extensive bibliography but no footnotes. She does not cite the source of this information.]

    What was the oldest written recipe?


    Restaurant menus

    Restaurant menus, as we know them today, are a relatively new phenomenon. Food historians tell us they were a "byproduct" of the French Revolution. About restaurants. In the 20th century children's menus take their place at the table.

    "From the early 1770s, at the latest, the use in restaurants of a printed menu, or carte, that allowed each customer to choose his or her own restoratives marked another distinctive innovation in service. Before the emergence of the restaurant, a menu had always been a list of all those foods to be served during a particular meal (as at a banquet today). Cookbooks recommended them and chefs in wealthy households composed them, but all the items on the menu were brought to the table in the course of the meal. A table d'hote had no menu; the eaters (whoever in the course of the meal might be) and the food (whatever it might be) arrived at the same moment. The restaurant's role as a place for the exhibition and treatment of individual weaknesses, however, necessitated a new sense of the menu: the creation of a list of available items from which each consumer made personal choices at the most convenient moment. In the restaurant, the vagaries of each customer-patient's malady demanded different dietary treatments; no two souls or nervous systems were "sensitive" in the same way. When ordering from a restaurant menu, the patron therefore made a highly individualistic statement, differentiating him-or herself (and his or her bodily complaint) from the other eaters and their conditions. By the mere presence of a menu, the restaurant's style of service demanded a degree of self-definition, and awareness and cultivation of personal tastes, uncalled for by the inn or cookshop...Restaurants had printed menus because they offered their customers a choice of unseen dishes...While a restaurant's fare might not be uniform...its monetary transactions were...the printed menu allowed restaurant patrons to calculate costs "before spending a penny." There in print, set and fixed before his or her very eyes, the restaurant customer saw prices and dish names, concoctions and costs. No longer required to share each of the dishes brought to a table d'hote, but permitted to concentrate on the ones he or she explicitly requested, the restaurant patrons could make preference as much a matter of finance as of taste...In a restaurant, the ostentations potlatch of baroque expenditure was replaced by the equally conspicuous and significant economy of rationalized calculation."
    ---The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, Rebecca L. Spang [Harvard University Press:Cambridge MA] 2000 (p. 76-8)
    [NOTE: This book contains far more information about the origin and history of the menu than can be paraphrased here. If you need more details please ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]

    Looking for information on the origins and evolution of classic French menus?
    We are often asked to provide the sequence of items comprising the "Classic 12 course French menu." The classic French style of menu making and courses is complicated. The number of courses, and the number of dishes served at each course, are period and meal dependant. Our research confirms "classic" meals generally offer 4 to 8 courses. Examples of
    12 course menus are rare, perhaps suggesting they are not "standard" at all. Note: number of covers does not mean number of courses.

    "Composition of the Classic Meal...formal meals consisted of several 'courses'--usually there or four but at times five or more--each composed of several dishes brought to the table at the same time. Here is how A.-B.-L. Grimod de La Reyniere describes such a meal in his 1805 Almanach des gourmands: 'An important dinner normally comprises four courses. The first consists of soups, hors d'oeuvres, releves, and entrees; the second, of roasts and salads; the third of cold pasties and various entremets; and lastly, the fourth, of desserts including fresh and stewed fruit, cookies, macaroons, cheeses, all sorts of sweetmeats, and petits fours typically presented as part of a meal, as well as preserves and ices.' In describing the different courses, Grimod de la Reyniere puts different types of dishes in the same category. Some are defined by aspect and mode of preparation...Others are defined by their position and function in the sequence..."
    ---Arranging the Meal: A History of Table Service in France, Jean-Louis Flandrin, translated by Julie E. Johnson [University of California Press:Berkeley] 2007(p. 3-4)

    "Many nineteenth-century authors suggested or justified a reduction in the number of courses and dishes. We have seen that between the sixteenth century and the seventeenth, fewer course came to be served at aristocratic tables. But their number was far from fixed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Important dinner... usually had five courses--soups, entrees, roasts, entremets, and dessert...Menon's Cuisiniere bougreoise, published in 1746, offers one three course menu and two four-course menus, which also differ in how the courses are distributed."
    ---Arranging the Meal (p. 95)

    Details on the courses served in Grimod's period
    "A contemporary grand dinner was composed of four services: the first was made up of soups, hors d'oeuvres, releves and entrees. There might also be a visit from some savoury flying saucer or assiette volante, i.e. things that must be eaten as soon as they are taken off the spit, out of the oven or off the hob; Grimod gives these examples: 'minute' cutlets, steaks, chicken croquettes, ortolans and other little birds on skewers, little pates, cheese ramequins or any form of souffle. The second service comprised of roasts and salads, with the obligatory groses pieces decorating the ends of the table. In general, these remained untouched, for they were more to please the eye than the appetite and could be anything from a vast mille-feuille to a Nerac terrine, a heap of crayfish or a blue carp. The third service involved cold pates and entremets, either sweet or savory... The final service was our modern dessert, with fruits, compotes, jams, biscuits, macaroons, cheeses, petits fours and sweets as well as ices. At a large, formal dinner, the first service could contain anything up to a hundred dishes. In general, a colour, either white or brown, predominated...This colour consideration became universal in nineteenth-century cooking."
    ---A Palate in Revolution: Grimod de La Reyniere and the Almanach des Gourmands, Giles Macdonogh [Robin Clark:London] 1987 (p. 114)

    5 course 17th century French menu
    "Under Louis XIV, the menus were magnificent. Doubtless, not all the dishes which figured in the five obligatory courses which made up the gala banquets were perfectly executed, nor were they as variet as they should have been. Nevertheless, there were many of them, if one may judge from the menu of the dinner offered by Mme. la Chanceliere to Louis XIV in 1656 at her Chateau of Pontchartrain...
    First course: Eight potted meats and vegetables and sixteen hot hors-d'oeuvre.
    Second course: Eight important intermediate dishes called broths. Sixteen entrees of fine meats.
    Third course: Eight roast dishes and sixteen vegetable dishes cooked in meat stock.
    Fourth course: Eight pates or cold meat and fish dishes and sixteen raw salads, with oil, cream and butter.
    Fifth and last course: Twenty-four different kinds of pastries--twenty-four jars of raw fruit--twenty-four dishes of sweetmeats--preserves, dried and in syrup and jams.
    There were, in all, 168 garnished dishes or plates, not counting the various foodstuffs served as dessert."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961(p. 618)

    7 course 19th century French menu
    "Soup
    The Remove (any combination of meat, game, fish and poultry is permissable)
    The Entree (meat, sweetbreads, poultry, fish)
    First Entremets (croque-en-bouche, small fish, pate, etc.)
    The Roast (centerpiece of the meal)
    Second Entremets (cooked vegetables, fruit)
    Dessert (cakes, pastries, etc.)"
    ---Art of Eating in France: Manners and Menus in the Nineteenth Century, Jean-Paul Aron [Harper Row:New York] 1973 (p. 111-114)

    16 course American menu, 1883: I & II

    9 course 19th century French menu served to Queen Victoria

    12 course American menu, 1898
    "The order of the dinner service is soup, fish, flesh, fowl. These may be supplemented to any extent with entrements and entrees. Mets are the principal dishes. Entremnents, the dishes served between the mets. Entrees, dishes which are served between any of the courses.
    First Course: Canapes of caviare, with small bits of anchovy toast, or in their season muskmelons, are sometimes served as the first course, but ordinarily oysters or clams on the half shell is the first dish presented. The smallest-sized shell-fish are preferable to the large ones. One half dozen are served on each plate and placed symmetrically on or around a bed of cracked ice; a quarter of a lemon cut lengthwise is placed in the center. Cayenne pepper and grated horse-radish are passed with this sauce, also very thin slices of brown bread buttered and folded together, then cut into small squares or triangular-shaped pieces. The plates holding the shell-fish may be placed on the table before dinner is announced; but as there is no place to conveniently lay the folded napkin except on the plate, it is as well not to serve the mollusks until the guests are seated.
    Second Course: Soup It is better to serve a clear soup when the dinner is to be of many courses, as heavy soups are too hearty. The choice of two kinds of soup may be offered. Grated Parmesan cheese may be passed with clear soups, dice of fried bread with cream soups, and toasted cracker biscuits with any kind of soup. One ladleful of soup is sufficient for each person, and a second portion is not offered. An anecdote is told of a punctilious person who, being asked if he would be helped again to soup, answered 'Thanks, not to-day.' Hors d'oeuvres, which are radishes, celery, olives, etc., are passed after the soup. Salted almonds are taken at an time through the dinner.
    Third Course: Fish Fish, if boiled of fried, is served upon a napkin. If baked no napkin is used, and a little sauce is spread on the dish. Boiled potatoes are served with boiled fish, and are more attractive when cut with a potato-scoop into small balls. Cucumbers dressed with oil and vinegar are also served with fish.
    Fourth Course: Entrees Entrees can be served between any of the courses, or they may be omitted altogether; but a variety of attractive dishes come under this head, and usually one is served after the fish.
    Fifth Course: Vegetables A vegetable, such as asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, is served at this time, although the French reserve the vegetable until after the joint. Only one vegetable besides potato is permitted with a meat course, and if more are wanted they are served as a separate course.
    Sixth Course The joint with one green vegetable and potato.
    Seventh Course Frozen punch, when served, comes between the meat and game courses. It is not passed, but a glassful standing on a plate, with a coffee spoon beside it, is placed before each person. If preferred, a cheese omelet or souffle may be used instead of punch for this course.
    Eighth Course: Game or Salad, or Poultry and Salad Game is usually not passed, but the portions are laid on the individual plates by the butler. This is done in order to serve it as hot as possible. A small cold plate is simetiems given for the salad; crescent-shaped plates are made for this use. With ducks, celery and small squares of fried hominy are served. When game or poutry is not used, cheese may be served with the salad, or cheese-straws instead of cheese. When salad is served with game or poultry, cheese and crackers may be served immediately afterward as a separate course, or they may be passed after the dessert.
    Ninth Course Sweet puddings, souffles, Bavarian cream, etc.
    Tenth Course Ice-cream or any frozen dessert. Cakes and brandied peaches, preserved ginger, or wine-jellies may be passed with ice-cream.
    Eleventh Course Fruit, fresh or glace, and bonbons.
    Twelfth Course Coffee, liqueurs.
    Of the courses given above, the first, fourth, fifth, and seventh, and a choice of either the ninth or tenth, may all, or any one of them, be omitted. Black coffee in small cups is passed on a tray, with cream and sugar, in the drawing- and smoking-rooms after the guests have left the table. Appolinaris or other sparkling water is passed later, and is usually welcomed."
    ---The Century Cook Book, Mary Arnold [The Century Co.:New York] 1898 (p. 24-26)

    17 course "full classic" American menu, 2009
    "1. Hors d'oeuvre (appetizer): Designed to stimulate the appetite, and hors d'oeuvres could be a small cold tomato salad, or crudite, possibly presented on a rolling cart from which several items are served on a small plate by the waiter and set in front of the guest...
    2. Potage (soup): This could be a clear soup, such as bouillon or consomme...
    3. Oeufs (eggs): A small omelet or poached or scrambled eggs.
    4. Poisson (fish): Usually soft and easily digestible, meant to prepare the appetite for the following courses.
    5. Farineaux (starches): Generally a pasta, such as ravioli, gnocchi, spaghetti or...risotto.
    6. Entree (light meat): The first meat dish: a small portion of fowl, beef, pork, or lamb, garnished but served without vegetables when followed by a releve.
    7. Sorbet (ice): Sorbets...are served between main courses to cleanse the palate and to prepare the stomach for the next course. The sorbet course is used as an intermezzo ("intermission").
    8. Releve or remove (light meat): This larger course follows, or replaces, the entree. Traditionally, it is a joint of meat that is carved and served with sauce or gravy, potatoes, and vegetables.
    9. Roti (roast): Together with the releve, this course is the main event. Usually roasted game, ofen served with a small green salad.
    10. Legumes (vegetables): The winding down of the meal, these vegetables are usually served with a sauce.
    11. Salat (salad): Aids in digestion after the heavy meal and cleanses the palate.
    12. Buffet Froid (cold buffet): A small portion of a cold meat (i.e., ham, roast chicken) or fish.
    13. Entremets (sweet): In America, this is dessert...
    14. Savoureaux (savories): This course is usually served hot on toast; items in include Welsch rarebit, grilled chicken livers and bacon, or an unsweetened souffle.
    15. Fromage (cheese): A cheese cart or platter, brought from table to table, bearing an assortment from which the guests may choose.
    16. Fruit: Fresh, dried or candied.
    17. Digestif/tabac (beverages/tobacco): Coffee, tea cordials, brandies, cigars..."
    ---Remarkable Service, Culinary Institute of America, 2nd edition [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 2009 (p. 32-34)
    [NOTE: This book also offers notes on modifying the classic menu.]

    Recommended reading (your librarian will help you find these books) What was the origin and purpose of the Sorbet course?

    Releves & removes
    "Releve," is a French term which means "remove." In Classical French menus it can mean something similar to a "course." Typically it is served after the soup and before the entree. It is generally a substantial dish very similar to the entree. Today's diners are confused because we generally expect simpler menu constructions. It makes no sense to serve two "main" courses. Wealthy 17th-19th century diners (French, English) were used to meals composed of several courses. Classic menu presentation was an edible sign of power. NOTE: We have no clue if people actually ate more food back on those days. A multiplicity of dishes does not mean everyone scarfed everything like a cheap buffet. We do know they probably spent more time at the table based on the amount of time it took to set up, serve, remove numerous courses required by grand meals.

    Definitions & notes:
    "Remove.--Dish which in French service relieves (in the sense that one sentry relieves another) the soup or the fish. This course precedes those called entrees."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 805)

    "Remove. In the days when food was served in the grand manner, this was a dish which 'came to remove' (in other words, followed) another, usually the soup. Grimod de La Reyniere distinguishes between ordinary entrees and grosses' (large) entrees. The latter came to be called releves, he says, because when they arrived, the soup was removed, being at each end of the table'. As examples, he gives stuffed top loin of veal with cream, calf's head a la financiere, and a large freshwater fish, served with sauce and garnish. This was the order of a classic menu: hors d'oeuvre; soups; releves of the soups; fish (providing that fish was not one of the releve dishes); releves of fish (later eliminated); roasts, sometimes followed by releves of roasts; and finally desserts."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely updated and revised [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 977)

    "The verb relever was already used in the seventeenth century to mean 'to clear away one dish and replace it immediately with another.' Nut the noun releve ['remove' in English culinary terminology] does not appear to have entered the vocabulary of the table until the eighteenth century. It is often used to designate the large spit-roasted entrees de broche that replaced the soups--usually during the first course, although they sometimes introduced the second...These releves could also be all kinds of dishes other than roasted meats...Prior to the nineteenth century, there were always as many releves as soups, but this later changed. We have already seen that releves appeared in menus at various points that did not always match their order of consumption. In the royal menu of 21 June 1751, the four releves were noted after the sixteen entrees and may have introduced the second course; similarly, in Les Soupers de la Cour, the 'Soup releves' constituted a 'second course' each time they were mentioned. But they could also appear elsewhere in the menu: about the same period, in the support for ten place settings from la Cuisiniere bourgeoise, the spit-roasted joint of butcher's meat listed as a releve for the soup occurs immediately after the soup it replaces."
    ---Arranging the meal: A History of Table Service in France, Jean-Louis Flandrin, translated by Julie E. Johnson with Sylvie and Antonio Roder [University of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2007 (p. 76-77)

    "Formal dinners in the old style, a la francaise, had evolved from earlier medieval and Renaissance models, and a 'set' system in the course of the eighteenth century...Among the sides on the table were tureens of containing two or more varieties of soup. These would be served first, then the tureens and the soup plates were removed and the former replaced by dishes called releves, 'removes' in English--perhaps roast mutton and turkey en daube, or two large fishes. The guests could also begin eating the entrees, the 'entries' to the meal proper, which might include cheek of veal, cutlets, tongue, vol-au-vent, sole, chicken, sweetbreads, and eels. Two large entremets completed the picture: say, a cake and a fish. Around the large creations clustered little dishes, the hors d'oeuvres, placed literally 'outside' the main 'works.': hors d'oeuvres stood spatially apart, not temporally first as they do today. They were what me might call 'side dishes' and consisted of things as small pies, anchovies, tuna in marinade, oysters, eggs, artichokes, and radishes. They sometimes remained in place during the first and second courses, while the larger dishes were changed. The second course began after all or most of the dishes of the first course had been removed from the table...This consisted of the really big pieces...accompaniments to these are dishes were salads, vegetables, and sweet entremets: creams, jellies, ices; to our way of thinking, the second course was like a second complete meal. The last course, dessert, was cheeses, sweets, pastries, and fruit--but might include meat pates as well."
    ---The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities, and Meaning of Table Manners, Margaret Visser [Penguin Books:New York] 1991 (p. 198-199)

    In Classical French cooking "releve" is also applied to large cuts of meat. Chapters 7-9 of Escoffier's Guide Culinaire [1903] is devoted to recipes for meat releves, including butcher's meat (includes lamb), poultry, and game. This book also provides extensive notes on proper accompaniments for each type of meat. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.

    How was the term "menu" derived ?
    Word derivations/origins/first use can be found in large, unabridged dictionaries. The Larousse de la Langue Francaise [Librarie Larousse:Paris] 1979 (p. 1140) confirms the word "menu" has Latin roots. The term has been used in the French language since the 1080. The word "menu" as it relates to food dates in French print to 1718. The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edition) confirms the English word "menu" was borrowed from the French. The French borrowed it from the Latin word "minutus," meaning detailed list. According to the OED, the first instance of the word "menu," as it relates to food, in English dates to 1837. There are other meanings of this word which pre- and post-date the food relationship.

    Our survey of historic menus & historic menu collections.

    When were children's menus introduced?
    The earliest references we find in print to children's menus in America (developed specifically for children, not a separate list of choices printed on the adult menu) surface in the early 20th century. The development was a perfect convergence of period scientific, social, and economic trends:

    1. Domestic scientists promoted the new discovery that healthy, growing children required special nutrition and foods. They were not just tiny adults, as previously thought.
    2. It was acceptable for modern women to dine in public during without male accompaniment during the day.
    3. Savvy marketers capitalized on a brand new market: selling to parents via their children.
    Childern's menus were were offered by department stores, fancy hotels, railroads, and catering companies. Colorfully decorated menus featuring games and nursery rhymes where developed by companies hoping to upsell wealthy people with small children. By WWI, indoor playspaces & tea rooms encouraged modern upscale homemakers (or their nannies) to bring their children to department stores while they shopped and socialized.

    "When children rode the train, special efforts were made to add to their dining pleasure. It might begin with the steward, cookie jar in hand, passing through the train handing out complimentary between-meal snacks. When he seated children in the dining car, he might hand each one a peppermint stick. The colorful children's menu, sometimes with a happy story or interesting facts included, often named the meal as to enhance the fantasy children experience when traveling by train. So chicken soup, a broiled lamb chop, mashed potatoes, carrot sticks and ice cream became the "Engineer's Special Dinner." Children's mealtime favorites included spaghetti, a broiled hamburger with French Fried potatoes, and French toast...Every effort was made to ensure that all children ate and enjoyed their meals, and that memories of the experience lingered with them. They were, after all, the next generation of riders."
    ---Dining by Rail, James D. Porterfield [St. Martin's Griffin:New York] 1993 (p. 311)

    [1916]
    "Playroom on the Fourth Floor will be open all day...A special children's menu will be served in the Tea Rooms on the Seventh Floor."
    ---display ad, Marshall Field & Co., Chicago Daily Tribune, April 8, 1916 (p. 9)

    [1924]
    ""A special bill-of-fare for children is now a feature in the dining cars of the Canadian National Railways. The items have been selected after consultation with a well-known dietitian and the menu is presented as a suitable guide for use with children of all ages up to ten. Parents traveling often feed their children food bought prior to the journey, rather than make use of the dining car service, because of a feeling that it would be a difficult task to choose from the regular menu. The children's menu, for each meal, breakfast, dinner and tea contains four combinations of fare; breakfast ranging in price from 40 cents to 60 cents, dinner form 50 to 85 cents and tea from 35 to 65 cents. As the dining car steward passes through the cars, announcing the calls for meals, he gives one of these special bills to each passenger traveling with a child. In addition to the menu proper, there are pictures printed in blue and brown and verses that appeal to children's fancy."
    ---Railway Age, February 16, 1924; 76, 7: American Periodicals (p. 439)

    "Dining Var Menu for the Little Folk...Front cover of 8-Page Booklet of Jingles Printed in Three Colors, on Two Pages of Which is Printed Special Children's Menus for the Dining Cars of the Canadian National."
    ---display ad, Canadian National Railways, Railway Age, August 23, 1924; 77,8; American Periodicals (p. 351)

    [1928]
    "The Elite Catering Company has been making a specialty of children's parties during the past few weeks including in that service animal candies, Jack Horner pies, merry-go-round cakes, animal molds and a special children's menu. They advise that the children's specialties and the menu are met with great favor by the children as well as by the grown-ups."
    ---"Children Parties Specialty," Los Angeles Times, January 25, 1928 (p. A13)

    [1931]
    "Some people frankly don't like smoke. We like your honesty. Just because you don't like smoke (especially when you eat)... there's no reason on earth that you should not have it your way, too! We respect your claim. There's one place in the city were you can have luncheon as you like it...the Crystal Room at Field's. The food is as you like it--deliciously prepared, nicely served. And, what's more, you can give the children a 'party' treat--for the special Children's Menu is served in the Crystal Room."
    ---display ad, Crystal Room, 7th Floor, Marshall Fields [department store], Chicago Daily Tribune, September 22, 1931 (p. 13)

    [1938]
    "Featured by the Frisco is a children's menu card printed in color with pictures of farm and train scenes. One page is black and white which can be colored with crayons provided by the steward."
    ---"Rail Notes: Ferry's End," Ward Allen Howe, New York Times, February 27, 1938 (p. 167)

    "Parents may share portions with younger members of the family; half portions at half prices are served to children. Simple and wholesome food is always a concern when the youngsters go on a trip, and the demand for it is met on many trains by children's menus. The cards, with pictures of nursery-tale characters divert the young patron while the waiter fetches the well cooked cereal of poached eggs and milk toast."
    ---"Art of Dining Adjusted to Speed," New York Times, May 22, 1938 (p. 128)

    Children's menus proliferated in the baby-booming years following World War II. They continued the tradition of entertainment set by the railroads. Family friendly suburban restaurants (Think: Howard Johnson's "Amuse-A-Menu") were well known for their constantly changing creative children's menus in alternative formats. Howard Johnson's (& other menus) circa 1960s & 1970s (scroll down to bottom of page).


    Modern table service [French, Russian, English & American]

    In all societies and times, grand meals composed of several courses require a plan for serving. Modern European table service traditions center on four distinct, yet related, styles of service: French, Russian, English & American. In Western cultures, Butler service also figured in.

    The evolution of modern table service
    The evolution of classic European table service was slow and complicated, especially in England. There, you have not only service a la Francaise but service l'Anglaise competing with Service a la Russe. Food historians generally place the beginning of the evolution in dawning decades of the 19th century. The switch is in serious motion by mid-century. By the 1880s-1890s, Service a la Russe reigned supreme.

    "By the close of the eighteenth century the traditional service of meals in the French manner, as it had evolved from the baroque age, was already under strain. It had begun reasonably enough. A set of dishes was placed on the table from which people either helped themselves or were assisted by the servants. Everything was arranged in perfect symmetry, and when one course ended the dishes were cleared and replaced by the next, equally symmetrical course. The rule that dishes were multiplied in dozens according to the number of guests meant that a table could end up with as many as hundred dishes on it at a time...By 1800...the range of containers and other tableware had increased hugely...The consequence was that a vast amount of food went uneaten and...it was inevitably cold or, at best, lukewarm...in 1838...[in England we find]...a version of the French system known as service a l'anglaise ...This sort of...[service] would have already been regarded as old-fashioned among the upper classes, who were eagerly adopting changes which had their origins in France...In June 1810...the Russian diplomat Prince Borisovitch Kourakine served his guests in an entirely novel manner [service a la Russe]...That new service, with the opportunities it presented for the ostentatious display, began to gain acceptance and can be seen from the fact sourtouts a la russe in 1810. Careme...did not favour service a la russe and the traditional method of a la francaise lingered on until the 1850s...In France it was to take until the last decade of the nineteenth century for service a la russe to become the norm. Even then for state dinners and great occasions service a la francaise was retained for its spectacular effect...Only when service a la russe was finally universal could Escoffier establish the sequence of courses that remains familiar to this day: hors d'oeuvre or soup, fish, meat with vegetables, sweet, savoury and dessert. In England the move to the new method of service was equally slow. Service a la francaise continued into the 1870s and 1880s, with the usual two great courses followed by dessert. The vast majority of Mrs. Beeton's 'Bills of fare' are intended for this system, but she also takes note of the new one...The effect of a la russe, apart from the hot food, was to multiply the course, but the result was a welcome contraction of the time spent at table. Under the old system a meal could last for hours. A dinner a la russe lasted an hour and a half at the most...[Service a la Russe] triumph is...connected with the emergence of an extremely rich new middle class. The opportunity for lavish display and the need for a small army of servants effectively marked service a la russe as the choice only for those who could afford it..."
    ---Feast: A History of Grand Eating, Roy Strong [Harcourt:New York] 2002 (p. 294-299)

    "Felix Urbaine Dubois, sometime chef for the King of Prussia...is credited with doing something for the cause of hot food by being the prime mover in the displacement of service a la francaise by service a la russe. The former phrase means the method, dating from the Middle Ages...Service a la russe made its appearance in France and England around mid-century, but was not universally adopted until the 1890s."
    ---All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present, Stephen Mennell [Basil Blackwell:Oxford] 1985 (p. 150)

    "The nineteenth-century displacement of "French service" by "Russian service" is reputed to be a major event in the history of table serve. Yet the period when this transition occurred is difficult to pinpoint. It is not even certain that this tableservice innovation changed anything regarding the order in which dishes were presented. The order of presentation, however, did not remain static throughout the nineteenth century. All sorts of minor changes were taking place, some perhaps resulting from the new serving customs. In their 1856 Cuisine classique, Dubois and Bernard wrote, 'Table service today is generally based on two methods, ' French service and Russian service, which where a common goal but start from conflicting if not opposite principles. each method has its proponents and opponents, converts and critics, but both are practiced equally. Cooks to the Prussian King and advocates of the Russian style...predominated at prestigious French and English tables...This Russian service, which apparently came to prevail in France only during the second half of the nineteenth century, was already being discussed fifty years earlier. In the 1804 Almanach des gourmandes, [by] Grimod de La Reyniere..."
    ---Arranging the Meal: A History of Table Service in France, Jean-Louis Flandrin, translated by Julie E. Johnson with Sylvie and Antonio Roder [University of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2007 (p. 94)

    Mrs. Beeton's observations regarding Service a la russe [1861]
    "Note.—Dinners à la Russe differ from ordinary dinners in the mode of serving the various dishes. In a dinner à la Russe, the dishes are cut up on a sideboard, and handed round to the guests, and each dish may be considered a course. The table for a dinner à la Russe should be laid with flowers and plants in fancy flowerpots down the middle, together with some of the dessert dishes. A menu or bill of fare should be laid by the side of each guest. Note.—Dinners à la Russe are scarcely suitable for small establishments; a large number of servants being required to carve; and to help the guests; besides there being a necessity for more plates, dishes, knives, forks, and spoons, than are usually to be found in any other than a very large establishment. Where, however, a service à la Russe is practicable, there it, perhaps, no mode of serving a dinner so enjoyable as this."
    SOURCE: Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management

    Recommended reading:

    Ancient Roman dining service
    Around the Roman Table/Patrick Faas describes four styles of ancient Roman dining service. None specifically mention where the tables were placed in the dining area. "1. The buffet: tables and respositoria, containing beautifully displayed dishes, brought in by servants. Reclining guests helped themselves from such exhibits, without much further assistance...2. Roasts brought in whole and carved in the dining room. The pieces were elegantly displayed on a the central tables, from which the guests helped themselves...3. Plate service: each guest was given an individual plate with a set portion, as in modern restaurants...4....each guest [was given] their own table. This style was inherited from the Etruscans, and can be seen on ancient frescoes. It is much like traditional Japanese meals, except that Roman gentlemen would recline instead of kneel...This was also how the nobility ate solitary meals...5. The Athenian way of serving food was a cross between 1 and 4, but many little dishes, as in 4, on a central table." (p. 70-71)

    Service a la Francaise [FRENCH SERVICE]

    "Based upon the banquet styles of the sixteenth century, service a la francaise is the most elaborate and labor intensive of all serving styles. Traditionally, French service at small banquests in large private homes divided a meal into three separate courses, with much of the food cooked or finished tableside, from a rolling cart or gueridon, in the dining room. (Tableside cooking first began in Russia and was then further developed into a flourishing service style in France...)As guests entered the dning room, the first course was already set up...Hot items were brought into the dining room on silver platters and paced on the gueridon, or covered warmer. After the guests finished a service, they got up and left the table while it was cleaned and reset for the next service. This second course was the releve or remove. The first two services of between ten and forty itmes, including soups, game, and roasts. Many of hese items wer eplaced on the table on platters with serving utensils for what might be referred to as family-style service today. A third service, the entremets, included a vareity of desserts, savories, puddings, fruits, and nuts."
    ---Remarkable Service, Culinary Institute of America [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 2009 (p. 42-43)

    "Formal dinners in the old style, a la francaise, had evolved from earlier medieval and Renaisance models, and 'set' as a system in the course of the eighteenth century. Diners...would arrive at table to find it laden with food. Dishes, candles, salts, and ornaments had been placed with careful attention to the hierarchy of dishes and the position they could therefore command upon the table, to symmetry (dishes for dinner a la francaise often came in pairs), and to the relative heights of fruit pyramids and decorative objects. Order was especially important because of the crowding of the table: table-servants are warned to take care lest dishes 'look as if they had fallen down like hailstones.' The whole was designed to give an impression of opulence and abundance. The guests at Baroque and Rococo dinners a la francaise sat much closer to each other than we do, round the edges of the huge table which was required for the laying out of all the dishes...They were expected to eat from the dishes placed in the immediate vicinity of their places. It was permissible to ask a servant to pass a helping of something placed some distance away, especially if the host had recommended it as he spoke is 'menu' at the beginning of the feast, but it was not done to ask too often. People were more obliged than we are to notice what neighbours were missing and could not reach, or carve, or cut without their help."
    ---The Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguin Books:New York] 1991 (p. 198, 201)

    "Throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, service a la francaise, or French-style service, remained de rigueur in elite American homes, and visitors' accounts suggest that dining at Jefferson's table was no exception. This mode of entertainment gained favor in France among medieval nobility and soon spread throughout much of Europe. Although dining etiquette developled over the centuries, the tenets of service a la francaise remained largely unaltered and were heralded in early America. Fashionable hosts strictly followed the style's edicts, which reflected hierarchy, balande, and symmetry so admired in the period. French-style service commonly dictated two to four courses, each consisting a of an even number of dishes placed symmetrically around a centerpiece, such as a large roast or a decorative serving vessel. Dishes were divided into classes and hierarchally arranged, with those belonging to lesser classes surrounding those of greature stature. The number of diners determined the quantity of dishes served. A three-course dinner for eight, for example, could require as many as twenty-four separate dishes. As the number of guests increased, so did the variety of foods presented. Service a la francaise was more than simply a style of eating; it was a mode of entertainment--one that began the moment guests entered the diningroom. There to greet them stood a table fully set with silver, glass, and great platters and tureens filled and at the ready, encouraging the appetite and impressing the senses. Above all, service a la francaise emphasized an orderly and grand presentation of dishes that showcased a host's resources and culinary savoir-faire. Evidence suggests that Jefferson regarded French-style service as at once the epitome of fashionable entertaining and a mere template. It guided his decisions and influenced his taste, but, in the end, he used the principles of this revered serve to create a dining style that was uniquely his own. Jefferson combined French-style elegance and cuisine with his own democratic sense of style, inspiring one guest to note, 'In his entertainmnets, republican simplicity was united to Epicurean delicacy.'"
    ---Dining at Monticello, Damon Lee Fowler editor, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill NC] 2005 (p. 14) [NOTE: This is a great book! Your local public librarian can help you get a copy.]

    Service a la Russe [RUSSIAN SERVICE]
    "Russian or Platter service. Russian service, which is used mostly for banquets, is less showy than French service, but it is quicker and no less elegant. Speed replaces showmanship, though there is skill involved. The main goal of Russian or platter service is to assure the guest receives fully cooked, hot food serviced in a swift and tasteful fashion...In Russian service, all food is fully cooked and artfully arranged and garnished on large platters in the kitchen. With the server's right hand, empty plates are set in from the guests's right, begining with the first woman seated at the host's left. The server moves clockwise around the table. The platters of food are carried to the dining room by a server and presented to the table. The server then begins with the first woman seated at the host's right, displays the food from the left, and serves the desired portion..."
    ---Remarkable Service (p. 44)

    "Service a la Russe is what replaced Service a la Francaise, in Britain and elsewhere in Europe (France, Germany), in the course of the 19th century. This new style of table service provided for dishes being served to guests at their seats by servants who handed them round. It therefore required more servants. There was also the need for table decorations to take up the spaces which the dishes themselves would have occupied under the old system."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd ed., 2006 (p. 712)

    "In June 1810...the Russian diplomat Prince Borisovitch Kourakine served his guests in an entirely novel manner. Instead of entering and finding the food en tableau, there was no food on the table at all. The centre as on the contrary adorned with a galleried chemin de table on which stood candelabra...once the guests were seated... each diner was presented by a footman with an already-filled plate from which to help themselves, with the food prepared to be eaten, filleted or cut into slices and combined with the appropriate sauce, garniture or side dish. A series of courses were served in this way, each arriving from the kitchens ready dressed...The food arrived...far hotter and everyone for the first time had a chance to sample some of everything. The new form of service cane to be known as service a la russe. It gradually spread through Western Europe, although it took a whole century to do so."
    ---Feast: A History of Grand Eating, Roy Strong [Harcourt:New York] 2002 (p. 297-298)

    Service a l'Anglaise [ENGLISH SERVICE]
    "English and family servce conjures nostalgic images of families gathered around a steaming roast on Sunday afternoon...In restaurants and country clubs, this style of servcie is usually reserved for private rooms or special group dinners, where guests want to mimic a home-style setting while still being waited on. Plates are preset and the server moves clockwise around the table when clearing used plates. As with Russian and butler service, all food is fully cooked in the kitchen. The host, or perhaps the maitre d'hotel, carves the meat (or whatever the main dish happens to be), and passes it to the nearest diner who in turn passes it along the table...The host generally serves soup into bowls, which are then passed around the table. Side dishes arrive from the kitchen in large serving platters and guests help themselves, or the host may plate the side dishes before passing the plates. Alternatively, serving dishes can be placed on a sideboard, from which the server plates of all the food, and then presents it to the guests. Variations on this less formal style of serving are becoming popular in the United States, especially new American restaurants and grills that want to create a more family-like ambience...Family style is similar to English style, except that all of the foods are place don the table in large serving dishes, and guests help themselves."
    ---Remarkable Service (p. 47)

    "An amateur watercolourist named Ellen Mary Best recorded the first course of a dinner as it awaited the entry of the guests at a surgeon's house in York in 1838. All the food is already placed on the table. This was for a version of the French system known as service a l'anglaise, in which the hostess served the soup and the host carved the joint at table. The service. The soup tureen can be seen at one wend with a stack of plates next to it., The hostess would serve the soup, which was then delivered to a diner by a servant. When the soup had been consumed, the cloche covering the roast at the opposite end of the table would be removed so that the host could proceed with carving. At this point, the lids would have been simultaneously lifted from the various other tureens. Here again, the servants assisted with the serving. Warm plates may have been brought in from the kitchen or fetched from a plate-warmer by the fire. The hot dishes can be seen to be standing on placemats to prevent scorching the table's surface and each couvert has bread and a napkin flanked by a knife and fork only (the spoon is oddly missing, as are any side plates). We are one year into the reign of Queen Victoria."
    ---Feast: A History of Grand Eating, Roy Strong [Harcourt:New York] 2002 (p. 296)

    Butler Service
    "The procedures for butler service are the same as those for
    Russian service, except that the guests serve themselves with provided utensils from the platter held by the waiter...Beginning with the woman to the host's right, the butler offers from the left, moving counterclockwise around the table, holding the platter in both hands."
    ---Remarkable Service (p. 46)

    Service a l'Americaine [AMERICAN SERVICE]
    "The common style of setting-in plates in the United States is from the guest's left with the left hand. This is believed to have its origins in American homes with limited staff. The maid would clear a dirty plate from the right with the right hand, and immediately set-in the filled plate with the right hand, and immediately set set-in the filled plate from the sideboard for the next course with the left. It was considered a breach of etiquette for a guest to sit at your table without a plate in front of them. Among the least formal styles of service, and by far the most widespread...In American service all cooking and plating of food is completed in the kitchen. A waiter picks up the plated food, carries to the dining room, and sets-in the plates in front of the guests from the right with the right hand (although some restaurants prefer service to be from the left, with the left hand). This allows two or three plates to be held in the left hand and the arm while serving with the right. For small parties (less than three guests),women are served first, moving clockwise around the table, then men. For larger parties, the woman to the left of the host is served first. The server then procedes, serving each guest in turn, moving clockwise around the table, finishing with the host. If there is no obvious host, the server may begin with any woman and procede as usual..."
    ---Remarkable Service (p. 48)

    Charles Ranhofer's notes, circa 1893 here
    [Use your browser's "find" feature to locate text.]...also includes notes on French & Russian service

    Why do American restaurants serve water before the meal?

    Excellent question. The answer depends, in part, upon the restaurant.

    EUROPEAN TRADITION
    "A few French and Italian restaurants here follow the European custom of not serving water at the table when wine is ordered. Is that proper? Water always should be served, especially in this country. True, in France and in many parts of Italy, water is not drunk at all, because it is not fit to drink. But French etiquette demands that water be served at formal diners. And American authorities on etiquette all include a glass of water in table settings. Of course, doctors advise that water should be drunk between meals, not with food. But a sip of water in the midst of dinner clears the palate and quenches the thirst, which wine does not do."
    ---"Food News: Letter Box...Read Queries on Water at Table...," June Owen, New York Times, March 30, 1957 (p. 23)

    "Water glasses should be filled three-fourths."
    ---Mrs. Allen on Cooking, Menus, Service, Ida C. Bailey Allen [Doubleday:Garden City NY] 1929 (p. 865)

    Practical promotion
    Wall Drug, circa 1930s [Wall, South Dakota]. This rural prairie waystation became world-famous by offering "free ice water" to every visitor. By the time folks arrived in town, they were weary and parched. The promotion still works today (we've been there, the water every bit as refreshing today as it was seventy years ago. History
    here.

    Industry standard
    Soda fountain experts in 1920 relay this: "It is customary to serve a glass of iced water with all sundaes. This should not be omitted, and do not wait for the customer to ask for it."---The Dispenser's Formlary, compiled by the Soda Fountain, ( trade magazine) [Soda Fountain Publications:New York] 1925 (p. 104)
    [NOTE: The book does not offer any specific reason for the practice. This topic merits additional research.]

    Drought restrictions
    In recent years, several parts of the USA have experienced drought restrictions. The translates into either voluntary or mandatory water restrictions in restaurants. During those times it is common practice to offer, rather than automatically serve, water to customers at table.

    Why do American restaurants serve water with lemon/lime slices?

    Food historians confirm citrus (lemons, limes, oranges) have been paired with water (soda, mineral) in several chemical states (hot, warm, cold, ice) for thousands of years for various reasons (taste, flavor, color, medicinal). Think: hot tea with lemon, lemon-lime soda, lemonade, & lemon ices.

    The current practice of adding lemons to ice in restaurants possibly descends from Temperance times. Fancy lemon cocktail garnishes might have been repurposed to non-alcoholic beverages. The earliest print reference we find for pairing lemon slices and water is from the early 20th century. Perrier promoted this combination for the temperance inclined.

    [1908]
    "Perrier: The Chosen Table Water of Europe. In all the fashionable centers of Europe and the predominating table water is Perrier. The Reasons: In Europe waters charged with artificial carbonic acid gas are condemned. Perrier Contains only natural gas, every bottle being filled at the spring in the south of France. Remarkable History. Four years ago Perrier was unknown. Today it is always seen in all the best restaurants and hotels in Europe and America. It is in daily use in the homes of Great Britain and France. Drink Perrier 1. Alone or with a slice of lemon. 2. With your whiskey or white wine. 3. With your meals at home, restaurant and club." ---display ad, New York Times, October 23, 1908 (p. 6)

    [1949]
    The Waldorf-Astoria's restaurant manual (c. 1949) provides meticulous instructions for all aspects of restaurant(s) and room service, including water service. The manual details which glass to use & how full the glass should be. It does not mention adding lemon or any other item to the water goblet.

    [1980s]
    By the early 1980s, the "gourmet" bottled water market was in full swing. Trendy restaurants proudly served personal-size French bottled water to guests. In 1983 we find a curious juxtopostion of articles addressing this particular topic. One promotes lemons for bottled water; the other declares this practice an unforgivable gaffe.

    [1983]
    "Good for more than just traditional uses, lemons lend themselves to a number of wholesome uses around the house, too. Here are some ideas: --Add a squeeze of lemon to colas, Diet cola, especially, tastes better. --Use a lemon wedge in chilled bottled water to add zest."
    ---"A Number of Wholesome Uses for the Fresh Lemon," Los Angeles Times, July 7, 1983 (p. L23) [NOTE: this exact article was reprinted by the LAT May 14, 1987 (p. WS33).]

    "Considering the status bottled waters now enjoy, we can probably expect that soon a new brand of connoisseurship will develop and vintage waters may not be far away. If the wines differ from year to year, why not the waters of a particular spring or well?...Should the waters of May cost more than those of December and is 1983 any better than 1982? And should all bottled waters be served in the same shaped glass?...All of this came to mind after reading a letter of complaint about waiters who serve bottled waters that have been opened before being brought to the table. Such a practice is unacceptable when wine is served, because there is always the chance that the wine being poured is not really the bottle's original contents. The label, therefore, ay not accurately describe what is being poured. It might be of humbler origins than the label indicates...Etiquette then dictates that wine should be opened in front of the customer. Why not water? It is perfectly possible for a domestic club soda to be poured into a bottle marked Perrier, or even for tap water to be used...Another annoying practice when serving bottled water is to add ice cubes to chill it...The custom of automatically adding lime or lemon to bottled water also seems to be a mistake., for if the clarity and purity of the water itself is to be appreciated, why add the sting of citrus unless it is requested? Even when customers ask to have bottled water plain, it often arrives with the lime already in it."
    ---"A Water Steward in Diners' Future?" Mimi Sheraton, New York Times, May 7, 1983 (p. 11)


    Automats

    Mr. Joseph Horn and Mr. Frank Hardart launched their restaurant empire in 1888 in a tiny 15 stool lunchroom in central Philadelphia with $1,000 borrowed from a family member and a recipe for coffee. The restaurant was successful and before long the Horn and Hardart Baking Company operated several lunchrooms throughout Philly. In 1900 Mr. Hardart traveled to Berlin and visited the Quisiana Company Automat, a "waiterless restaurant." He was soon convinced the automat represented the food service wave of the future. It was simple, efficient and sanitary. Mr. Hardart ordered automat machinery for his company. In 1902, the very first Horn & Hardart automat opened at 1818 Chestnut St, Philadelphia. In 1912 the first H & H opened in New York City, smack in the middle of Times Square.

    Automat technology was patented by inventor John Fritsche and assigned to Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart. [ USA patent #1,199,066; September 26, 1916]. Several other patents were issued for coffee dispensing systems, automatic doors, etc. You can read the patents full text via Google (search the three last names listed above).

    Inexpensive lunchrooms and self-service cafeterias were wildly popular in the dawning decades of the 20th century. They offered both full and self service. Automats introduced another layer of technology between the diner and the food. Like today's self-service check-out systems, people had to be trained on the equipment before it caught on.

    What did Americans think of German automats?
    "More economical yet is it to lunch at an 'automat.' Here you put your money, 10 pfennigs (2 1/2 cents), into a slot. For this sum you can get any number of kinds of wine--and all kinds very poor, I imagine--and a great many different things mounted on a half of a roll--slices of hard boiled eggs with onion, smoked salmon, sausage slices, queer salads--and some sweets. The food is on tiny boat dishes which set on porcelain paddles under great glass bells. All the handless paddles are fastened to a central axis and on the back in the front of the glass is the name of the thing--in both German and English--and beside this a slot for your money. you drop in your coin, the paddles commence to move, and when the first weighted one arrives at a box just outside and below the bank it includes, released its burden, and this comes down a little chute into the box. What you get to eat in these places may be very good for Germans, but it is likely to give other people of less sturdy digestion wheat used to be called 'heartburn."
    ---"The World's Cooks: Unique German Restaurants," Jane Eddington, Chicago Daily Tribune, February 28, 1913 (p. 11)

    The American experience
    Our survey of historic newspapers sugggest automats were not immediately embraced by the American public. Articles confirm the sharp rise in "cheap eating houses." We find no print evidence heralding the glories of the automat or praising its food in the early decades. In the 1920s Horn & Hardart postitioned their new restaurants in upscale locations. Newspaper ads announced grand openings.

    "Today--at 47-51 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison, surrounded by such modern Apartments as the new Sherry-Netherland and New Savoy Plaza, and convienent to Bloomingdale Shoppers--a large, beautify new Horn & Hardart Automat-Cafeteria invites your inspection. How well New York's most modern form of Restaurant Service harmnizes weith this ultra-modern towering district!. A Noted Author says: 'This is the Day of the Automat-Cafeteria. It is to Food what the Motor-Car is to Travel, what the Radio is to Music. It is the most metropolitan. You see for yourself and serve yourself..' Your eyes range over socres of square feet of Cracked Ice with an array of hundreds of Salads and Cold Dishes. Beautiful Savory Roasts and delicious Dinner Dishes speak for themselves on the Steam Table. IN the unique Automat Section, all kinds of Desserts, Cakes, and Rolls have their own little Show Windows. Display! That is the story--a great modern display of 'Excellent Foods' at 'Sensible Prices' that everyone can pay...36 Convenient Horn & Hardart Automat-Cafeterias, Restaurants and Sandwich Shops, all supplied by the great Horn & Hardart Bakeries and Kitchens, and serving 300,000 New Yorkers every day. The only System of its kind in New York and the only System by which uniformly Excellnt Fod can be served simutalniously everywhere to everyone."
    ---display ad, New York Times, May 17, 1927 (p. 20)

    Newspaper articles chronicle company growth, challenges and consumer trends. Slug (fake) nickels were a serious problem for a while. Horn and Hardart restaurants were popular during the Great Depression years and WWII because they served inexpensive yet tasty selections. Customers could (and did) sit for hours over a cup of coffee and piece of pie. Automats were respectable places for unemployed and other folks who had (literally) two nickels to rub together. After the war automat dining began to fade. American demographics migrated to the suburbs. Family-friendly dining grew with the Boomer generation. By the 1960s, Horn & Hardarts company's committment to high quality food at low cost became an economic drain.

    The original Philadelphia H & H automat closed in 1968. Horn & Hardart filed for bankruptcy in 1971. The last automat (200 E 42nd St., NYC) closed its doors April 10, 1991. A portion of Mr. Hardart's original imported automat machines from Chestnut St. are currently housed in the National Museum of American History (Palm Court), Washington DC.

    What about the food?
    Meals were planned by award-winning chefs and recipes were stored in a safe. Quality control was tantamount to the operation. Every day the founders and top executives met at what they called the "Sample Table," to ensure their
    recipes were followed to their satisfaction. Consider this review:

    "Nickels in slots at Horn & Hardart Automats, which once upon a time yielded only buns, bean pots, fish cakes, coffee, and such, can nowadays be played cafeteria-wise. Handful of nickels will load your tray with quite a meal, hot and well prepared. Of the 40 automats, I think you'd particularly like the ones at 545 Fifth Avenue (corner of 45th), and 106 West 50th (new Rockefeller Center), and 104 West 57th."
    ---Knife and Fork in New York, Lawton Mackall [Doubleday:Garden City] 1949 (p. 146)

    How do I find authentic Horn & Hardart recipes?
    Evidence suggests that the original recipes used by H & H were closely guarded secrets:

    "In the heyday of Automats, recipes were stowed in a safe, and they told not only how to make the food but where to position it on the plate."
    ---Last Automat shuts its many little doors forever," Chicago Tribune, April 12, 1991 (p.2).

    This might explain why there are only a few H & H attributed recipes printed in books and circulating on the Internet. Are they authentic? Maybe. We are still researching the topic. According to an article printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer [August 8, 1994, section D, p. 1: Horn & Hardart foods are back], "Entrepreneurs Aaron J. Katz and Albert A. Mazzone have recreated recipes from the old Horn & Hardart restaurants..." This article does not indicate whether these recreations were made from original recipes or the product of a good chef's professional approximation. Here are the recipes commonly attributed to Horn & Hardart:

    Recommended reading...your librarian can help you find these:

    See also: Vending Machines.


    Amuse bouche

    According to the food writers, amuse-bouche, the practice of offering tiny works of edible art before dinner, is a French practice that may have originated in the late 20th century as a part of Nouvelle cuisine. The first mention of "complimentary amuse-bouche" in the New York Times appeared in an advertisement for New Year's Eve dinner at Gitane, South Orange NJ [December 29, 1985 (p. NJ17)]. References to this item are negligable in the late 1980s-mid 1990s. From the late 1990s to present references to amuse-bouche proliferate.

    "Eating a chef's amuse bouche -- the bite-sized, predinner course sometimes known as an "appeteaser" -- can be like hearing a great opera singer hum in the shower or watching a pro quarterback play catch in his backyard. Tiny in scale and largely unrestricted by the concerns of full-scale menu offerings, amuse bouche dishes often serve as a chef's sketch pad. And many chefs call the modest little offerings one of their favorite preparations to dream up....An increasingly popular offshoot of ritzy French traditionalism, amuse bouche literally means, "mouth pleaser." Striving to excite the palate in a mere one or two bites, an amuse bouche often takes shape as a dish that never would work as an entree. That allows chefs freedom to stretch out and challenge culinary conventions while pampering guests with a typically free, unannounced sampling of things to come."
    ---"Amuse Bouche: A Tantalizing Teaser that Whets the Appetite," Andy Battaglia, Nation's Restaurant News, May 1, 2000 (p. 41)

    "The amuse bouche (ah-MYOOZ boosh), or palate teaser, is a tiny predinner mouthful that arrives compliments of the chef. The amuse may be a small fry, but it's becoming the big catch at fine restaurants across the country."Amuses aren't new, but they're more popular than ever," says Jean Joho, chef-owner of Chicago's Everest. He offers every patron his signature creation, cauliflower fondant with caviar...Though hors d'oeuvres are also miniature morsels, they're not amuses. "An hors d'oeuvre or canape is something that's passed around when people are standing up at a cocktail party or reception," Kinch says. "Amuses are usually served with a knife and fork." Or a cup. Kinch and other chefs sometimes offer a soup or consomme amuse, served in espresso cups...When the nouvelle cuisine movement ushered in an era of smaller portions, amuses gave diners an extra bite and chefs an extra chance to strut their culinary stuff. But when the popularity of nouvelle waned, so did that of the minimouthfuls. "Amuses became unfashionable during the late '80s, but recently they've returned to fashion," Joho says. "I'm a fan of serving them because it's a way of being creative." Traditionally, an amuse is offered before the appetizer, but it may show up at other times. "You can have a predessert amuse," Kinch says . "A sorbet or granita served between the main course and dessert fits the amuse category.""
    ---"Bite-size amusements Tiny palate teasers whet trendy diners' appetites," Cathy Hainer, USA Today, February 26, 1999 (p. 9)

    "Amuse-bouche...are today what hors d'oeuvres were to America in the 1950s: a relatively unknown freature of French culinary tradition that, once introduced, immediately became standard fare. Chefs at many fine restaurants offer guests an amuse-bouche...before the meal is served." (inside book jacket) "I vividly recall my first trip to France in 1980...I grabbed a cab and raced to Paris, worried I might miss my reservation at Jamin, Joel Robuchon's famed restaurant...Once I was seated...a tiny bite of ethereal food was placed in front of me. It was my very first exposure to the custom of greeting a diner with amuse-bouche."
    ---Amuse-Bouche, Rick Tramonto [Random-House:New York] 2002 (introduction page xiii)


    Chefs tables

    Our research suggests "Chefs Tables," as we know them today, are a modern twist on a century-old French tradition. Historic newspaper articles confirm this dining option was available, by invitation only, in the US in the second half of the 20th century. Chef's Tables, as a public dining option, were actively promoted by celebrity restauranteurs in the 1990s. What is old becomes new.

    We find nothing in our French culinary history resource specifically discussing Chef's tables. The tradition of chefs, cooking staff and waitstaff dining together before serving the night's meal is hundreds of years old. This reason entirely practical:

    1. Staff needed to be fueled before the long night ahead.
    2. Waiters tasting the day's special offerings were better informed when it came to making suggestions to patrons.
    "Pat Nixon and Spiro Agnew were guests several years ago at 'chef's table' dinner at the Century Plaza Hotel. In fact, celebrities are often invited to the chef's tables in fine hotels in the United States. The custom of inviting selected people to dine at the chef's table, located in the chef's office in the hotel's kitchen, was started in France at least 100 years ago. Invitation to dine where the chef and his assitants have their meals are usually reserved for special occasions and generally are issued to preview a new entree, to introduce a new chef or to taste the menu the chef recommends for a special dinner. It has always been the custom to keep seating at the 'chefs table' to 10 or fewer."
    ---"Special Few Get Dining Preview," Mary Lou Hopkins, Los Angeles Times, August 21, 1980 (p. OC-C7)

    "In Europe, the chef's table for more than a century has been the place for entertaining friends and family of the chef. After reading about the custom, Charlie Trotter decided to have a chef's table in his kitchen when he opened his eponymous restaurant in Chicago in 1987...Chefs' tables are proliferating in all parts of the country."
    ---"The Chef's Table: Someone's in the Kitchen with the Cooks," New York Times, October 27, 1993 (p. A1)

    Charlie Trotter's currently offers diners a kitchen table experience. "Most agree the chef's table got its start in Europe more than a century ago. Chefs, who worked long hours, wanted to see their family and friends so they fed them in the kitchen. The concept has evoled into a feast of a dinner than can include six to 12 smaller-sized courses, specially concocted after guests choose their wine or other beverages. many cheftfs' tables are so popular they are booked for weeks, often months, in advance. Trotter, for example, claims his table is the most sought after in Chicago. So who would be willing to shell out as much as $100 to $150 a person...to dine in a busy kitchen? Some are celebrities who want to avoid pointing fingers and autograph hounds...Some are business types looking to stage the ultimate power meal. And still others are out to impress a date or celebrate a special occasion. David Brill, a restaurant consultant, puts it another way. 'Basically, it's for the chef's friends...'...Even Trotter admits that life at a chef's table doesn't always go as planned...He also runs into the occasionally rowdy group that has to be asked to quiet down while in his kitchen. On the flip side, a chef's table helps set a restaurant aparat in cities that are saturated with eateries." ---"Fad or favoritism? The chef's table is all the rage today," Martha Irvine, Philadelphia Tribune, September 1, 1998 (p. 2B)


    Coffee house menus

    Food historians tell us food served in coffee houses was generally a prix fix affair with a set menu established daily by the proprietor. Similar to the bills of fare served at contemporary taverns, inns, and boarding houses. The primary purpose of coffee houses was intellecutal stimulation, sharing news, conducting business transactions and fostering social comraderie. Food was served, but it wasn't featured. Some
    American coffee houses also proffered finer dining options. These early bills of fare were not preserved. What we know about the foods served in these establishments is gleaned from primary sources: inventories, ledgers, letters, and journals. 20th century Cybercafes run a close parallel. A short course in the genesis of European coffee houses:

    "Once the Ethiopians discovered coffee it was only a matter of time until the drink spread through trade with the Arabs across the narrow band of the Red Sea... While coffee was first considered a medicine or religious aid, it soom slipped into everyday use. Wealthy people had a coffee room in their homes, reserved only for ceremonial imbibing. For those who did not have such private largesse, coffe houses, known as kaveh kanes, sprang up. By the end of the fifteenth century, Muslim pilgrims had introduced coffee throughout the Islamic world in Persia, Egypt, Turkey, and North Africa, making it a lucrative trade item. As the drink gained in popularity throughout the sixteenth century, it also gained its reputation as a troublemaking brew. Various rules decided that people were having too much fun in the coffee houses...Why did coffee drinking persist in the face of persecution in these early Arab societies? The addititive nature of caffeine provides one answer... yet there is more to it. Coffee provided an intellectual stimulant, a pleasant way to feel increased energy without any apparent ill effects...In 1616 the Dutch, who dominated the world's shipping trade, managed to transport a [coffee] tree to Holland from Arden...At first Europeans didn't know what to make of the strange new brew. In 1610 traveling British poet Sir George Sandys noted that the Turks sat "chatting most of the day" over their coffee, which he described as "blacke as soote, and tasting not much unlike it."...Europeans eventually took to coffee with a passions...In the first half of the seventeeth century, coffee was still and exotic beverage, and like other such rare substances as sugar, cocoa, and tea, initailly was used primariy as an expensive medicine by the upper classes. Over the next fifty years...Euroepans were to discover the social as well as the medicinal benefits. By th 1650s coffee was sold on Italian streets by aquadedratajho, or lemonade vendors, who dispensed coffee, chocolate, and liquor as as well. Venice's first coffeehosue opened in 1683...Surprisingly...the French lagged behind the Italisans and British in adopting the coffeehouse...It wasn't until 1689 when Francois Procope, and Italian immighrant, opened his Cafe de Procope directly opposite the Comedie Francaises, that the famous French coffeehouse took root...The French historian Michelet described the advent of coffee as "the auspicious revolution of the times, the great envent which created new customs, and even modified human temperament."...The coffeehouses of continental Europe were egalitarian meeting places where..."men and women could, without impropriety, consort as they had never done before. They could meet in public places and talk."...Coffee arrived in Vienna a bit later than in France...Coffee and coffeehouses reached Germany in the 1670s. By 1721 there were coffeehouses in most major German cities...Coffee and coffee houses took London by storm. By 1700 there were more than two thousand London coffeehouses, occupying more premises and paying more rent than any other trade. They came to be known as penny universities, because for that price one could purchase a cup of coffee and sit for hours listening to extraordinary conversations...Each coffeehouse specialized in a different type of clientele. On one, physicians could be consulted. Other served Protestants, Puritans, Catholics, Jews, literati, mercahnts, traders, fops, Whigs, Torries, army officers, actors, lawyers, clergy, or wits....Not that most coffeehouses were universally uplifting places; rather, they were chaotic, smelly, wildly energetic, and capitalistic."
    ---Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed our World, Mark Pendergrast [Basic Books:New York] 1999 (p. 6-13)

    "The first British coffee house was opened in Oxford in 1650 by Jacob, a Turkish Jew. Two years later, Pasqua Rosee, who was either Armenian or Greek, opened one in London. Coffee has been seen as a subversive substance at various points in its history. At one time, Islam perceived the convivality it fostered as a threat to religious life; the mosques were empty, the coffee houses full."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition 2006 (p. 201)

    [1820]
    "291. The Virtues of Coffee."

    Coffee accelerates digestion, corrects crudities, removes cholic and flatulencies. It mitigates headaches, cherishes the animal spirits, takes away listlessness and languor, and is serviceable in all obstructions arising from languid circulation. It is a wonderful restorative to emaciated constitutions, and highly refreshing to the studius and sedentary. The habitual use of coffee would greatly promote sobriety, being in itself a cordial stimulant; it is a most powerful antidote to the temptation of spiritous liquors. It will be found a welcome beverage to the robust labourer, who would despise a lighter drink."
    ---The New Fanmily Receipt-Book, John Murray, facsimile 1820 edition [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] (p. 146)

    About coffee houses in colonial & early America
    Early American movers and shakers met in coffeehouses, taverns and other public dining venues. Coffee houses, descending from
    European roots, became hotbeds of commerce and political discourse. Why coffee houses? Because they offered decisionmakers a place to conduct business without the aid (or distraction) of alcohol. It is interesting to note that early American coffee houses were not alcohol-free. In order to stay is businesss, a savvy owner had to cater to all beverage tastes. Special rooms or whole floors were designated "coffee" areas.

    "New York coffee houses in the eighteenth century followed the European mould as centres of business and politics but failed to emulate their literary cast...Coffee houses frequently doubled as court house and council chambers...and during the Revolution were a vital nexus for spreading the news. The Exchange Coffee House was opened in the 1730s and became an unofficial auction house and commodity exchange. It moved several times and was soon ecliped by the Merchants' at the corner of the present Wall and Water Streets...During the war of Independence the Merchants' was effectively the seat of the revolutionary government...When the British occupied the city, it became the loyalist centre of trading and news..."
    ---Coffee: A Dark History, Antony Wild [W.W. Norton:New York] 2005 (p. 135-6)

    "Toward the end of the seventeenth cnetury the fashion for coffee and chocolate houses of the kind then the rage in London (which had two thousand of them by 1698) hit American shores as a diversion from the more ruffian taverns. In 1670 Dorothy Jones of Boston announced she would be serving coffee and chocolate in her new establishment, and the idea caught on fast. In the same year the New York Merchants' Coffee House opened, later earning the reputation as being "birthplace of the American Union." Coffeehouses were considered somewaht more civilized than taverns for gentlemen to meet it, although alcohol and food were served in both. In the next century coffee houses grew into lavish establishments, like New York's Tontine Coffee House, which was built in 1794 on the corner of Wall and Water Streets. It housed the stock exchange and insurance offices...the Tontine had...a tearoom, a dining room, mahogany furniture, and crystal chandeliers, all of which drew a rising middle class whose expectations of comfort were increasingly a matter of competition among tavernkeepers...New York's Tontine eventually offered at least a dozen dishes a day."
    ---America Eats Out, John Mariani [William Morrow:New York] 1991 (p. 18-19)

    Recommended reading: Rum, Punch & Revolution: Taverngoing & Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia/Peter Thompson


    Ancient Roman cook-caterers

    "Slaves did the cooking (everyone but the poorest Romans had at least one or two), leaving the mistress of the house free to oversee the acquisition of supplies and the state of stock on hand. The richest people even had well-paid cooks (coci); those unable to afford a regular cook hired on when needed for a banquet."
    ---A Taste of Ancient Rome, Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, tranlsated by Anna Herklotz, forward by Mary Taylor Simeti [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1992 (p. 21)

    "The Roman matron didn't cook. In all other countries and provinces a woman's place was in the kitchen, but in Rome cooking was a slave's job...Famous gourmets, like Lucullus and Apicious, were a dab hand with the pots and pans but so too were emperors, like Vitellius and Heliogabalus. True gourmets found cooking too important to leave it to slaves: Alexis also makes it clear in the play The Pit' that the art of cooking is a fitting occupation of the freeborn. For the cook in that play is far from being a bumpkin. Indeed, the cookery writers Kerakleides and Glaucus of Locris also clearly state that the art of cookery should not be left to slaves or even to ordinary freedmen.' (Anth. XIV-661e)...On special occasions a hired cook came to demonstrate his arts. The plays o f Plautus, form the third century BC, feature many commercial cooks. They are independent-minded, humorous figures, with a tendency to boast. As freelance businessmen they sometimes had their own retinue of slaves--kitchen helpers, but also waiters, flautists and dancers--so that they could provide complete party service. The chef was called the archmagirus, or magirus, the sous-chef was the vicarius supra cocos, and there were other cooks below him. Some rich people owned hundreds of cooks, whom they took with them when they travelled. Others hired additional cooks only for parties. Most cooks, however, were slaves, with all the restrictions that that implied...Cooks were for sale in the slave markets as bakers, grinders, buyers, carvers, chefs and so on. The question of finding the right person for the right job. This was no simple matter, because the slaves were in competition with each other...Heavy demands were made of a cook: the playwright Nicomedes insisted on an understanding of astrology, mathematics, medicine and art..."
    ---Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome, Patrick Faas [Palgrave McMillan:New York] 1994 (p. 125-8)

    "Cooks were highly paid and sought-after professionals. From the fifth century BC many cookbooks were written by philosophers, physicians, cooks and gourmets for the instruction of philosophers, physicians, cooks and gourmets. Unfortunately, with the exception of a compilation or recipes that survived in two manuscripts from the late fourth or early fifth centuries inder the name of Apicius, and the massive work of Atheneus from the end of the second or the beginning of the third century, none survived. The Deiphosophistae of Athenaeus is, on the other hand, a treasure trove of information, gossip, legend, literary quotation, ethnography, potted history, philosophical and medical lore and the like, all centered around dining, food and drink. ..They claim that the good cook must penetrate nature, know something about medicine, about the seasons, the setting and rising of the stars, in order to be able to prepare food that is nourishing and will be properly digested and exhaled'...On a less exhalted plane, cooks claimed to know what was good for digestions, for promoting regularity, and for averting all sort of sicknesses and plagues and chills."
    ---From Feasting to Fasting, Veronika E. Grimm [Routledge:London] 1996 (p. 46-7)


    Chefs & chef's uniforms

    Chefs, as we know them today, evolved from several distinguished lines of professions engaged in cooking-for-hire. Antonin Careme is generally credited for elevating this profession to modern status and establising the chef's uniform.

    "Chef. A person who prepares food as an occupation in a restaurant, private house or hotel...Chefs have occupied an important role in society from the 5th century BC onwards and in the Middle Ages, with the creation of guilds, they constituted a hierarchical community. In France, in the reign of Henri IV, the guilds split up into several separate branches: rotisseurs were responsible for la grosse viande (the main cuts of meat), patissiers dealt with poultry, pies and tarts, and vinaigriers made the sauces. The traiteurs (caterers) included the master chefs, the cooks and the porte-chapes (the chape was a convex cover to keep dishes hot), and they had the privilege of organizing weddings and feasts, collations and various meals at home. These chefs cuisiniers (head cooks), as they were now called, served a period of apprenticeship, at the end of which they had to create a masterpiece of meat or fish. High-ranking chefs were revered, and some of them, like Taillevent, were raised to the nobility. The most famous of all was undoubtedly Careme. Under the Ancien Regime, a distinction was made between the officier de cuisine, who was the actual cook, and the officier de bouche, who was in fact the butler...From the 19th century onwards, chefs wore a large white hat to distinguish them from their assistants...It seems that the hat first made its appearance in the 1820s."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 264-5)

    "Chef is a French word, which has entered other languages, denoting a professional cook. It is a contraction of the phrase chef de cuisine hence originally a description of rank as much as, if not more, than, occupation...Although there had obviously always been cooks in charge of other cooks--there is the 15th-century description of the chief cook whos job was tasting and testing, not cooking--the phrase itself did not appear before the beginning of the 19th century, passing quickly from France to England and other countries...Before that chefs were called cooks, sometimes qualified as man-cooks, master-cooks, cook-maids, professed cooks, principal cooks, or even (in the case of La Chapelle on the title-page of The Modern Cook, 1733) chief cook'. In particularly grand and conservative establishments in France before the Revolution, the head cook might be called ecuyer de cuisine, supported by ranks of specialists such as rotisseurs, patissiers, and so forth, as well as a body of cuisiniers...The adoption of a new professional description must surely reflect a change in cooks' circumstances...Into this vacuum floated the possibility of a new breed of cook: the artist-cook, described with eloquence and conviction by the most influential practitioner and writer of the decades, Antonin Careme, who both orchestrated developments in contemporary haute cuisine and acted as role model to many aspiring cooks...Careme offered an intellectual platform for cooks to redefine their professional status, while the way in which high cookery was developing towards stratified working methods to achieve complex culinary ends gave practical reasons for at least some cooks to rise to the top of the heap...In his own writings, Careme refers to the rank of chef de cuisine..It was the invation of territory hitherto occupied by the steward of the household (in England) that gave the cook new status...when the cook began to compose his own menus as well as design his own pieces montees and supervise the order of service, it was a defininate extension of his duties into the realm of steward, and would be utter conquest when the clerk of the kitchen and provision of all supplies became subject to the chef as well. The job definitions of the British cook and author Charles Elme Francatelli (1805-76), a student of Careme's, indicate the shifts in function. At the outset of his career he was the chef de cuisine...In its passage into other languages, particularly English, the word chef has come to stand alone, and describe function more than status...Victor Hugo, discussing Careme's patronage of the arts during his time with James de Rothschild, calls him cuisiner...never chef; the French trade association was one of cuisiniers, not chefs...It was in fact the organizational reforms by Escoffier's generation that caused the extension of the term chef' to a wider body of workers....Chefs were invariably male, largely because a large restaurant kitchen was a man's world. Women who worked commercially remained cook, cuisiners, or "meres" such as Mere Poulard of omelette fame. Since technology and social progress have allowed the entry of more women into the once all-male brigades, so they have also been given the same titles."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 158-162)
    [NOTE: This book has far more information than can be paraphrased here. See also the entry for "Cook." Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]

    Who was Antonin Careme?
    Careme was one of the most famous culinary figures of the 19th century. He is credited for several significant professional reforms and elevating the profession of chef to the status we know today.

    "Careme, Marie-Antoine( known as Antonin) French chef and pastrycook (born Paris, 1783; died Paris, 1833). Born into a large and very poor family, the young Careme was put out on the street at the age of ten, to be taked in by the owner of low-class restarurant at the Maine gate; where he learned the rudiments of cookery. At 16, he became an apprentice to Bailly of the Rue Vivienne, one of the best pastrycooks in Paris. Amazed by Careme's abilities and willingness to learn, Bailly encouraged him, in particular by allowing him to study in the print-room of the National Library. Here Careme copied architectural drawings, on which he based his patisserie creations; these were greatly admired by Baily's customers, including the First Consul himself. Careme met Jean Avice, an excellent practitioner of cuisine, who also advised and encouraged him. Then the young man's talents became noticed by Tallyrand, who was a customer at Bailly's and he offered to take Careme into his service. Careme's genius. For 12 years Careme managed the Tallyrand kitchens. The culinary and artistic talents of his chef enabled Tallyrand to wield gastronomy effectively as a diplomatic tool. Careme also served the Prince Regent of England, the future King George IV, and was then sent to the court of Tsar Alexander I; he was responsible for introducing some classic Russian dishes into French cuisine, including borsch and koulibiac. Careme numbered among the other employers the Viennese Court, the British Embassy, Princess Bagration and Lord Steward. He spent his last years with Baron de Rothschild and died at 50, burnt out by the flame of his genius and the charcoal of the roasting-spit' (Laurent Tailhad), but having realized his dream: To publish a complete book on the state of my profession in our times.' The works written by Careme include Le Patissier pittoresque (1815), Le Maitre d'hotel francais (1822), Le Patissiere royal parisien (1825), and, above all, L'Art de la cuisine au XIXe siecle (1833). This last work was published in five volumes; the last two were written by his follower, Plumery... Careme's contribution. A theoretician as well as a practitioner, a tireless worker as well as an artistic genius., Careme nonetheless had a keen sense of fashionable and entertaining. He understood that the new aristocracy, born under the Consulat, needed luxury and ceremony. So he prepared both spectacular and refined recipes, including chartreuses, desserts on pedastals, elaborate garnishes and embellishments, new decorative trimmings and novel assemblies. A recognized founder of French grand cuisine, Careme placed it at the forefront of national prestige. His work as theoretician, sauce chef, pastrycook, designer and creator of recipes raised him to the pinnacle of his profession...Careme was proud of his unique art: sensitive to decoration and struck on elegance, he always has a sense of posterity. He wanted to create a school of cookery that would gather together the most famous chefs, in order to set the standard for beauty in classical and modern cookery, and attest to the distant future that the French chefs of the 19th century were the most famous in the world'...Careme was also concerned with details of equipment. He redesigned certain kitchen utensils, changed the shape of saucepans to pour sugar, designed moulds and even concerned himbself with details of clothing, such as the shape of the hat."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated edition [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 220-1)

    Recommended reading: Cooking for Kings: The Life of Antonin Careme, the First Celebrity Chef/Ian Kelly

    Why (in history) were most chefs men?
    Chefs were traditionally men for the same reasons as lawyers, doctors, professors, military officers, clerics. In most cultures, professional positions of power were restricted to free males. Only recently have women begun to break these ranks.

    Who was the first recorded chef in the world?
    Interesting question. The food history books do not offer a simple answer. Instead, they describe the history and evolution of the profession we now call chef'. In sum, people have been cooking grand meals for others for thousands of years. They were not called chefs, however. The culinary profession was stratified by guilds during the Middle Ages. Some of these guilds (think labor unions) had the word "chef" in the title. "Chef cuisiner," or head cook was one of these. Many significant professional reforms were made in the early 19th century, including the eventual elevation of chef cuisiner (chief cook) to one in charge of all aspects of kitchen management. Many of the most famous "chefs" (as we think of them today) were not called such during their own times.

    Food historians generally credit Apicius (4th century?), a Roman cook, for recording (writing) the first cookbook. There is much discussion regarding the both the author and the cookbook. You will find a brief discussion in Alan Davidson's Oxford Companion to Food (p. 24). In a broad interpretation of the term chef' Apicius might be the answer you are looking for. Certainly, recipes were recorded long before Apicius

    Recommended reading

    ABOUT CHEF'S UNIFORMS
    The history and evolution of the chef's uniform is a fascinating and complicated topic. Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer, former reference librarian at The Culinary Institute, observes much of the "popular" literature circulating on this subject falls into the category of folklore. Her research confirms contemporary chef's uniforms descend from the long march of practical occupational costumes. Case in point? The "Toque Blanche." The term, on its most basic level, means a fitted white headcovering. Primary evidence confirms headgear worn by head chefs through the years varied according to culture and period. Long before the "Toque Blanche" denoted a striking headpiece visually calling out kitchen rank, it referred to a respected gastronomic fraternity. It was not until the 20th century that tall, white, pleated culinary crowns reigned supreme. Black chef's toques offer their own curious parallel history. Scholars like Ms. Crawford-Oppenheimer challenge us to question tantalizing stories of chef-wear resulting from cooks hiding in early Greek [Byzantine] monasteries and
    100 pleats for 100 ways to prepare eggs. "Facts" repeated by several sources have an insipid way of becoming their own truth.

    headgear: toques & black caps
    coats & jackets
    pants & aprons
    changing the lady?

    "Evolution of chef's dress...this dress is not really of great antiquity but is the outcome rather of gradual evolution. It appears to have been completely standarized only during the full blossoming of the hotel industry in this [20th] century. Cooks in medieval kitchen kitchens appeared to work in a variety of costumes of which some sort of apron would seem to be the only common denominator. Bt Victorian times...There is no doubt that working dress (apart from its functional purpose) plays an important part in establishing morale and in heightening or diminishing job prestige...Because of the nature of the work he has to do it is equally important that it is worn with intelligent regard for its purpose, which includes, importantly, the maintenance of hygiene and the aiding of cool working."
    ---Chef's Manual of Kitchen Management, John Fuller [Batsford:London] 1962 (p. 19-20)

    The Toque, folklore:
    "The tall white hat, or toque, symbolizes the art of fine cooking throughout much of the world. Some sources say that the toque originated in Assyria in the mid-seventh-century B.C., when King Assurbanipal lived in fear of being poisoned. He required the head cooks in wealthy households to wear pleated cloth headdreses similar to those worn by the royalty. This headgear served both to identify the cooks of a particular household and to encourage allegiance. A second legend traces the toque back to antiquity, when rulers presented master culinarians with bonnet-like caps studded with laurel leaves, emblems of the ruler's office, in a ceremony that marked the beginning of all official feasts. Yet another tale situates the origin of the toque at the end of the sixth century A.D., when barbarians from northern Europe overran the Byzantine Empire. To escape persecution, philosophers and artists fled to Greek monasteries for refuge, where they found themselves in the company of Orthodox priests who enjoyed good food. This legend tells that many of the refugees became cooks in the monastery kitchens, adopting the cassock and headgear of the priests to disguise themselves. However, they chose to wear white instead of traditional black, as a mark of individuality. Of course, none of these accounts can be verified and most likely the chef's toque evolved over time, with no single country or culture entirely responsible for its creation. The French word toque, by was of the Spanish toca, originally referred to a head covering worn by both men and women. Eventually, the toque took the shape of a small, round, close-fitting or "crown" of cloth with a gathering of material that was often pleated to cover the top of the head. By the sixteenth century, the characteristics of the hat varied from country to country...we must credit the famous chef Antonin Careme... with bringing the modern toques into the kitchen. He is said to have been inspired to change his floppy, beret-style cap when he saw a woman wearing a stiff, white hat on the street one day.
    ---"The Chef's Uniform," The Culinary Institute of America, Gastronmica, Winter 2001 (p. 89-90)

    "In the days of the ancient Greek and Roman empires, at festivals which lasted weeks...the Master Culinarians, prior to serving the food, were called before the rulers who crowned them with a bonnet-like cap, studded with laurel leaves, an emblem of their office. This ceremony marked the beginning of the feast...at noted Papal dinners, where the food was prepared by monks, we find only that expert culinarians wore the white cap, whereas the novices remained bareheaded...during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, the ordinary skull caps came into style and these were worn by apprentices, workers, and expert chefs, varying only in colors according to rank. During the same period, deeds of exceptional value and creative skill in cookery were rewarded by allowing the creator to wear the white cap--Toque Blanche--for a period of time befitting the merit of his deed...M. Boucher, chef of the Prince de Tallyrand in the early part of the 18th century, is credited with having brought the Toque Blanche into mode...An interesting and unusal story is told of Germain Chevet. Chevet, who was the creator of a rose of rare beauty, was ordered to cultivate this specie exclusively for Louis XIV, King of France. When Chevet arrived in Paris, during the outbreak of the French Revolution, he founded a restaurant bearing his name at the Palais Royal which became the favorite meeting place of the gourmets. This restaurant was surrounded by beds of the famous King's rose, and Chevet insisted that each member of his culinary staff wear a fresh rose in the crown of his Toque Blanche every day..."
    ---"La Toque Blanche," Alfred G. Wagner, Chef, Culinary Review, January 1939 (p. 27)

    The facts:
    "Of course, the matter of kitchen headgear immediatedly brings to mind the outlandish tower of cloth that is the true chef's hat, or toque (French for a soft, brimless, usually small hat). Could it be that this evidence had evolved or been invented for venerable chefs with career-weakened eyes?...The origin of the chef's toque are somewhat obscure. The distingushed gastronomical authority Andre Simon said that it is a copy of the had worn by Greek Orthodox priests and dates from a time of upheaval (some say the sixth century A.D.) when "many famous cooks to escape persecution sought refuge in monasteries." Other investigations into the subject, however, make it clear that regardless of what may have happened in early Greece, monasteries, today's toque was reinvented around 1900. In both France and England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, those cooks who bothered with headgear at all wore a soft cotton hat, or bonnet, that looked very much like a nightcap. The great transition from shapeless to shaped can be attributed with some certainty to Marie-Antoine Careme, the renowned chef of the early nineteenth century, who at the time was in the service of the English ambassador to Vienna, Lord Stewart. As Careme wrote in his Maitre d'Hotel francais (1822), 'Meditating ceaselessly on the elegance of our work, I had dreamed for a long time of ways to change the manner in which we wear our cotton cap; for it appeared to me absolutely necessary not to change the cap itself, whose whiteness allies it so well to the rest of our uniform, and whose extreme cleanliness is the handsomest endowment of the cook. Professionals distinguish themselves by it, and by the order that they bring to their work...At the time that I had the idea of wearing my cap thus trimmed with a circle of cardboard (one could make it an octagon), which lends it more grace, I found myself in Vienna during my last stay in 1821. Every day around eleven in the morning, I repesented the dinner menu to his Excellency Lord S--------. The Ambassador looked at me, smiled, and said: 'This new style better suits the cook.' I pointed out to his Excellency that a cook should be the image of good health, while our ordinary cap is more reminiscent of the state of convalescence. My Lord agreed, and I never gave up my new headgear. My young men took it up, and several cooks of Vienna admired their newly fashionable selves, never doubting that they would find devotees in Paris.' Careme's modest effort at bestowing a little "grace" on the chef's cap ushered in a new era of experimentation. The following decades tossed up a number of new styles, from pill-box shaped porkpie hats...to tam o'shanters...from black berets ato great cotton puffs swept backwards. Out of the welter of invention arose the modern toque, which Phillis Cunnington and Catherine Lucas, two historians of English costume, call 'one of the tallest hats ever to dignify a man.' Dignify, they suggest, is the true meaning of the toque; high hats have quite frequently adorned the leaders of social groups and lent them a commensuraltey imposing physical stature."
    ---The Curious Cook, Harold McGee [Macmillan:New York] 1990 (p. 28+)

    "Unlike Talleyrand or the Prince Regent...Lord Stewart met his celebrity chef in the kitchens--Careme's domain. And here, in 1821, he first noticed a difference in his chef's appearance. Antonin had take to wearing a raised hat, a sort of toque, in contract to the white nightcaps usually worn in kitchens in those days. When Stewart, in his halting French, asked why, Antonin said he felt a chef should not dress as for a sickbed--perhaps after the unfortunate demise of La Grande Bagration who never recovered from the 'almost total inactivity' that overcame her on her diet of pure Careme. Antonin's insistence on stiffening his white hat was imitated first by the chefs of Vienna, then Paris, and then everywhere. Antonin later published an illustration of the cap, stiffened with a round of cardboard and later still he even suggested--in an early example of celebrity-chef product endorsement--the best place to buy one: the bonnetier M. Pannier, on the boulevard de la Madeleine in Paris."
    ---Cooking for Kings: The Life of the First Celebrity Chef, Ian Kelly [Walker & Company:New York] 2003 (p. 188-9)

    Black caps?
    "The mystery of the 'Black Hat Chefs' has been solved thanks to William J. Spry, executive chef, Hotel Dorset, NYC...Spry, who is a native of England, wrote to his friends there to get the factual history...Here is what he reports: 'In the Middle Ages, British cooking was known as Baronial Cooking. As a tradition the main course of a meal consisted of huge roasts, barons of beef, lamb, wild boar, or venison were roasted on a spit above a large roaring fire, which in most casts was beneath a huge chimney breast. The task of suervising this operation was of course undertaken by the Master Cook. This mean that anyone operating a spit was in danger of his hat receiving a large amount of soot and debris falling down the chimney. Thus for all practical purposes, the Black Cap was more serviceable than a white one, and so it evolved that the Master Cook always wore a short Black Cap. As the kitchens of these Baronial Halls were quite often a considerable distance from the dining hall, the cap of the cook was pressed flat to enable him to carry the huge platter on his head..."
    ---"Black Hat Chefs Mystery Solved," Restaurant Exchange News, June 1981 (p. 9)

    "The great Alexis Soyer even when in 'whites' did not wear the high bonnet, the toque...but a somewhat flamboyant creation which approximated to a tasselled beret in black velvet. Even after Soyer's day the white hat was by no means de rigeur amongst all chefs and in the last ten years of the nineteenth century there were many instances of chefs like M. Claudius...who wore a headgear something like a librarian's black skull cap. Indeed, in a cookery book published in 1919 there is a photograph of Victor Hirtzler who was chef of the Hotel St. Francis, San Francisco, wearing a dark skull cap very much of this pattern. He is dressed otherwise in the chef's costume familiar today. In this country [UK], a similar black skull cap is still worn by the master cook...at the famous English-style restaurant, Simpson's in the Strand. It has accordingly been inferred that this is specifically an English cook's distinctive insignia but as has already been noted there is pictorial evidence that chefs of other nationalities have, in relatively recent times, sported a head-dress not dissimilar."
    ---Chef's Manual of Kitchen Management, John Fuller [Batsford:London] 1962 (p. 19-20)

    100 pleats for 100 eggs?
    "Pleated toques are usually about eight inches high, but chefs in a position of authority can wear hats ten to twelve inches in height. It is said that the chef's toque blanche has one hundred pleats to represent the one hundred ways to cook an egg. The pleated white hat remains customary to this day and represents a long tradition in the cooking profession."
    ---"The Chef's Uniform," The Culinary Institute of America, Gastronmica, Winter 2001 (p. 89-90)

    "It was regarded as natural that any chef, worthy of the name, could cook an egg at least one hundred ways. Tne most renowned chefs often...[claimed]...they could serve their royal masters a different egg dish every day of the year."
    ---A Pageant of Hats, Ancient and Modern, Ruth Edwards Kilgour [Robert M. McBride:New York] 1958 (p. 382)

    Perhaps this is another twist on the classic chicken & egg conundrum? Period & place fit...

    "Louis, Marquis de Cussy. One of the wittiest gastronomes of the early 19th century (born Coutances, 1766; died Paris, 1837). He held the post of prefect of the palace under Napoleon I. If his great friend Grimod de la Reyniere is to be believed, Cussy invented 366 different ways of preparing chicken--a different dish for each day, even in a leap year. In 1843 he published Les Classiques de la table, in which he devoted many pages to the history of gastronomy. He also wrote several articles. As principal steward of the emperor's household, he looked after the wardrobe, the furniture and the provisions of the court. When Louis XVIII succeeded Napoleon, it is said that at first he refused to have anything to do with Cussy, but that later, learning that he was the creator of strawberries a la Cussy, he gave him a post of responsibility. Chefs have dedicated several recipes to him..."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated, [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 389)

    The coat
    "Almost as distinguishing as the toque blanche is the veste blanche, or double-breasted white jacket. Its military style is no accident of fashion. The earliest chefs were servants of kings and could very possibly have been called upon to serve on the battlefield as well as the dining hall. Much less has been written about the chef's coat than about the toque. Most references suggest that white was chosen to emphasize good sanitation. Jackets ranged from long-sleeved coats fashioned after papal dress to costumes derived from rural dress, which included a jacket covered by a long apron and worn with a knotted kerchief around the neck. The jacket protected the chef from the heat, as it still does today. The coat has other advantages, as well. A split at the cuff seam allows the cuffs to be turned back, giving the chef a neat an professional appearance that would be lost through rolled-up sleeves; at the same time it ensure protection to the forearms and wrists in the event of a splatter or spill. The double-breasted design offers a quick fix for hiding soiled areas, since the panels can easily be reversed to regain a crisp, white, professional appearance."
    ---"The Chef's Uniform," Gastronomica, Winter 2001, Vol. 1, No. 1 (p. 90)

    "Changing the lady?" Common sense suggests this phrase describes swapping coat buttons to make clean appearance. To date, we have not found any definative print references regarding the originator/first date of this phrase.

    Chef's Pants and Apron
    "The history of the chef's checkered pants is the most difficult to document. Most sources assume that this fabric was chosen to camouflage spills. While bakers wore white, chefs turned to either regular black-and-white checks or a houndstooth pattern, with the exact color and pattern varying from place to place. Some believe that the houndstooth check originated in the costume of the English master huntsman. Designed with built-in safety features, chef's pants sometimes have snaps instead fo a zipper so that they can literally be torn away to prevent bodily burns in the event of an accidental spill. The pant legs are straight, not cuffed or rolled, so that liquids cannot be trapped at the ankle. The very first chef's uniform was no more than an apron worn to protect clothing from inevitable splashes and spills. The messier the work, the longer the apron. Butchers wore long aprons; skilled artisans and craftsmen wore theirs shorter."
    ---"Chef's Uniform," (p. 90)

    Recommended reading: Occupational Costume in England/Phillis Cunnington


    Cooking schools

    Cooking schools, as we know them today, descended from culinary/cooking training programs run by ruling households,
    military organizations and religious establishments (monestaries, abbeys, colleges). Feeding large numbers of people required massive numbers of well-trained staff. Early cooks learned by doing via apprenticeships. Antonin Careme is generally credited for elevating the respect of the chef and codifying kitchen staff in the 19th century.

    Who started the first cooking/culinary training school, where and when? The answer depends upon the country and the definition of "school." Early classes enrolling tuition-paying students were generally conducted in private quarters, often the teacher's home. These cooking schools catered to women students. Men training for top-level culinary positions continued to learn their craft working for master chefs apprenticeship-style well into the 20th century.

    [17th & 18th century England]
    "Cookery schools have been going for longer than might imagined, even if most female cooks have commonly learned either at theri mother's knee, or by steady climb through the ranks of domestic service. The career of the 17th-century author Robert May is an example of the classic professional formation of the male cook. As a child, he worked with his father, cook to a family well entrenched at the English court, then spent his teenage years in the kitchens of a prominent French diplomat and lawyer in Paris...He was then formally apprenticed in London to the cook to the Grocers' Company and the court of the Star Chamber before returning fully traned to the paternal stove. This model was to hold good well into the 20th century. A necessary foundaton for educational activity...was a didactic literature. The earliest recipes might have been, for the most part, the aides-memoire of professional cooks...but by the late 16th century...there were works that specifically addressd women...This literature also reveals the existence of schools of cookery, for books were often the outcome of a successful teaching career, or were the teaching materials converted to print. From the earliest such book published in England, Rare and Excellent Receipts by Mrs. Mary Tillinghast (1678) ' Printed for the Use of her Scholars only', to the book 'published for the convenience of the young ladies committed to her care' by Elizabeth Marshall (1777) who ran a pastry school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne from about 1770-1790, there were several such instances. The most celebrated is perhaps Edward Kidder, author of Receipts of Pastry and Cookery for the Use of his Scholars (c. 1725), who ran a school in several locations in London through the first quarter of the 18th century. If an obituarist is to be believed, upwards of 6,000 students passed through his hands. Note that the chief subject of instruction, as in many other schools in Britain, and in America where they also existed, was pastry...Many authors turned to teaching. In the late 1670s, Hannah Wooley offered to instruct ladies whos lives were dislocated by the Civil War and Restoration and who were thus forced to turn to service for an income...In the 19th century the purpose of culinary education changed somewhat. While still pursing...the aims of the early teachers with schools for the middle classes...the same groups saw the need to instruct those less fortunate..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2007 (p. 213)

    [1808 Philadelphia]
    "Four different types of cooking schools emered in America during the nineteeth century. The first was an expansion of the pastry lessons offered by experts during the eighteenth century.. The shift between private lessons and public courses was made by Elizabeth Goodfellow, who opened a pastry shop in Philadelphia in 1808. She subsequently offered lessons, which turned into formal classes offered to the public, and thus establishing America's first cooking school." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York], 2004, Volume 1 (p. 324-325)
    [NOTE: (1) Recomended reading: Mrs. Goodfellow: The Story of America's First Cooking School, Becky Diamond.]

    [1857 New York]
    "The second type of school was a European import. Its proponent was Pierre Blot, a Frenchman who immigrated to the United States about 1855...Two years later he launched a cooking school called the Culinary School of Design and called himself the professor of gastronomy...With the financial assistance of Commodore Vanderbilt's daughter, Blot opened the New York Cooking School, which was America's first French cooking school. It mainly catered to the wealthy and lasted only a few years"
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York], 2004, Volume 1 (p. 325)
    [NOTE: Pierre Blot's Handbook of Practical Cookery 1868 is online. FT library owns an original copy.]

    [1865: Sweden]
    "Many countries began to introduce cookery into their school curricula at about the same time...The Swedes led the way, establising a two-year course for teachers of cookery in Goteborg in 1865...The Germans followed in the 1870s...In France, domestic science was introduced into the primary school curriculum...in 1882."
    ---All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present, Stephen Mennell [Basil Blackwell:Oxford] 1985 (p. 230-231)

    [1872: USA]
    "Juliet Corson...targeted unemployed working-class women, with the hope that after taking cookery courses they might find employemnt as domestics. Beginning in 1872, she began lecturing on cooking at charitable institutions in New York City. In November 1867 she launched the city's second New York Cooking School, which offered a series of twelve lessons...In 1878 the Boston Cooking School was launched inder the auspices of the Women's Education Association. Maria Parloa was the first teacher...The final type of cooking school to emerge during the nineteenth cetnury was based at colleges and universities. The interest in cooking schools also influenced college programs. These originally were intended to prepare women for life as homemakers and later were vocationally directed. The first known cookery program at a college was at Iowa Agricultural School in Ames (later Iowa State University); in 1876 the school offererd a course in domestic economy, which included cooking. The teacher was Mary B. Welch...A kitchen was constructed and in 1878 Welch began teaching the course using Corson's Cooking Manual as a text."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York], 2004, Volume 1 (p. 325-326)

    "Culinary experts took to the classroom in the last quarter of the century. Four cooking schools stand out as representative examples of such successful ventures. These cooking schools provided helpful cookery and housekeeping information for homemakers as well as career training for women who planned to put skills learned in the classsroom toward earning a respectable living. Juliet Corson founded the New York Cooking School. Three outstanding culinary experts, Miss Parloa, Mrs. D.A. Lincoln, and Fannie Farmer were associated with the Boston Cooking School, and the Philadelphia Cooking School brought to the attention of nineteenth century cooks Sarah Tyson Rorer. All became popular culinary teachers, and each produced cookbooks widely accepted by their readers."
    ---The American Cookbook: A History, Carol Fisher [McFarland:Jefferson NC] 2006 (p. 45)
    [NOTE: Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery, Miss Parloa's New Cook Book, Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book & Fannie Farmer's Bosting Cooking School Cook Book.]

    [1895: Paris]
    "In 1895, Marthe Distell founded the first Cordon Bleu school in Paris, to instruct the daughters of the bourgoise in the art of cooking."
    --The American Cookbook, (p. 216)

    US Military cooking/culinary schools: 20th century
    Much is written about U.S. military rations; not so much about the culinary program instituted for training the cooks.

    [1894]
    "The National Guard of the State of New York is rapidly developing into a body of soldiery well prepared for any emergency. This may seem like an unecessary statement to those enthiasts who are carried away with the purely spectacular features of military work...At the State Camp...a cooking school has been established, and it is safe to say that no feature of the excellent training established at Peekskill will prove, in time actual service, to be more valuable than this. It is by no means difficult to organize a mess corps in each regiment in such way that each company will have its own cooks and its own field cookery outfit. The first steps toward such an organization have been taken, and by the time the National Guard, or any part of it, has to be called out for service again the problem of self-sustenance should have been solved. When the next term of active service comes it will prove conclusively the great value of the camp cooking school"
    ---"The State of Camp Cooking School," New York Times, July 6, 1894 (p. 4)

    [1907]
    "Cooking School for Soldiers. But of more general importance in the interior of our man-at-arms is the new school for army cooks being built under Gen. Sharpe's direction at Fort Ripley, Kan. This institution, which will be competed by June 1, will contgain a big cooking school on the groundfloor and barracks above for the eighty student cooks and student bakers. Grouped about two big ranges, two classses in session at a time will learn the noble art of tickling the military palate. Each range will be large enough to cook the meals of an entire comapny. The food prepared will be eaten by the student cooks themselves and by the...men in the guardhouse. This soldier cooking school, now in temporary quarters at Fort Riley, is one of the most interesting of our military institutions. Among its student cooks officers and enlisted men, in cap and apron, may be seen working side by side. The corps of instructors is made up of veteran army cooks--some of them colored-- who have made great reputations as culinary artists. When it became known that the army's famous cooks were being detailed for this educational work companies possessed of good ones ceased to boast of their merits. Indeed, so secretive have the companions become as to the skill of their superior chefs de cuisine that the commissary department no longer hears of them who mght be wanted for teachers at fifty cents extra per day--the instructor cook's pay. So civilian cooks have had to be obtained to fill up the corps of culinary teachers.Get Sergeants Pay All of the student cooks are men who have volunteered to take the course. There is no dearth of these among the privates, inasmuch as a graduate cook, as soon as he is assigned to an organization, commence to draw full seargeant's pay, besides such extra allowance from the company's fund as his skill deserves. Not every private who applies is received at the school, however. Eligable must have a common school eduation and must have at least two and one-half years before their enlistments will have expired. Besides the extra pay the company cook is relieved from guard and police duty, but he must take his turn at drill and target practice. Each company is allowed two cooks and generally two 'kitchen police,' who do the kitchen drudgery. The course of the army cooking\ school is four months. The student cook starts in with scullery work and next he learns the handling and cleaning of the range. Then he takes up cooking proper--first the theory and afterward the practice. In the course of his theory work he must muster some hard problems in food econony and must acquire considerable executive ability. After being taught: to keep accounts and to estimate the cost of the items...to be required...The student-cook receiving the highest mark in his class at the end of the four months' coruse recieves a prize of $15, and there is always a second prize of $10. There is also a school for army bakers at Fort Riley. This occupies a separate building and will continue to do so, even after the new cooking school is completed but the student-bakers will share the new barracks of the student-cooks. In fact they all belong technically to one institution the 'School of Bakers and Cooks.'"
    ---"The State Camp Cooking School," New York Times, July 6, 1894 (p.4)

    [1917]
    School for Army Cooks (National Cooks Training Corps)/Journal of Military Service Institution of the United States, volume 61

    Readers Guide Retrospective (database) returns 6 magazine articles (1914-1941) describing Army cooking schools (your librarian can help you get the articles)

    [1945]
    Food Service Program (Quartermaster Museum)

    [1946: The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park NYC]
    The Culinary Institute of America was founded in 1946 to provide returning WWII veterans with training in the culinary arts. Originally located in Conntecticut, the world's premier culinary school now sits on New York's Hudson River, just north of Peekskill. Coincidence? Or not.

    "Prior to 1946, no one in America went to school to learn to be a restaurant chef...This lack of American cooking schools was meaningless, given most Americans' view of cooking as a vocation. In the nineteeth and early twentieth centuries, at least at the more elegant establishment, kitchens were staffed by European men trained through arduous apprenticeship, a course of practical education, severed by contract, which for centuries had been the way that culinary knowledge was transmitted...One of the consequences of World War II was the opening in 1946 of the first American cooking school for professionals. The New Haven Restaurant Institute in Connecticut benefitted from the GI Bill's education boom for returning veterans and also encompassed modern concepts...Later known as The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) the school relocated to Hyde Park, New York, in 1970. The CIA became the first degree-granting culinary institution, awarding associate's degress in occpational studies and applied science."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Volume 1 (p. 327-328)

    [Current]
    Joint Culinary Center of Excellence manages US Military training programs


    Delicatessens

    "Until the late nineteenth century, delicatessens were primarily run by Germans and Alsatians in this country. The word itself derives from German and means delicacies, but is used not only to describe a shop, but also is the word for the products sold in a shop. Eventually Jews, too, went into the business...Delis were especially attractive for the observant as the stores were open on Sundays, selling canned and packaged goods, often duplicating the services of grocery stores. More than anything else the delicatessen became the "Jewish eating experience" in this country. A deli was a little restaurant with a counter, a few stools and smoked beef, pastrami, frankfurters, potato knishes, rye bread, club bread, mustard, and pickles," recalled Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary Magazine, who grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn...As Jews became more affluent, two distinct types of delicatessens emerged. "An offshoot of the kosher restaurant is the kosher delicatassen and lunchroom"...The other type of delicatessen that emerged as Jews became assimilated and moved uptown or to Brooklyn or suburbia was the carry-out, or "kosher style" deli. It looked and smelled like a kosher delicatessen, but coffee was served with cream. The overstuffed pastrami and corned beef sandwiches were served followed by a piece of New York cheesecake...The quintessential Jewish "kosher style" delicatessen today is the Carnegie on Fifty-fifth and Seventh Avenue in New York."
    ---Jewish Cooking in America, Joan Nathan [Knopf:New York] 1994 (p. 184-6)

    "Delicatessen. A grocery store that usually sells cooked meats, prepared food, and delicacies. The word is from the German Delikatess, "delicacy." In the 1880s it referred to preserved foods. During the period of post-Civil War emigration to America, many Jews set up butcher shops called schlact stores, but as more foods were added to the shelves, the term "delicatessen shop," "delicatessen store," and "delicatessen" became common, though some preferred the non-German term "appetizing store." Later on "delicatessen" was shorened to "deli" or "delly," which sometimes also referes to the foods sold in such an establishment. New York City is still the hub for deli culture and sets the standards for those elsewhere. Delicatessens specialize in serving pastrami, potato salad, pickles, rye bread, liverwurst, and many other items enjoyed by the Jews of eastern cities. To call such a store a "Jewish delicatessen" is, therefore, something of a redundancy, and many delicatessens maintain Kosher regulations. But today many other ethnic groups run their own delis, as in "Italian deli" or "Latin-American deli."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani {Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 110)

    "Jewish immigrants did not at first open restaurants, but they took the concept of the schlact, or grocery, store to far more delectable and diverse levels than Americans had ever before experienced. And, in most cases, one could eat on the premises. The word delicatessen comes from the German word, delikatesse, for delicacy, although many New York Jews preferred the non-German word "appetizing." The deli counter's display of breads, smoked salmon, dried fish, noodle pudding, cured meats, pickles, and oddities like cream soda and celery tonic represented American bounty in its most voluptuous and self-indulgent form, and the experience of going to a deli--"Jewish deli" would have been a redundancy--became the stuff comedy and heatburn were made of. Americans took to the overstuffed sandwiches and fried potatoes with the same relish they would to ham-and-cheese sandwiches and French fries, and "deli counters" became as much a fixture in American supermarkets as a butcher or dairy case...Most delis were in the Jewish neighborhoods of East Coast cities, epecially New York, where delis dimpled the streets of Brooklyn, the Bronx, East Harlem, and the Lower East Side, although some of the most famous--Reuben's, the Stage Deli, and the Carnegie Deli--were uptown attractions, as much for their celebrity clientele as for their food...The less stringent deli owners became about keeping kosher, the more appeal they had to Gentiles, and non-kosher customers."
    ---America Eats Out, John Mariani [William Morrow:New York] 1991(p. 74-6)

    Delicatessen, definition circa 1911

    Recommended reading:

    Recommended reading: Save the Deli/David Sax


    Fast food

    While most Americans think of fast food in terms of modern chain restaurants, food historians like to remind us the first "fast food" restaurants were thermopolium, operated by Ancient Romans. Throughout history most cultures and cuisines developed shortcut options to traditional dining customs. The concept of modern fast food was a byproduct of the industrial revolution. People on the go (or working) required fast, economical and portable foods. Street vendors, fair fare, lunch wagons, diners, roadside eateries, drive-ins, ice cream stands, noodle parlors and sushi bars cater to this market. Each in its own place and time. According to John Mariani, American food historian, the phrase "fast food" was first coined by George G. Foster in 1848. It did not become popular, however, until the 1960s when chain restaurants proliferated.

    What is street food?
    The history of mobile street vending (in the broadest sense) can be traced to military field mess units. The idea of cooking and serving food from portable canteens evolved over time. Ancient Romans hawked "street foods" in marketplaces and sold them in sporting venues. Medieval street foods were sold at fairs, tournaments, and other large gatherings. Today, we sometimes call this "fast food."

    The types of items consumed "on the street" are generally determined by the tradtional foods of the country/region. Which foods are most popular? That depends upon the time and place. In the places where many cultures and cuisine combine, the confluence of street food is a reflection of the inhabitants. Food carts were often used by peddlers to sell inexpensive homemade and manufactured goods. Ice cream and candy were often sold in this fashion. Early carts where powered by people (pushed, pulled), animals (goats, horses), wheels (bicycles, tricycles) and motors (cars, trucks).

    This is how one food historian sums up the topic:
    "Street food in a given place, is often far more interesting than restaurant food. Generally speaking, wherever it is found it will be likely to represent well-established local traditions; and in some places a tour of hawkers' stalls may be the quickest and most agreeable method of getting the feel of local foods. Among the factors which seem to determine how numerous and diverse street foods are in this or that country, one is clearly climate--a temperate or warm climate makes these operations much easier and also produces a larger number of passers-by who are not intent on getting to somewhere out of the cold. Another factor is the degree of economic development. Broadly speaking, developed countries have fewer street foods. However, there are many exceptions or anomalies...there are indeed few generalizations which can be safely made on the subject. Nor is there much literature available for study...A list of the most famous and widespread street foods would certainly include ice cream, doughnut, hamburger, and hot dog."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 758)

    Public dining in Ancient Rome
    Historians confirm public dining was widely practiced in Ancient Rome. Urban food service establishments catered to men of all classes. A variety of options ranging from fast food (
    popina & thermopoliums) to more leisurely dining (taverns) existed. Spectators enjoyed food at the Colosseum & Roman soldiers ate as they marched. Some food service establishments were "fronts" for more dubious activites. Others were popular meeting places for average people seeking a hot meal. Like today's shopping mall food courts, Ancient Roman fast food establishments were situated where people gathered for other reasons.

    Popina & Thermopoliums
    "For plebian men, social life was virtually synonymous with dining outside the home. Tavernae and popinae were inextricably intertwined, and for the common people both symbolized the pleasures of the city. The taberna was primarily a place where beverages were served and food was an afterthought; while drinking wine people also ate chickpeas, turnips, and other salted foods, according to a sign found in Osita. The popina was our bar and grill, a restaurant where dinner was served along with drinks. It catered to a plebian clientele. Here social rank ceased to matter. The reputation of the popina was rather dubious, however. As in the cities of the Middle Ages, in Rome the tavern was the antechamber to the bordello. It was also a place where men gambled with dice. In every popina thick vapors emanated from the stewpot and kettle that were always kept boiling on the stove. What people liked about such places was that the food was not just cooked but served hot. We hear of 'steaming plates' and 'smoking sausages.' Drinks were also served hot."
    ---"The Broad Bean and the Moray: Social Hierarchies and Food in Rome," Mireille Corbier, Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to Present, Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari [Columbia University Press:New York] 1999 (p. 136)

    "Not everyone ate at home. There were places in the cities of the Roman Empire where either a full meal or a snack could be eaten. Fast-food establishments called popinae served fried fish, ham and sausages, as well as other delicacies, and Catullus mentions the pages of an unfortunate historian as being so useless as to be fin only for wrapping up mackerel, so a take-away service was also available. But popinae had a reputation as the haunt of drunks, thieves, prostitutes and lazy slaves. Juvenal described in passing an all-nigh popina where debauched insomniacs could fritter away the small hours. This literary evidence comes from an upper-class perspective, however, and the greasy restaurants, as Horace described them, were probably enjoyed by a large part of the population. The remains of these restaurants can be seen at Pompeii and have been studied closely by archaeologists. Similar to the popina was the thermopolium or, in a literal translation, a 'place where hot things are sold'. Asellina's thermopolium...had an assortment of amphorae and jugs for serving of hot and cold drinks. There were also cosy corners and upper rooms which bear out the suggestion made by certain writers that bars and fast-food restaurants were used for other purposes besides eating."
    ---Roman Cookery, Mark Grant [Serif:London] 1999 (p. 14)

    "From sunrise to sunset, Roman urbanites passed the day entirely outside their homes...Inevitably, many of them would grab a bite to eat in the city center. This custom brought about the appearance of restorative establishments that came to flourish in the Forum and around the thermal baths: from simple taverns (popinae or thermopolia), which offered hot or cold wine according to season, cakes made with chick peas, focaccias, and other ready-to-eat items...These public gathering places...looked approximately like this: a brickwork serving bar facing the street, containing large amphoras for wine, water, and oil; shelves for mugs and glasses; and against the back wall, stoves for preparing a few hot foods or for a quick reheating. Further within there were usually at least one rooms sparsely furnished with tables and benches for those customers with the time and desire to eat seated, as was the custom among the lower strata of society...The staff in these places is always described in the ancient sources as an assorted collection of lowlife: the proprietor was on the same social scale as a thief, and the servants commonly provided less than reputable services to their customers upon request...Many popinae were conveniently located immediately inside the baths and in the porticoes around the outside...only men at in the popinae..."
    ---A Taste of Ancient Rome, Iliaria Gozzini Giacosa, translated by Anna Herklotz, forward by Mary Taylor Simeti [University of Chicago Press:Chicago IL] 1992 (p. 207-209)

    Ancient Roman taverns
    "Rome had countless bars, restaurants and inns...Tabernae, taverns, were found chiefly near the bathhouses, but also near temples, libraries and other public buildings. There were several different kinds. Engravings show that they all had an L- or horseshoe-shaped bar made of stone and cement. In comparison with a modern bar, it was low-just over a metre height. Four or five clay pots were permanently bricked into the bar, sometimes with a mortar. This meant that they were well insulated so food and drink could be kept warm or cold in them for a long time. Near the bar stood a small bronze oven, usually portable, in which water was kept at a boiling point. The larger taverns had a separate kitchen and a cellar. If the space was large enough, low tables and stools were arranged close to the bar; otherwise customers had to stand...Food in the taverns was less spectacular than in wealthy houses, but the proprietors prepared it freshly. Typical dishes would have included the popular puls (a porridge or rissoto) and dishes with beans, peas or lentils. From the time of Emperor Vespasian these were the only dishes dishes taverns were permitted to serve. Claudius and some other emperors had prohibited the sale of boiled meat, and any tavern foolish enough to offer it was closed down. Thus to circumvent the law, meat was usually boiled on the street...We can conclude form this that boiled meat was popular. Frescoes, ancient graffiti and other sources suggest that roasted meat was also served, such as ham and pig's head, with eel, olives, figs, possibly sausage, fishballs, meatballs, salads, poultry, marinated vegetables, cheese, eggs, omelettes and all manner of light snacks (think of Italian antipasto and Spanish tapas)...Fornax means oven', and this restaurant was a sort of pizzeria."
    ---Around the Roman Table, Patrick Faas [Palgrave MacMillan:New York] 2003 (p. 41-2)

    "The more convival side of Rome's night-life is represented by the taverns and hot food stalls. These were more than a nocturnal luxury: they were also a daily necessity in a crowded city many of whose poorer inhabitants could not possibly have risked lighting a cooking fire in their tenements...The noise and aroma of Rome's street food began before sunrise...and continued throughout the day...Everybody ate street food, even emperors. It was slightly less respectible to eat in the pervigiles popinae ever-open cookshops'...The bars and taverns in and around the great Baths were the nearest thing that Rome had to restaurants. In some you could choose wither to sit or to recline; and in some you could spend serious money...while the snacks available in others would be converted into a full meal only by a miser...In some you could demand a certain level and variety of cuisine for which the ordinary cookshops had no time at all..."
    ---Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2000 (p. 218-220)
    [NOTE: some of the foods referenced in this sections include: sausages, hot chickpea soup, lettuce, eggs, chub mackerel, beetroot, gourds, radishes, black pudding, white bread, salad (dressed with oil), mustard, ham, grilled fish, venison, wild boar, chicken, hare, cabbage, boiled meat, turtle-doves, pheasant, honey, fatted goose, pickles, yogurt, halva, and wine. Water was for washing, not drinking.]

    Elizabethan England
    In Shakespeare's day, street/fast foods were sold to playgoers. About these
    foods

    19th century French bistros
    According to the food historians, bistros are offshoots of cafes. The menu is generally the same. The difference? Bistros are quick service; cafes are more leisurely establishments.

    "Bistro, a term which dates back only to the late 19th century in French and to the early 20th century in English, is elastic in its meaning but always refers to an establishment where one can have something to eat, as well as drinks. Such an establishment would normally be small, and its menu would be likely to include simple dishes, perhaps of rustic character and not expensive. If it is correct that the word comes from a Russian one meaning "quick!", this would fit in with the general idea that one can eat quickly at a bistro. However, the concept of simple inexpensive food served in a French atmosphere has wide appeal, and as a result the use of the term, whether as a description of eating places of of food, had, towards the end of the 20th century, begun to be annexed by more pretentious premises."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 77-8)

    "Bistro. A bar or small restaurant, also known as a bistrot. The origin of this familiar word is obscure. It first appeared in the French language in 1884, and perhaps comes from the Russian word bistro (quick), which the Cossacks used to get quick service at a bar during the Russian occupation of Paris in 1815. There also appears to be a relationship with the word bistreau, which in the dialects of western France describes a cow-herd and, by extension, a jolly fellow--an apt description of an innkeeper. The most likely origin is doubtless and abbreviation of the word bistrouille. Modern French bistros are of modest appearance and frequently offer local dishes, cold meats and cheese with their wine."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 116)
    [NOTE: The first edition of LG (1938) does not contain a separate entry for this word.]

    "1815. Russian soldiers bivouac in the Place de la Concorde and under the trees of the Tuileries and the Champs-Elysees at Paris following the Battle of Waterloo...and by some accounts they introduce the word "bistro" for cafe by ordering waiters to bring orders "bystro, bystro" (quickly, quickly). French cafe owners cover their counters with zinc to protect them from fist marks and wine stains (the word "zinc" will become a generic for cafe.).
    ---The Food Chronology, James Trager [Henry Holt:New York] 1995 (p. 205)

    According to the current edition of Larousse Gastronomique (p. 194-5), the first cafes (defined generally as places selling drinks and snacks) was established in Constantinople in 1550. It was a coffee house, hence the word "cafe." Cafes were places educated people went to share ideas and new discoveries. Patrons spent several hours in these establishments in one "sitting." This trend caught on in Europe on the 17th century. When cafes opened in France they also sold brandy, sweetened wines and liqueurs in addition to coffee. The first modern-type cafe was the Cafe Procope which opened in 1696.

    First American bistros?
    The earliest references we're finding in print for American establishments specifically called bistros are from the 1940s. Presumably, the fuzzy line between cafes, bistros and similar European-style eateries makes it difficult to establish with certainly the first one here. Two of the oldest print references we find are for mid-town establishements in New York City. Curiously??! They are both on Third Avenue, only a few doors apart. Lawton Mackall's Knife and Fork in New York [Country Life Press:Garden City 1949] describes Le Bistro, 814 Third Ave., thusly: "In Prewar France a vistor overtaken by hunger needed only to apply to the nearest small eatery-and-drinkery. Were it ever so humble, it would scare up a worth-shile meal for him. This Third Avenue spot was designed as a certified copy of a typical bistro. French owned spick-and-span. Should you need nutriment and/or quenchment other than hard liquor, it has it for you, noons or evenings, tasting as of France." (p. 103) According to an article published in the New York Times ("Parisian Milliner Leases Floor Here," New York Times December 10, 1941, p. 46), Le Bistro was established that year. Another New York Times article describes Le Moal as "a small restaurant at 811 Third Avenue, near Fiftieth Street, but in an unpretentious way the place is typical of some little bistro in Brittany. Well-cooked food and prices as modest as the decor are the attractions on which Mme. Frank Le Moal relies for patronage--and with satisfactory results."
    ---"News of Food: A Small Restaurant on Third Avenue is Typical of a Little Bistro on Brittany," New York Times, January 17, 1948 (p. 15).

    About restaurants

    19th century English Fish & chips
    "Fried fish, sold in pieces, cold, must have been established as a standard street food in London by the 1840s or earlier...At that time the fish was sold with a chunk of bread...Chips had an earlier history, probably from the late 18th century...The marriage of fish and chips, wherever it was comsummated, gained popularity swiftly and spread...The number of fish and chip establishments grew steadily until the Second World War."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 301,303)

    History of Fish and Chips restaurant industry/National Federation of Fish Friers

    USA fast food timeline

    [1872]
    Night lunch wagons (Providence, RI) inspire the first diners.

    [1876]
    Some food historians believe Harvey Houses were the first fast food chains in the United States. These were the brainchild of Englishman Fred Harvey, who began positioning his eateries along key points of Santa Fe Railroad in 1879. These restaurants were known for extremely high quality food served in record time. An entire trainload of people needed to be served in 20 minutes or less. The menu was varied and food was served quickly.

    [1900]
    Louis' Lunch (New Haven, CT) is said to have sold the first hamburger on a bun.

    [1902]
    Horn & Hardart's first automat opens in Philadelphia, PA

    [1905]
    Gennaro Lombardi opens the first pizzeria in the United States, New York City.

    [1916]
    Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, Coney Island NY

    [1921]
    White Castle (Witchita, KS) hamburger stands serve standard "fast food" fare at cheap prices. Food and buildings were uniform throughout the chain.

    [1921]
    According to the food historians, The Pig Stand (Dallas, TX) was the first drive-in restaurant chain. It also offered the very first drive-thu window, 1931 in California (Pig Stand Number 21).

    "The drive-in idea came about because its creator, J.G. Kirby, a Dallas tobacco and candy wholesaler, had come to the conclusion that "People with cars are so lazy they don't want to get out of them to eat." With the help of Dr. Reuben Wright Jackson, Kirby designed and opened a drive-in pork barbecue eatery he called the Pig Stand in September 1921 on the Dallas-Fort-Worth Highway. Within a decade Kirby and his franchises had Pig Stands all over the Midwest as far away as New York and California...The drive-in was a direct expression of the appetite of an automobile-obsessed culture for basic food and social interaction."
    ---America Eats Out, John F. Mariani [William Morrow:New York] 1991 (p.122)

    [1926]
    Taylor's Maid-Rite debuts in Iowa

    [1953]
    McDonald's first store with the classic golden arches opened in Phoeniz, Arizona in May 1953. Ray Krock joined the company in 1955 and opened his first restaurant one year later.

    Recommended reading:

    See also: take out foods.


    Ancient Roman soldier mess

    True or false: Ancient Roman soldiers ate well. TRUE!!! In the context of period and place. Historians and archaeolgists agree Roman soldiers were well equipped and supplied with the human fuel they needed to achieve their goals. Does this mean the Ancient Roman soldier enjoyed lavish meals & fine cuisine? Certainly not. They did, however, have full government backing with regards to establishing supply chains, engaging in active indigenous food acquisition practices and sampling local fare.

    Then as today, rations were selected by cost, availability, portability, imperviousness to weather/rodents/insects, and cooking requirements. Then, as today, soldiers at base could expect fresh bread and regular meals while those engaged on march or in camp made the best of the daily situation. Then, as today, some foods were exotically spectacular while others questionably edible.

    "The Roman army had the best commissariat and arrangements for feeding in the ancient world. It was an important agent in transmitting the Roman way of life to the provinces, and in doing so it revolutionized the economy and provided new foods. Its demands caused native populations to increase food production from subsistence farming to an agriculture that produced surpluses. On the march, it was supplied with rations of wheat and other foods, and when established in the forts it could expect regular supplies. The army created a network of contacts and an efficient transport system and it constructed roads, which allowed goods to be moved quickly throughout the empire as well as locally from fort to fort and country to town. Standard food would consist of bread, bacon, cheese, vegetables, and the lowest quality of wine. For these commodities, a fixed amount was deducted from a soldier's pay. Emperor Hadrian followed the example of his troops and in camp ate the basic food of bacon, cheese, and sour wine. A soldier could supplement these rations by buying supplies elsewhere, bu the army also supplied extra food, incluing liquamen, salt, and olive oil. The last was more than a food, for it could be used to oil joints on armor, as a lubricant for the body, and for lighting. Special rations would be issued at festivals and other occasions. Nevertheless, a camp commandant had to make sure that sufficient supplies for fuel and food must be provided at all times...Bread was a basic commodity, fresh loaves provided daily in camps or forts. Unlike Greek soldiers, the Romans did not eat barley bread. To eat this was regarded as a disgrace...Meat--beef, pork, goat, and mutton--was provided by the commissariat or by hunting wild boar, deer, hare, and fowl... Soldiers encamped near the seacoast included fish in their diet...Food could be supplemented in other ways. It might be bought from passing traders or from a shop in a vici that had been established around the camps...The variety of army diet is reveaed by the Vindolanda writing tablets. A list covering the payments and suppliers over a period of eight days in June sometime between A.D. 92 and A.D. 199 seems to have been part of a survey given as payment in kind to support the army in Egypt. The foods include wheat, lentils, cattle, calves, goats, pigs, hams, wine, and radish oil. This oil was a staple cooking oil in Egypt, and the soldiers must have adapted to its use...Archaeological evidence from military sites along the Rhine indicates the consumption of a variety of grains, pulses, vegetables, nuts, and fruit. The fort at Neuss, dated to the first century A.D., has revealed evidence of wheat, barley, wild oats (probably used as fodder), eggs, meat, oyster, broad beans, lentils, garlic, grapes, elderberries, and hazelnuts. In addition, there are four food that must have been introduced to the area by the army--rice, chickpeas, olives, and figs. Barrels, which had contained imported wine, were found. At Dura-Europus, on the Euphrates, papyrus records show soldiers engaged in tasks of collecting, purchasing, and escorting supplies of corn (grain, not maize), food barley, and speical supplies for banqueting."
    ---Food in the Ancient World, Joan P. Alcock [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2006 (p. 209-211)

    If you were an ancient Roman soldier, you would want to know these things...

    "Patera. Another peice of kit that no legionary will voluntarily go without is his patera. This is an all purpose cup, cooking pot and food bowl. The best ones have a diameter of about 7 in., and are made from bronze, sometimes lined inside with tin, and have grooves ground into them to help conduct heat during cooking...a heavy patera is more solid, and lasts longer, but weight is always a disadvantage on the march."
    ---Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual, Philip Matyszak [Thames & Hudson:London] 2009 (p. 67)

    "Water flask. The water flask represents another such choice. A little-known attribute of water is that it is astonishingly heavy Therefore a soldier must choose between carrying several pounds of water (depending on location) or risk the deprivations of thirst. In some regions, gourds, hollowed out and sealed with a wax stopper, make excellent lightweight water bottles. It is impossible to fix handles to these, but it is easly enough to fashion a net around the gourd and carry it on a sling."
    ---ibid (p. 67)

    "Rations. To this one should add several days' supply of food (including buccellatum, a kind of hard tack."
    ---ibid (p. 67)

    "Breakfast. Begin the day with a light meal (probably of cold meat and cheese) prepared under the watchful eye of a military tribune. He has the job of making sure that the food given to the legionaries is of an adequate standard. (it is not unknown for the suppliers to use bribrey to pass off sub-standard rations, and it is the tribune's job to prevent this."
    ---ibid (p. 122)

    "Dinner. While most of the troops are on their duties, others are helping to prepare the late afternoon meal which is the legionary's main sustenance of the day. In some areas, one of the better and most exciting fatigue exercises of the day is to be assigned to a hunting prty to bring fresh game--venison or boar--to the mess tables of one's fellow soldiers. By and large legionaries in base ae among the better-fed citizens of the empire, and depending on the nationality of the majority of his legionaries, the commander will take care to supply the men with items such as wine and the piquant (or reeking, depending on taste) garum fish sauce--beloved of Italians, but needing long-distant transport. Meat, cheese, bread and beer are all staples of the legionary diet. Pork is the most common type of meat, though what you get will depend on what is available locally."
    ---ibid (p. 124)

    "Campaign rations. One major difference between a marching camp and permanent base is the lack of kitchen facilities. The logistical issue is something that has also occurred to those trying to stop the legins invading them. While the legion itself may be invincible, its supply lines are not, and no army operates at its best while the soldiers are starving...It is in case an ambush on the supply trains is successful that the legionary carries up to a week's supply of food in his pack. This is apart from the dreaded hard tack which remains once the legionary has explored the possibilities offered by his boots and shield cover as alternative diet options. In the field the conontubernium has to feed itself. Food comes from two sources. The Comissariat. Perhaps one of the most distinctive features of a Roman army in the field is how much effort has been made to ensure tht food supplies are available for the army as it progresses. Stockpiles. The general in charge will have ensured that before te first legionary sets a toe over the provincial border to enemy territory, huge stockpiles of grain and meat have been laide by to feed him all the way to his destination. Food on the march. As the philosophical quartermaster will tell you, the true purpose of lifeis to keep meat fresh. Therefore he might lay on a herd of cattle to follow the legion, providing a supply of food that transports itself, stays fresh, and also provides a handy source of rawhide, sinew ad glue. Packed meals. The legion mainly supplies the men with grain and cured meat. The grain is ground in hand mills that are carried on the mule of the contubernium, and can be baked into crude cakes, or ito a mela resembling thick porridge. A lazy troop, or one with a lot on its plate...might simply boil the grain and eat that. Forage parties. Such a diet becomes monotonous after a very short time, and marching and digging for the greater part of each day definitely stimulates the appetite. Therefore the addition of fresh beef, pork or mutton, or an unexpected dollop of vegetable fare, is extremely welcome. This food comes form the land the army is passing through...So this is there the auxiliaries earn their keep, as they work in forage parties, seeking out where the villagers have stashed their herds and bringing them back to camp to provide the soldiers with fresh meat. Other parties spread out from the line of march pillaging orchards and farmlands and coming back with fresh fruit and vegetables...This is one of the reasons why the summer and early autumnare called the 'campaigning season'--because the countryside holds enough food to keep an army in the field."
    ---ibid (p. 145-147)

    "Besides his arms and armor, the legionary was accustomed to carry...articles for obtaining and cooking food, such a sickles, cords, and cooking vessels...The ration of food for one day weighed probably about 1 2/3 lbs. On short expeditions, the soldier must carry his own provisions. As many as 17 days'rations, amounting to 28 lbs., are known to have been provided and carried. The ration was usually in the form of coarse flour, or of unground grain which the soldier must crush for himself. According as the food was for a longer or shorter time, the weight carried, exclusive of arms and armor, must have reached 30 to 45 lbs...Caesar fixed the pay of his legionaries at 225 denarii a year. ...For food and equipments, so far as they were provided by the state, a deduction from his pay was made. As provision, each man was allowed per month four measures (8.67 litres, or a little less than a peck) of wheat. The measure may be estimated to be worth at the highest three-fourths of a denarius. Thus the amount deducted for food cannot have exceeded 36 denarii per year. However, in the provinces, the food, if not given outright, was reckoned at a very lowprice."
    ---Caesar's Army, Harry Pratt Judson [Biblo and Tannen:New York] 1961 (p. 36-37)

    Historians confirm Roman legionaries consumed local commodities and foods of "hosting" nations. They also learned new cooking techniques, adopting/adapting as they saw fit. Most of the English language food history sources for "eastern"" cuisine chronicle medieval period forwards. Two sources that might be of interest to you are Turkish Cuisine in Historical Perspective/Deniz Gursoy and The Oldest Cuisine in the World: Cooking in Mesopotamia/Jean Bottero. Your local public librarian will be happy to get you copies. Also recommended (for authenticating period foodstuffs): Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples/Brothwell & Brothwell and Food in the Ancient World form A to Z/Dalby. Pliny's Natural History, books 12-16 catalog "known" foodstuffs to 1st century Romans. There you will find several references to foods from Persia.

    Related dining? Ancient Roman fast food.


    Inflight catering (air fare)

    From the beginning of time, there were travelers. Eventually, these travelers got hungry and had to eat. Enter on-site foodservice. Ancient Roman soldiers, Medieval crusaders, Renaissance explorers, colonial traders, and 19th century railroad passengers were fed by enterprising mobile entrepreneurs who capitalized on captive markets. Inflight catering descends from this tradition.

    Like passenger railroads and cruise lines, the first commercial airlines catered specifically to wealthier classes. These customers demanded the finest service and were willing to pay the price. En-route meals served two purposes: stay the hunger and pass the time. Railroad moguls starting thinking about passenger food from the beginning. So did the airline companies. As techology advanced, so did the catering possibilities. Inflight catering presented a unique set of challenges for the cooks and crew serving the food. In the early years, on-site kitchen full-service facilities were not possible, as they had been on railroads. Blimps featured luxurious meals. Pioneering solo aviators/aviatrix [Wright brothers, Lindbergh, Earhart, Markham] consumed meagre rations by personal choice.. Which airline was the first to offer inflight catering? Both United and American claim this distinction.

    Early commercial foodservice
    "The first airlines were created after World War I by former military pilots. Their purpose was mail delivery, not passenger transport. Passengers were gradually included on flights...Since passengers were considered an necessary evil by the pilots who ran ...the airlines, no thought was given to any foodservice for them, although the pilots and other members of the crew might sometimes share a box lunch sandwich or a thermos of coffee with them. It was not until 1936, with the development of the DC-3, that the first airplane galley was introduced by American Airlines. That galley was quite primitive by modern standards as there was no electrical power available for heating foods or beverages, and all hot foods and liquids were boarded at ready-to-serve temperatures and held in hot thermoses. Three years later, the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, the first aircraft with a pressurized cabin that permitted commercial flights above the weather, was developed with a galley no more advanced than that of the DC-3. Primitive though it was, the DC-3...revolutionized air travel in the United States, and it was in this plane that routine, planned passenger foodservice became the standard for the industry...Also in the 1930s, Pan American Airways developed extensive galleys on their flying boats. The clippers that were used for overseas flights. Although there was no electric power available for these galleys for either heating or cooling food products, the last of these famous aircraft, the Boeing 314, had food-heating capability from a glycol circulating system which piped glycol from the galley to one of the plane's four engines. The engine heated the glycol, which, in turn, heated water in the galley...from the very first, these flying clippers had the capability of making fresh coffee on board...There was no refrigeration system on board these flying clippers, and weight limitations precluded boarding more than the minimum amount of ice that was needed for bar service requirements. However, because of the poor reliability of the glycol heating system, cold meals or cold buffets were served on these flights whenever climatic conditions allowed. Except in places such as wake Island, where there were no ammenities available and Pan American had had to establish and staff kitchens, food for the clipper flights was procured from high-quality local hotels or restaurants. The finest foods were procured as Pan American was competing with the elegant steamships of the day for their passengers. However, canned foods,' such as ham, potatoes, peas, and so on were always carried on board for emergency purposes and for second meals that were required on long flights...By the mid-1930s, airlines were beginning to realize the importance of inflight foodservices and were becoming concerned about both the quality of the food products available and the high prices charged by the airport terminal restaurants wehre they usually bought their food supplies. United Airlines...was the first airline to recognize the marketing potential of inflight foodservice as the competition of airlines increased...[a consultant] developed United's answer to the problem--build its own flight kitchens at airports where its flights landed. The first experimental kitchen was completed in Oakland, California in December 1934. Operating its own kitchen was so successful for United...United eventually built a chain of twenty kitchens throughout the United States..."
    ---Inflight Catering Management, Audrey C. McCool [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 1995 (p. 17-22)

    Pioneering caterers
    "Marriott was one of the earliest inflight caterers as a result of innovative actions by William Kahrl, the manager of a new Marriott Hot Shoppe across the road from Washington's Hoover Airport (now Washington National Airport) in the late 1930s. In late 1937, at th request of one of his customers who was the manager of American Airlines' operations there at that time, Kahrl started putting coffee and sweet rolls on American flights coming from the West Coast...The airline furnished the thermoses; the Hot Shoppe furnished the food and paper supplies; everything as loaded on a flat pushcart and pushed across Route 1 from the Hot Shoppe to the airport in the very early morning hours and loaded onto the airplane...Dobbs' entry into the inflight foodservice field was in response to James K. Dobbs' concern with the poor-quality food that he received on flights as he traveled around the country checking on his Toddle House operations. He enjoyed quality food, and felt that airline passengers were entitled to the best food possible...His work was instrumental in the airlines' transition from serving only cold box lunches to serving hot, restaurant-style meals...Mr. Dobbs' concept was to service the airlines through the terminal restaurants. He also had a theory that there should be a recipe for everything, and he demanded that all the products in all these restaurants be prepared by approved recipes. Thus, Dobbs was able to provide consistent food products from one airport to the next."
    ---Inflight Catering Management (p. 26-27)

    [1925] First aerial restarant
    "The First aerial restaurant car in the world is now engaged on the regular London-Paris airway service. A uniformed steward, the first aerial waiter, is in attendance, and passengers, and passengers on the aeroplane can obtain hot and cold meals while flying thousands of feet in the air."
    ---"Paris-London Airway Has First Aerial Cafe," Daily Record [Morris County, NJ],October 2, 1925 (p. 14)

    [1929]
    "Clovis, N.M....The air liner City of Washington, embodying all the comforts of de luxe travel, left Los Angeles this morning, arriving here this evening after a 900-mile flight over the western end of the new Transcontinental Air Transport route. The plane is fitted with ten comfortable chairs with adjustable reclining backs. Walls are decorated in gray and burnt orange with gay curtains at the windows. Beside each chair is a hand cord to aid passengers in and out of the seats while the plane is in motion. Two hours after starting a steward served lemonade and cookies while the plane was flying high abobve the sweltering desert. At 1 o'clock small tables were fitted over the passenger's knees and luncheon was served. The tables were draped with mauve linen. The food consisted of cold bits, salad, piping hot coffee, dessert and fruit. A packet of chewing gum rounded off the repast. In mid-afternoon tea and cookies were served. The company provides each passenger with a narrow map of the course on one side of which is a signed certificate that the passenger has made a transcontinental flight."
    ---"Air Liner Provides Luxuries of Travel," T.J.C. Martyn, New York Times, July 16, 1929 (p. 2)

    [1938] Gourmet standards
    "Just before you step aboard one of the bright-winged planes that is to carry you along the sky route North, South, or West, from the airport at Newark, New Jersey, a meal will be stowed in the plane's compact kitchen. Mrs.G. Thomas French is an authority on air-bred appetites. For the past six and a half years she has been preparing, or supervising the preparation of, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and in-between meals, to satisfy America's hunger on the wing. She began the service for one of the lines but very soon thereafter was asked to cater also for the other three at the Newark terminus. It takes rather a large staff and a very efficiently directed kitchen to supply food for several meals a day, to four airlines, each with its own timetable. Mrs. French's husband and her mother both have an active part in the business. There are ten girls in the kitchen (including two cooks), and six boys who help with the commissary work. There is also a baker who takes possession of the kitchen after the day-force leaves, and works there alone all night. "Except for the sandwich bread, we do all our own baking--pies, tarts, pastries, creamroll desserts, breads, and muffins." She pointed to the day's supply--orange bread, date-and-nut bread, and rolled cinnamon bread, all very delicious...OM airplane service special features...are particularly important. "And we also make a gerat deal of our salads,"..."They constitute a part of the meal that you can dress up to look particularly attractive."...a first-class salad can transform a commonplace meal or, served right along with the main course, can make yesterday' roast seem an inspiration of genius. Only--don't make your salad of left-overs. Use those somewhere else...Not to be repetitious in the matter of main dishes is just as important on a plane as it is at home. Here Mrs. French is guided by the commuters. "We get to know them," she explains, "and to expect them regularly on the same days. So we are careful not to plan the same dish for successive Mondays--or whatever the day may be." Yet the fact that the food must be cooked in advance and kept palatable until it is served makes a real problem. This is a difficulty, however, that Mrs. Frwench considers a challenge. The roast meats--turkey, beef, or lamb, for example--are the simplest to plan. Beef-steak-and-mushroom pie is also good. Moreover it is a noble suggestion for the family at home--not expensive and not spoiled if you have to keep dinner waiting for a late homecomer or a dilatory guest. Baked stuffed lamb chops are also very delicious and they bear up well under delay."
    ---"Picking a meal out of the air," Grace Turner, Los Angeles Times, November 13, 1938 (p. J15)

    [1941] Transcontinental fare
    "Ten years ago sandwiches were the only food put on transcontinental airplanes. Today, full course meals, hot breakfasts and luncheons are routine fare in the clouds. The story behind this transition holds a promise of high interest for homemakers attending Marian Manners' regular weekly cooking class this afternoon. Miss Esther Benefiel, Miss Avis Peak and Dave Chasen, all of Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc. will be Miss Manners 'guests on a program called "Mile High Menus." They will discuss the cooking problems that airlines have to solve and the way they solved them. Coupled with demonstrations, the discussions will bring forth many ideas that housewives may utilize in their own homes."
    ---"Cookery Class Studies Airline Cuisine Today," Los Angeles Times, February 19, 1941 (p. A7)

    "Food by the mile! That's the result of the advancement of transportation. Fifteen miles for tomato bisque, 100 miles for fried chicken, 15 miles for the salad, 20 miles for the dessert, and 10 miles for your coffee. That is the way a 160-mile dinner in the air may be eaten. It hasn't been so many years since cheese and ham sandwiches were served for breakfast, lunch and dinner to air passengers by the co-pilot. But that type of service disappeared along with the single-motored transports--now delicious, nutritious meals, "jsut like mother cooks," are regularly a part of air service. It's fun to watch the stewardesses serve 21 dinners from her kitchenette in less than an hour, as you skim past gorgeous scenery, and soft, billowy clouds. The dinners that are seved in the air are complete from soup to nuts, including a large variety of food. The menus are carefully chosen--balanced and nutritious--with the idea of pleasing most of the people most of the time. Food is not cooked on board, but kept hot by using thermos jugs and bottles. All food is cooked and supervised at the airport commissaries. Some of these commissaries are owned and operated by the airlines, others are operated by food caterers. On every ship's departure from the airport along goes some kind of food, all the way from hot coffee, light and heavy breakfasts to fill dinners. Then there is the snack box for the in-betweeners. The stewardess can soon assemble a delightful lunch from it--cold chicken, fancy cheese, olives, crackers, cookies--anything to hit the spot, with milk, hot chocolate and coffee. And deveryting is on the house. When the Post Food Editor delved into "sky eating" she learned there were several favorite foods of air-passengers. One of these is Southern fried chicken. Ice cream leads in airway desserts."
    ---"160-Mile Airline Meals Good to the Last Mile," Martha Ellyn, Washington Post, July 25, 1941 (p. 12)

    [1945] Jet travel & frozen foods
    "Then, around 1945, Pan American worked together with Clarence Birdseye and Maxson Company to create the convection oven, which would allow frozen foods to be heated on board the aircraft. Maxson called the first convection oven it designed the Whirlwind Oven: it had a heating element in the fort of a fan and held six meals. Soon afterward, the microwave oven was developed; it has since become the industry standard in aircraft food service preparation. The first meal trays were served on pillows on passengers' laps, until trays have been developed with lids that would serve to elevate the food in front of the passengers. Finally, foldout service trays were installed in the seat backs. The three-course meal that has become the standard for airplane food trays grew out of the creation by United Airlines in 1937 of the first functional airplane kitchen, conceived in an effort to improve the quality of food offered during flight...The first successful frozen three-course meal fitting the tray's specifications--consisting of meat, potatoes, and vegetables--was marketed by the Maxson Company; the meals were sold to Pan American Airways in 1946."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 28-9)

    [1948] Timing is everything!
    "Food and Fun are Free" TWA food service

    "Although there has been some talk recently by airline heads of ending the custom of free meals on skyliners, catering for air travelers is still a bustling branch of the aviation business at Logan International Airport. Those tasty meals you eat on flights from Boston to points around the world have become so much a part of flying--an anticipated treat by travelers taking the air route--that airline heads here see little danger of aeronauts having to bring along their own victuals for a sky hop anytime in the near future. Hundreds of meals, ranging from short snacks for "short hoppers" to full course meals for overseas and transcontent trips, are prepared by three catering houses at Boston's big air terminal. At Sky Chefs, Boston unit of a nation-wide chain of airline caterers, cooks, salad makers and bakers work almost around-the-clock to provide meals on some 50 flights a day...the Sky Chefs staff starts to work at midnight to prepare meals for "breakfast flights" that leave Logan Airport between 6 and 8 a.m. The type of meal served on thes flights depends upon the length of the trip...the free meal is considered part of the travel ticket...Typical breakfast on a hour hop from Boston to New York offers fresh fruit, sweet rolls, hot drinks or milk, but there's more substantial fare for the morning traveler who soars off for far points. Long trip breakfasts also include scrambled eggs and ham. Dinner on a long flight like a jaunt from Boston to London includes soup, olives and celery, filet mignon, fried chicken, or pork chops, vegetables and salad, hot rolls, hot drinks or milk. Hard part of airline catering is timing the food preparation so the meals will be hot and tasty when the stewardess rings the dinner bell aloft. This is accomplished at Sky Chefs by first cooking the foood as short a time as possible before the flights leave; then placing the cooked meals in an electric oven till plane time, when the food is rushed to the skyliner and given more electric heating at the same voltage used in the kitchen. As a result, sky meals do not suffer from being dry, mushy, lukewarm or cold...Fogs and bad weather in the winter often "upset" the skyline caterer when planes remain grounded and the food is unused...The caterer works on a deadline like a newspaper man, too, for planes don't wait for tardy cooks and the caterer's men must stow their food aboard the liner 15 minutes before it leaves...Food taken off a plane is never used again and the Sky Chef's staff of 18 often take home tasty steaks and pastries that were cooked up for a flight which didn't go up. Faster airline speeds, incidentally, are greatly complicating the caterer's problems. Where there was formerly time to serve a meal betwen New YOrk and Boston, it's about all a stewardess can do now is just hand around cookies and a beverage."
    ---"The Log of Logan Airport," Christian Science Monitor, September 8, 1948 (p. 2)

    [1950s] Technology marches on...
    "The development of jet aircraft in the 1950s began a new era in inflight foodservice. Not only were the galleys in the aircraft newly designed, but changes were required in the inflight kitchens...The end result was a near doubling in size of inflight kitchens...In the early 1950s, hot food packaging was changed from the thermoses...to heated ovens... Throughout this period, Pan American Airways continued its development of elegant service for its transoceanic flights. An innovation developed by Bert Snowden was the precooked frozen entree, the forerunner of today's pop-out meals. Its development of the convection oven in 1945 (termed the Maxson Oven...) led to Pan American's increased usage of these frozen meals... The new precooked frozen entree was flexible item that could be used in any system. In addition to being heated on board planes equipped with the new convection oven, it could also be thawed, heated on the ground, and boarded as a hot casserole meal... the precooked frozen entree was very controversial. Many chefs felt that it posed a threat to their security. Also... many of the early products that appeared on the market were of inferior quality and gave the system a bad reputation...These concersn with meal quality caused Pan American to seriously consider eliminating this frozen meal concept in 1948. However, to revert to locally prepared meals at that time would have meant the development of flight kitchens in such areas as Damascus, Suyria; New Delhi and Calcutta, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Johannesburg, South Africa. At the same time, they were in need of new aircracraft to expand their fleet; so funding and development of inflight kitchens in these rather remote areas was not economically feasible....the problem was not the system, but the quality of food products being prepared for the system...[Kenneth Parratt] installed equipment such as high-velocity blast freezers and low-temperature storage freezers...Products produced in this faciltiy were shipped around the world to the Pan American commissaries...TWA was also producing frozen entrees at its flight kitchens at Orly Field in Paris and at Laguardia Airport in New York City...The 1950s was also the era for the development of many standardized products suitable for use in inflight foodservices...The boarding of glass carbonated beverages bottles had been a major problem...The new cans were not only lighter and disposable, but their flexibility helped alleviate the explosion problem...The advent of the 707 jet aircracraft brought fine restaurant dining to first-class passengers in the late 1960s. Efforts were made to adapt menus from well-known fine dining establishments to airline sevice...Pan American['s]...partner was Maximes of Paris."
    ---Inflight Catering Management (p. 32-37)

    [1951] Stewardess career guide describes food service protocol to prospective employees
    "Dining service. One of the miracles of our modern flights is the airborne meal. What was once a haphazard system of supplying a few sandwiches and coffee to air travelers, has now developed into a feat of engineering and planning to rival the most complex chemical formula.. In 1950, approximately fifteen million meals were prepared and served by the major airlines! Dining Service, one of the important divisions of Passenger Service, has truly found its permanent place in modern air transportation, and is now an accepted part of every scheduled airline flight.

    The operation of Dining Service is usually undertaken by the airline itself or by an outside agency such as Sky Chefs, Inc. For the airline that maintains its own flight kitchens, the serving of thousands of meals and snacks a day is an endless responsibility. But, with the detailed and advanced planning which has become an integral part of this service, this operation runs smoothly and efficinetly. Considering the fact that most flights make only a few stops on coast-to-coast runs, and that these stops are only from fifteen to thirty minutes, this business of keeping up with the air traveler's appetite is quite a problem. On a flight from San Francisco to New York, for instance, with one stop at Omaha, let's see what happens to the food situation. If the flight left at 6:00 p.M. PST, the passengers received a hot full-course dinner about one hour out of San Francisco. Upon arriving at Omaha at 1:35 A.M. CST, while these same passengers were comfortably dozing, the dinner meal service and used trays were quickly whisked off and a hot full-course breakfast was placed on board. now it stands to reason that no person wants to sit down to breakfast at the unholy jour of 2:00 A.M., even on an airline flight! So the food was packed in thermal heating units, for use during the usual breakfast period. Leaving Omaha at 2:05 A.M., the stewardess turned on the heating unit, and promptly ignored the fifty-off individual meals for a few hours. At 7 A.M. EST, she nonchalantly set up her buffet, an, now east of Cleveland, awakened her passengers to a still piping hot meal of ham and eggs! Black magic? No, just the result of the combined efforts of the Engineering and Dining Service divisions of the airline.

    Each flight kitchen of an airline has been placed in charge of a competent manager and chef. the chef orderes supplies for meals days in advance, and plans the menus to be served from his own kitchen. Once a week he submits the advance menus to the home base of the airline for correlation, so that a passenger on a coast-to-caost flight will not be served steak three times in a row! The menus submitted are also checked for digestibility and appeal. They are well balanced, and provide the proper ratio of proteins and vitamins. Certaian foods are 'taboo' on an airline menu. For instance, according to most of the airlines, highly spiced foods and foreign dishes are not universally acceptable. Where the airline carries every possible type of traveler, a generally acceptable dish is mandatory. Even that old stand-by, bread, comes in for consideration on an airline menu. Breads which have a high moisture content are generally preferred, such as rye or raisin. Cookies are served instead of cake. Cake sometimes collapses at certain heights, because of pressure changes due to altitude! Sandwiches are not too frequently seen nowadays, because of their tendency to dry out. With all these factors to consider, it is to the great credit of the airlines that the airline meal is not only well balanced and varied, but has received the acclaim of hundreds of thousands of happy air travelers.

    Working along with the chef, in these airline kitchens, are many assistant chefs, second cooks, pastry cooks, bakery and pantry workers and other skilled helpers... The meals are planned with the assistance of a trained dietician, who with the chief chef decides upon the menus about five weeks in advance of a scheduled flight! The number of meals is important, also. It is difficult to plan, down to the last passenger, just how much food will be needed in five weeks... Shortly before departure time, all the hot foods for the flight are prepared. Portions of meat, potato, and vegetable are placed in individual casseroles. The casseroles are then garnished, covered with lids, and placed in pre-heated insualted hot boxes, or in thermostatically controlled, electrically heated cartons. The boxes are later plugged into the wired circuits in the buffet of the plane. Salads, desserts, and rolls are all prepared and placed in containers on the tray beforehand, thus facilitating the work of the stewardess when she serves the meal. Iced desserts and staples, such as butter and cream, which need refrigeration, are packed in insulated cartons. Dry ice is used as the refrigerant. Every item whcih can be tray-packed is done in the flight kitchen, to save time during the flight. As the trays are completed and packed in larger carriers, they are checked off by a kitchen steward. Once released by the airline kitchen, the trays and supplies are turned over to the Supply Service division of the airline for loading on the airplane...

    "Now the stewardess comes into the picture. At mealtime, she has only to set up the buffet, remove the lids from the food containers, place the hot and cold foods and beverage in their proper places, put the silver, napkin and souvenir menu on the tray, and serve it to the waiting passenger. Each passenger is individually served. Some types of airplanes now have individiual tables which are used during mealtine. Others use the passenger's pillow as the serving table. With the smoothy working assistance of the Dining Division and the Supply Department of an airline, the airline stewardess has gained the enviable reputation of being the finest hostess in the world."
    ---Skygirl; A Career Handbook for the Airline Stewardess, Mary F. Murray [Duell, Sloan and Pearce:New York] 1951 (p.132-136)

    [1958]
    Airport dining:
    Golden Door restaurant, Idlewild Airport, New York City.

    [1962] First class plates
    "I have just discovered one of the world's really spectacular restaurants. Sort of out of this world. Well, almost, that is. It's an intimate little place operated by Trans World Arilines at about 35,000 ft. over the Atlantic. There's just one drawback, thoug: Passengers become so spoiled by the food and serve that occasionally someone refuses to deplane when the jet lands. ..let me tell you about TWA's Royal Ambassador service...First off, TWA found out it was my birthday and insisted on throwing a party (the reservations clerks check every passenger's passport for this very reason). The stewardess brought a vanila-frosted two-layer cake that spelled out "Best Wishes."...As the movie ended the three stewardesses and steward in the first class section began serving a feast unseen since the Beverly Hills Food & Wine Society banded toghether last. Before leaving Los Angeles everyone was given a booklet which explained: "A Royal Ambassador meal is a series of impressions...the soft clink of cocktail glasses...the crisp, frosty tang of expertly mixed dirnks...tasty snacks..." There was a great deal of clinking all right; the beverage list alone contained 36 drinks. At any rate, the booklet explained that this was merely the beginning--just a warm-up for dishes to come, such as Beluga caviar, smoked Nova Scotia salmon and fresh lobster medallion. Among other selections were just about anything you can name from chateaubriands to hot dogs and hamburgers. They even served malts to those who asked for them. The list contained so many selections this column would run overtime telling about them. But just to name a few: Le Canard a L'Orange Au Grand Mariner, or duckling with orange sauce; Les Filets de Sole Ambassadeur--meaning filet of sole with truffles and mushrooms. Sirlion steak, roast filet of beef, double thick lamb chops, etc. As for the salad, it was composed of hearts of palm imported from Argentina. Dawn was breaking as the meal ended. Through a rent in the clouds I caught a glimpse of the River Seine twisting through Paris. It was like coming home. Vive le TWA!"
    ---"Travelines: Airline Cuisine? Plane and Fancy," Jerry Hulse, Los Angeles Times, January 21, 1962 (p. G11)

    [1965] Meal time roulette & supersonic shortcuts
    "Airline meals prove one thing--you don't have to be hungry to eat! If the clock says it's time to eat, you eat. So, you've just had breakfast on the way from Boston to Chicago. When you leave Chicago, the clock says it's time for brunch. And brunch is served--for two hours and a thousand miles. (Why, on the way from New York to Honolulu, you can have have three breakfasts, and no one blinks an eye!"
    ---"Eating away into the wild blue yonder," June Bibb, Christian Science Monitor, September 2, 1965 (p. 6)

    "Just how are the airlines going to serve meals in the supersonic age? Probably just about the way way they do today on relatively short flights--though some ingenious planning that would make an efficiency expert go back to school. The airlines that will operate supersonic airliners liteterally are getting ideas from carriers whose average route covers 1,000 miles or less. The so-called regional trunk carriers, like Eastern and Western, already have developled cabin service procedure which even tually may become supersonic procedures. Richard P. Ensign, director of in-flight sevices for Western Airlines, bound out 10 years oago what serving meals at 2,000 mile and hour might involve...Western in 1954 introduced 'champagne flights' on its system, including the Los Angles-San Francisco route. It quickly discovered a fly in the champagne. The bubbly beverages, gourmet meals and after-dinner drinks took an hour and 50 minutes to serve--14 minutes longer than the flying time between Los Angeels and San Francisco. Ensign was put in charge of a task force to figure out how to save time without lowering serving service standards. He flew up and down Western's system, watching stewardesses at work and noticing wehre a few seconds might be saved. One economy: open one-third of the champagen bottles before takeoff, a gimmick that saved eight minutes. Another: put all tray tables into place on one trip down the aisle and table napkins in place on a second trip. The biggest saving resulted from changing the procedure for pouring the champagne. TThe stewardesses had been putting it into glasses on a big tray juggling it down the aisle and handing each filled glass to a passenter. Ensign instead had the girls put empty glasses on the individual east tray and pour the champagne as they moved through the cabin. Those few steps saved more than 15 minutes. Ten along came the jet age. Western found that its average flight provided only 50 minutes for a meal service--figuing out less than 30 seconds per passenger. Pre-packed meals were an obvious necessity, but this didn't help too much. Ensign then did time and motion studies which revealed that the big bottleneck was the time consumed in picking up trays, and emptying and storing glasses. Western's 'fix' was simple. It began using disposable plastic glases and snack trays. Along with a special cart which stewardesses just rolled down the aisl for the glass and tray collection. A plastic glass costs only two cents, considerably less than what it costs an airline to buy real glassware and sanitize it after every use. Western's next problem was gettin gcoach passengers to eat faster, inasmuch as even snack service in those fcrowded sections took too much time. The answer was a decision to eliminate any foods that had to be cut with a knife. Ensign came up with snacks that could be eaten with the fingers and which required little chewing--club sandwihces, deviled eggs. The stewardesses themselves have given Western a lot of ideas on better cabin service. regular 'let down your hair' meetings are held between the girls and company officials. After one such meeting, Ensign put into effect no less than 177 changes in serve procedures."
    ---"Tight planning will be needed for serving meals on supersonic flights," Chronicle-Telegram [Elyria OH], April 24, 1965 (p. 16)

    [1973] Gourmet fare or awful food? Depends upon where you sit.
    "A first-class passenger on Pan American World Airways Flight 2 from New York to Los Angeles might just as well loosen his belt and forget about dieting. For duing the course of the flight the passenger is served three breakfasts, one continental breakfast, one lunch, two snacks, a supper and five dinners. And the dinners alon offer a choice of 20 entrees. The daily routing for Flight 2 is New York, London, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Beirut, Delhi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Honolulu, and Los Angeles...Among the dinner entrees served on the Round-the-World flight are prime roast rib-eye of beef, medaillons of veal Forestiere, supreme of chicken Wellington, fillets of sole, shish kebab, curry of chicken, grilled fillet mignon, lamb curry, supreme of chicken Smitane, sweet and sour prawns, lamb chops, and grilled mahi-mahi."Chicago Defender, June 30, 1973 (p. 15)

    "'Welcome aboard,' said a steward to a coach passenger on American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York, 'We've got... a fantastic gourmet meal.'...The gourmet meal stunted the memory like a fishbone...flaccid bacon...overcooked chicken leg...tasteless broccoli...and everything was jammed together...Over the past few months...an airline that had overcome...the food problem...turned up only failures wrapped in plastic..."
    ---"That Airline Meal Was Awful? Blame the System, Not the Chef," Raymond A. Sokolov, New York Times, April 5, 1973 (p. 96)

    [1977] Class differentials
    "Sipping sake in happi coats as you wing your way toward the Far East...Butterscotch sundaes, hoagies, and deli buffets at 30,000 feet. A rack of lamb, skewers of barbecued pork done Polynesian style. Salads with poi dressing served in orchid-clad monkeypots...Hoisting up a few pub style in the clouds as you munch on pretzels and watch a gem of Pong...Beautifully illustrated, glossy menus boasting both unusual and familiar fare. Long wine lists and numerous liqueurs...As one radio commercial proclaimed about a flight to the Orient, "You will dine on lobster, caviar, and exotic cuisine based on authentic, ancient recipes...You are our honored guest." And one might ad, a captive one. The food gimmicks are many. The airlines will do just about anything to lure you aboard their planes. And food is one of their major bargaining agents. Most airline food service personnel would agree that "the selling of an airline" depends largely upon what goes into the mouths of its passeners. But let's face it, airline food is far from being a gastronomic experience. An experience at times, yes, but not necessarily a gastronomic one. Several reasons for this are cited by the airline caterers themselves. The time factor, costs, and the cramped quarters and galleys on even the large, wide-body jets limit the possibilities of an airline ever being able to compete with the fare served aboard a cruise ship, in a fine restaurant, or even the luxury dining cars of trains past. From the caterer's viewpoint, the main purpose of an airline food service is "to serve a good, wholesome, nutritionally balanced meal and be innovative about it...And what makes a "good" airline meal? According to Juegen Brinker, regional vice president of Sky Chefs, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines, it's one that has eye appeal, that is substantial enough to fit the time of day it's being served, and one that's being presented in a manner to be palatable and enjoyable within the restriction of the airlines. As Michel J. Dick, international account manager for Marriot's In-Flite Services at O'Hare, said "You start to eat with your eyes." Unfortunately, though, it's your stomach, and not your eyes, that makes the final judgement. So who's to blame for a that wilted salad, cold dinner roll, burnt peas, soggy desert, or tough piece of mystery meat drenched in a sauce that resembles Gravy Train? The obvious answer would be the chef, of course. But with the airlines themselves "dictating" the menus and setting up very rigid guidelines the role of the chef in airline catering is quite different from that of his counterpart in the restaurant business...."Passengers expect too much,"...With air fares what they are, however, the passenger is inclined to disagree...Looking at it economically, there is more money set aside by an airline for a first-class meal than a coach one, which, of course, results in a more elaborate service. But "in terms of quality, a coach passenger is not treated as a second class citizen," said R.J. Henely, manager of Continentals' flight kitchen at O'Hare. If you are dining first class rather than coach, these will be the differences: larger portion sizes, more courses, more choices of entrees and other items, higher priced cuts of meat, fancier salads and deserts, and free cocktails along with a greater selection or wines and liqueurs. The meal's presentation is different, also, such as china versus plastic and linen opposed to paper..."
    ---"O'Hare's flight caterers," Connie Coning, Chicago Tribune, March 27, 1977 (p. C3)

    [current inflight dining options]
    American Airlines & & United Airlines

    Need more information? We suggest:

    What did the pioneering solo aviators/aviatrix consume during their long flights?

    Wright Brothers.....Charles Lindbergh...Amelia Earhart...Beryl Markham

    Charles Lindbergh
    "...the rations carried by Captain Charles Lindbergh in his epochal trans-Atlantic flight...consisted of a couple of sandwiches and a quart of water."---"Trans Atlantic Rations," Wall Street Journal, June 9, 1927 (p. 2)

    Additional notes on Mr. Lindberg's food preferences:
    "During all the stress and strain of the last four days Captain Charles Lindbergh has been sustained by a diet consisting largely of the simplest food and large quantities of water. He has no fixed ideas on the subject of prohibition. being a very young man, as he explains himself, he has not really had the time to learn now to drink--nor has he any desire to begin now. Thousands of glasses have been raised to the toast, 'Lindbergh,' but at every dinner the boy has merely tasted the formidable array of wines before him. He begins each day with an old-fashioned American breakfast and the other two meals appear to him to be more in the nature of formalities. He is careful to avoid the riches dishes, feeling that he must keep himself in the perfect condition in which he left New York."
    ---"Lindbergh Continues to Drink Only Water," New York Times, May 26, 1927 (p. 3)

    Amelia Earhart
    "The sandwich and the container of cocoa which she carried was untouched, she said, and her water supply had grown warm in the heat of the cockpit. A flask of tomato juice had been her sustenance across the continent."
    ---"Miss Earhart Flies to 2 More Records...Lands at Newark Airport, the First Woman to Hop Non-Stop Across Continent," New York Times, August 26, 1932 (p. 3)

    Beryl Markham
    "In the ship's cabin were a jug of black coffee, a package of fruit and nuts--her only food and drink."
    ---"Lady Flies Alone Over Sea in Storm [England to New York], Los Angeles Times, September 5, 1936 (p. 1)


    Airships, Dirigibles, Zeppelins & Blimps

    Primary accounts confirm kitchen, commissary, and dining facilities on early airships were well planned and technologically advanced. As airships transformed from military to commercial use, meals improved. Catering to the wealthiest classes of society (early passengers were accustomed to premier dining facilities provided by cruise liners) while juggling physical *lighter than air* requirements (food weights, kitchen facilities, dining room design) must have taxed even the most creative minds to the max. Huzzah for lightweight aluminum! Passengers aboard the ill-fated Hindenburg dined first class, all the way.

    Early Zepplin (aka dirigible, airship, blimp) gourmet cuisine
    "Sausage meat, more tightly compressed into the casings than ever before attempted, will form the main ration of the German crew which takes the American Navy dirigible ZR-3 across the Atlantic to Lakehurst, N.J. Specially prepared concentrated foods will make up the rest of the menu. For the Americans on board the aircraft there will be some canned meats, but they will have at least one sausage ration daily. Coffee will be served in the mornings only, provided the weather is fair. Hans von Schiller, who is in charge of the commissary of the airship, is planning to serve cocoa chiefly as a drink, because of its nourishing qualities. There will be in the larder of the dirigible hardtack, concentrated meat cubes and canned vegetables. Fruit will be served sparingly. Schiller will provide plenty of drinking water, but persons may take aboard some "bottled goods" if they so desire. There is to be no smoking tobacco allowed. All the food carried by the ZR-3 will be of German manufacture, no American firm having made an offer to supply concentrated goods."
    ---"Sausage Chief Item For Crew of ZR-3," New York Times, September 1, 1924 (p. 2)

    "The menu for the crew and passengers of the ZR-3 and the entertainment arrangements of the voyage were well worked out before the dirigible set out for the transatlantic trp. Meals on board are being served regularly in accordance with the schedule usually followed on ships at sea. Breakfast is served at 8 o'clock, dinner at 12, tea at 4 and supper at 8 o'clock, a phonograph playing American and German airs during the midday meal. There also are biscuits at 4 o'clock each morning for those on watch. Today's breakfast menu includes coffee, zewiback, biscuits, apple jelly and wienerwurst. For dinner there will be bouillon, ham with Madeira sauce, butter beans, pudding and peach compote. For supper, the crew will have Hungarian goulash with rice, sausage, tea and biscuits. Sausage and various forms of wurst will be served to the crew at tea time, midnight and 4 o'clock in the morning. The Americans on board will have plenty of fruits, which will supplement the ship's menu. All of the cooking utensils as well as the cups and sauces used at table are of aluminum."
    ---"Menu for the Air Voyage," New York Times, October 14, 1924 (p. 2)

    "In order not to overload the dirigible and yet serve the passengers adequate meals, it was decided after careful calculation to allow 7 1/2 pounds of victuals per capita daily, including food and drink, with an additional meal for the night watch. Breakfast between 8:30 and 9:30 will consist of coffee, tea, bread, butter, eggs or sausage. For dinner, form 1 to 2 P.M., there will be soup, vegetables, roast, compote, or desert, and for supper, from 7:30 to 8:30 P.M., coffee, tea, cold meats, bread and butter. The passengers are privileged to order drinks between meals. The drinking water is shipped in the form of ice which is chopped off and melted as it is needed."
    ---"Zeppelin Books 18 for Passage Here," New York Times, October 7, 1928 (p. 1)

    "One of the most interesting places in Friedrichshafen today was the butcher shop of Otto Manz, who will be chef of the Graf Zeppelin. Manz is a butcher only because he had to take over his father's business. Rotund and jovial, he is at heart a cook who dreams of some day getting back tinto his real life work. He has cooked in Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland and aboard the liner Majestic and now he is going to cook over the Atlantic. 'I like cooking much better than tending a butcher shop,' he said, 'and I hope that this Zeppelin voyage will be the first step in building up a catering business.' Manz proudly showed his commissary department to visitors. Large, small and middle-size cans lined the rooms of his shop and house. Into them all sorts of delicacies have been placed and hermetically sealed, then labeled by his sister. The Zeppelin chef is greatly chagrinned because newspapers say only canned goods are eaten aboard the dirigible. 'Naturally people think only of canned meats and vegetables from factories,' said Manz. 'As a matter of fact everything is fresh and is being put into cans now because of course, the food would not keep throughout the voyage unless hermetically sealed. I do all my own canning and my sisters affix the labels. My father way purveyor to the King of Wurttemberg, so we are used to supplying only the best.'"
    ---"Zeppelin Takes Off On Trip to America...," New York Times, August 1, 1929 (p. 1)

    "It was luncheon hour when the R-101 was over London...At 2 o'clock, with London in the distance, Major Scott turned the command over to Flight Lieutenant Irwin and joined the passengers dining in the saloon. Chief Steward Savidge and Cook Meeghan had preapared a tasty hot meal, the menu consisting of soup, mutton, potatoes, cabbage, fruit salad, cheese and coffee, accompanied by popping corks and a toast to the R-101."
    ---"London Hails R-101 On Her First Flight," New York Times, October 15, 1929 (p. 3)

    "The British dirigible R-100 tonight is sailing over the tossing Atlantic...Those aboard are enjoying the flight. When the breakfast of ham and eggs with coffee was served this morning, quite in hotel fashion, hardly a movement of the ship could be felt...As darkness fell tonight the electric lights were switched on and a bell summoned the hungry passengers to dinner. Plates of hot soup awaited them in the dining room...The printed menu cards, the glitterign silverware and spotless linen made the scene resemble Picadilly or Fifth Avenue rather than mid-Atlantic."
    ---"R-100 Sets Fast," Los Angeles Times, August 15, 1930 (p. 1)

    "Everyone is up early to see the sun rise, to scan the skies and to peer at the world far below. Breakfasts start at 6 o'clock--eggs, meats if one wants them, fruits, coffee in quantity, cereals and, for luckless ones who desire a pick-me-up, drinks...About mid-forenoon stewards serve sandwiches and hot soup. In the afternoon, after a bounteous luncheon, tea is served, or cocktails if one prefers. Then there is dinner; before retiring there is more eating and a glass of wine. Six times daily the passengers are provided with food, and plenty of it, aboard the Graf."
    ---"Voyaging on a Liner of the Air," Lauren D. Lyman, New York Times, April 29, 1934 (p. SM12)

    What did they serve on the Hindenburg [aka LZ-129]?
    "Much attention had been given to "Hindenburg's" public rooms, where Dr. Durr and the airship's designers had excpected that the passengers would spend most of the daylight hours...To port, occupying an area measuring 15 X 50 feet, was the dining room. Here, with all the luxury and refinement of a small restaurant, were seats for 34 passengers--at four small tables for 2 person along the inboard wall, and at six larger tables outboard. The tables--and chairs likewise--were of a special lighweight tubular aluminum design--'as light as possible, as stable as possible'--created for the "Hindenburg" by Professor Breuhaus. In the dining room the chairs were upholstered in red. The inner walls, covered with airship cotton fabric and off-white in color, bore 21 original paintings by Professor Arpke...the colorful paintings in the dining room represented "Graf Zeppelin" on a South American journey... Meals in these surroundings were an unforgettable experience. Passengers were assigned seats by the chief steward (obviously there must have been two sittings)...The tables were laid with white linen napkins and tablecloths, fresh-cut flowers, fine silver, and the special china service created for the "Hindenbug."...Exquisitely confected of "Heinrich Ivory Porcelain," it is marked on the bottom "Property of the German Zeppelin Reederei," bears a chased gold and blue band around the rim, and exhibits the Reederei crest--a white Zeppelin, outlined in gold, superimposed on a blue globe with meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude in gold. On dishes thus decorated the chief steward and three waiters served meals prepared in German style. Breakfast appears to have been a standard affair of rolls freshly baked in the ship's ovens, with butter, preserves or honey; eggs (served boiled in the shell for German passengers, fried or poached for Americans); Frankfurt sausage, ham, salami, cheese, fruit, coffee, tea, milk or cocoa. On Monday, August 17, 1936, "Hindenburg's" passengers ate for luncheon: Strong Broth Theodor, Fattened Duckling, Bavarian Style with Champagne Cabbage, Savory Potatoes and Madiera Gravy, Pears Convent Style, Mocha. For dinner there was: Cream Soup Hamilton, Grilled Sole With Parsley Butter, Venison Cutlets Beauval with Berny Potatoes, Mushrooms and Cream Sauce, Mixed Cheese Plate. All this was served with tall bottles of Rhine and Moselle wines--Deideshiemer Kranzler Riesling, Piesporter Goldtropfchen Spatlese, Freiherr von Fahnenberg Spatlese, and others, as well as a few French red wines and an assortment of German champagnes led by the Deinard Cabinett, Troken (some 250 bottles of wine were carried on each crossing)."
    ---LZ 129 "Hindenburg", Douglas H. Robinson, Famous Aircraft Series [Morgan Books:Dallas TX] 1964 (unpaged)
    [NOTE:
    Black & white photos of the dining room,lounge, galley, and wine list. ]

    "The new Zeppelin LZ-129 will start on her first South American flight March 30 or 31...This morning the new Zeppelin, on her first passenger flight, demonstrated to fifty passengers, mostly newspaper men, the same comfort and practicability she had previously manifested in private trial cruises...The luxurious accomodations and stability in flight claimed as the main assets of the new dirigible were fully borne out during today's performance. Sitting in a comfortable armchair beside a long, slanting observation window in the lounge, the passenger enjoys all the comfort of a first-class movie house as he watches the everchanging colorful panorama of land and water below. An excellent luncheon was served while the Zeppelin was flying at ninety knots and the tables, plates and glasses were as free from vibration as they would have been on land...Cigar-loving Germans were a little disappointed when they learned a temporary defect prohibited the use of the smoking room, an unprecedented feature in dirigible construction. Their disappointment, however, was largely offset by the ingenuity of Hans, general factotum in charge of the luxuruious Zeppelin bar, who had concocted for the occasion a stimulating LZ-129 cocktail."
    ---"New Zeppelin Set For Ocean Service," New York Times, March 24, 1936 (p. 7) [Cocktail recipe here.]

    "I found the Hindenburg a scene of domestic activity that reminded me of the preparation for departure of an ocean liner. The simple cabins and small saloon of the Graf Zeppelin in which I traveled more than 50,000 miles could be quickly inspected. The Hindenburg, with its large dining room, reading room, writing room, smart bar, smoking room, bathroom, twenty-five double passenger cabins, kitchen and pantry, officers' dining room and crew's mess, is quite another matter."
    ---"Mass Will Be Said in the Hindenburg," Lady Drummond Hay, New York Times, May 6, 1936 (p. 16)

    "Thrilled by their unique experience, all the passengers were still up shortly before midnight sitting in the dining room and at the bar over sandwiches, champagne, wines and beer."
    ---"Hindenburg Begins First U.S. Flight," New York Times, May 7, 1936 (p. 1)

    "The galley is like the kitchen of a modern small hotel, with many electrical appliances for labor saving. Next to it is the domain of the chief steward, with cupboards full of china, glass and linen."
    ---"Airship Largest, Fastest of Kind," New York Times, May 9, 1936 (p. 2)

    "Dr. Hugo Eckener had shouted: "Auf Schiff!" at Fredrichshafen at 9 p.m. An hour later practically all passengers had tired of peering at the lights of Germany, adjourned to the bar...Next morning, after a breakfast of sausages, hot rolls, honey and coffee, came a spasm of postcard-writing...At dinner, most of the women by only three men, put on evening clothes to eat Black Forest Trout."
    ---"Luftschiff at Lakehurst," Time [magazine], May 18, 1936 (p. 66)

    "...Lady Drummond-Hay...told us how they called her the 'Zeppelin cat' on the Hindenberg [sic], because she crawled down to look at the engines. Her description of life on board the huge air liner was amusing--that piano, for instance, which somebody would insist upon playing all the time......they had an electric oven and hot rolls for breakfast."
    ---"Sugar and Spice," Alma Whitaker, Los Angeles Times, May 23, 1936 (p. A6)

    LZ-129 Cocktail
    "According to airship historian, Douglas H. Robinson, a New Jersey psychatrist who visited the zeppelin works in Germany before World War II, carousers in the Hindenberg's lounges and pressurized, fireproof smoking room paid extra for drinks. These included the specialty of the ship, the 'LZ-129 Frosted Cocktail' (gin with a dash of orange juice)....haute cuisine [was] served on blue and gold porcelain..."
    ---"Memories of Hindenburg Crash Are Still Vivid 50 Years Later," Malcom W. Browne, New York Times, May 6, 1987 (p. B1)

    Related service? Inflight catering (aka airline food)


    Railroad dining

    The earliest trains did not have dining facilities on board. Customers brought their own food or purchased before boarding from local vendors. Before long, trackside eateries dotted the country.
    Fred Harvey's Harvey Houses played a key role in feeding America's rail passengers. Indeed, some folks view his establishments as the first American "fast food" resaurants. Passengers only had a half hour or so at each stop! On-board dining was considered from the start of the industry. It took time, however, to create a workable system capable of producing acceptable (delicious??!) results.

    In the beginning...
    "Eatinghouses quickly sprang up at [railroad] junction points, and as traffic increased, dining stations or refreshement saloons...were established by the railroads themselves at the towns along the line. A few were excellent and their meals became famous, but most of them were second rate, and in a number the food was inedible. The railroads made constant efforts to improve the poor ones, but many of them were let as concessions, and the roads had little control over them...All through trains were delayed as much as an hour a day to allow time for meals to be eaten, which took from ten to twenty minutes for each meal. In that limited time there was a wild scramble among the passengers to get down at least part of a meal before the train pulled out. In winter or in stormy wather many people were reluctant to leave the train, and the old and inform were barred from eating in such places at any time. The meals were spaced to suit the schedule, and the passengers might get all three meals within a few hours on one section of the road and fast for long period between meals on another. If the train was delayed, they would be without food for hours except for such provender as the news butcher brought round. Each eating place usually had its specialty, which was served every day. After the telepgraph came into use, it was the custom of the conductor to go through the train some time before it was due at a dining station and ask all passengers who intended to eat there to signify the fact. He would then telegraph ahead, so that the proper number of meals could be prepared."
    ---The Railroad Passenger Car, August Mencken [Johns Hopkins Press:Baltimore MD] 2000 (p. 26-27)

    Alongside the railroad station, sometimes part of it, the Harvey House made its appearance--the first one in 1876, at Topeka. Soon there was one at every larger railroad stop. Havery employed pretty, polite, white-aproned, and very competent waitresses, who lived on the premsis, their virtue carefully guarded by chaperones...Guests are from clean plages on spotless linen. The food was excellent because Harvey imported European chefs. It was also hot and cheap. Harvey revolutionized western eating habits."
    ---Saloons of the Old West, Richard Erdoes [Alfred A. Knopf:New Yrok] 1979 (p. 114)

    "Even in the United States the railroads had avoided looking for ways to better the lot of the hungry passenger. American railroad managers thought of themselves as people movers, not caterers...The first coaches looked for all the world like stagecoaches mounted on flanged wheels...The old coaching inn idea of meal stops continued to dominate, although complaints about the food and service...flitted through newspaper and magazine accounts of adventuresome trips on the new but perilous mode of transporation. Ocean liners, river steamers, and canal boats were suggested as role models for food service... and a rail car built in 1835 for the Phildelphia and Columbia Railroad boasted what must have been a food service counter at one end, an innovation that withered as railroad executives concentrated their efforts on haulage to the exclusion of forage. In the early 1860s, cars that were used to provide meals were nothing more than temporary expedients...Some coaches were only half-gutted and fitted out with counters thus surveying as forerunners to the coffee shop/coach cars on the "milk stop" runs...As a result, little thought as given to dining comfort or variety, and only patrons who could not wait for an end to their journeys, or who did not expect anything better, patronized them."
    ---Dining Car Line to the Pacific, William A. McKenzie [Minnestoa Historical Society Press:St. Paul MN] 1990 (p. 25-25)

    Self-contained dining cars made sense on many levels. They eliminated need for stops (faster transport), attracted wealthier clientele (who demanded creature comforts while traveling) and inspired forward-thinking entrepreneurs (George Pullman, for one).

    "Dining cars had been proposed as early as 1838 and therafter, and in 1863 two restaurant cars were put into service on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad and operated for several years. These were ordinary day coaches with cross partitions at their centers. Half of the car was used for a smoker, and in the other half, from the seats being removed, an eating bar, with a steam box, was installed. The food was cooked at the terminals and carried in the steam box, and the bar was probably patronized by men only. It was not until 1867 when the first diner was put into service. In that year George. M. Pullman introduced his first co-called hotel car on the Great Western railroad of Canada. This was a sleeper with a small kitchen in one end, and the meals were served on tables that were set up, when needed, between the seats. There was an ample supply of elegant crockery and table linen, and the passengers were given their choice of a number of dishes prepared by a professional cook. These comforts...were reserved for the occupants of the car. The advantage of allowing the other passengers to eat aboard were apparent to everyone, and in [March 30] 1868 Pullman placed the first dining car open to all passengers in service on the Chicago & Alton."
    ---The Railroad Passenger Car, (p. 28-29)

    "...the idea of eating on the train was introduced, however haltingly, almost immediately after the first trains started running...The absence of any cooking faciltiies indicates the cars were catered at terminals...The first account of a meal served on a train appeared in the Baltimore American of Saturday, November 5, 1842. The article described the run of a special train on Novemer 3 which carried the President and Directors of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, "and a few gentlemen invited to accompany them," over the 178-mile mainline out of Baltimore to celebrate and show off the completing of the new fifty-five-mile stretch connecting Hancock with Cumberland, Maryland. "As it was not designed to stop on up the road, an elegant cold collation was prepared in one of the cars, fitted up for the purpose, under the direction of Mr. Barnum of City Hotel, whose skill in such matters is too well known to need commendation. The attention of the company was equally divided between the excellence of the fare and the novelty of thirty or forty gentlemen comfortably enjoying a collation while traveling at the rapid rate of twenty-five or thirty miles per hour." Called "refectory cars," these B & O creations and their imitators on other railroads served on similar occasions for nearly twenty years, the pace of dining innovation apparently at rest. But even this earliest account includes the mention of three elements that were to characterize dining-car service for the next 125 years. The food, even in the remote and primitive "wild regions of the Allegheny hills," was termed "elegant." The creative source of the food was the menu of an already-famous hotel, a practice many in railroad management realized established instant credibiltiy among those who requested first-class intercity trains for their dining-car service. And a renowned chef oversaw the operation...It wasn't until the Civil War period that food was systematically prepared and served on trains. Then, boxcars containing straw mats and hammocks were used to carry wounded troops from the battlefield to treatment facilties in the North and East. At first, food was prepared on primitive stoves in the individual boxcars. But by 1863 full realized hospital trains were in operation and included a kitchen car containing a range, cupboards and sink, a food storage compartment, and a dining area with a long table and benches. Food could be eaten there or delivered to the soldiers lying in converted boxcars and coaches on either end. The first dining cars to be called such and to be part of the established make-up of a scheduled train also appeared in war, in 1862 on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. H.F. Kenney, general superintendent of the PW&B described these two cars as remodeled day coaches, each fifty feet in length and each fitted "with a partition running through the center, crosswize, one end being for smokers, and the other as an eating bar, fitted with steam box and other fixtures usually found in a first-class restaurant...The diner of 1862 was a baggage car, retired from heaavy work on account of long service in the transportation of trunks, and bare as to the interior excerpt that it was furnished in the middle with an oblong counter around the four sides of which the patrons ate while seated on high stools...From the insides of the oblong viands were served by colored waiters in white jackets. If memory does not betray me, the bill of fare of the diner on the Washington Express consisted chiefly of oyster stew, pie, crullers, and coffee...The first primative dining cars continued in operation for just three years, with no public note on the cause of their demise...In 1867 a revolutionary turn in the way people ate while riding the train occurred. George Pullman introduced his "hotel car." Named President, it was the first railroad car designed and built for the purpose of preparing and serving meals on board and en route, and awakened travelers and railroadmen alike to the full potential of eating on the train."
    ---Dining by Rail: The History and the Recipes of America's Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine, James D. Porterfield [St. Martin's Griffin:New York] 1993 (p. 29-38) [NOTE: This is the one of the best books on American railroad fare. It also includes sample popular [though undated] recipes for the major railroad lines.]

    Selected primary accounts of early American railroad dining experiences

    [1840]
    "Of all traveling, I think that by railroad the most fatiguing...your only consolation is the speed with which you are passing over the ground...At eery fifteen miles of the railroads there are refreshment-rooms. The cars stop, all the doors are thrown open, and out rush all, the passengers are like boys out of school, and crowd round the tables to solace themselves with pies, patties, cakes, hard-boiled eggs, hams, custards and a variety of railroad luxuries too numerous to mention. The bell rings for departure, in they all hurry with their hands and mouths full, and off they go again until the next stopping-place induces them to relieve the monotony of the journey by masticating without being hungry."
    ---The Railroad Passenger Car, [quoted from A Diary in America, Captian Frederic Marryat (Philadelphia, 1849), pp. 9-10]

    [1854]
    "The process of watering the passengers, as it is called, is another feature peculiar to American railway traveling. A man or boy, often a Negro, carrying a tin can and tumblers in a frame passes frequently through the cars dispensing iced water to the numerous applicants for that indispensible refreshment during an American Summer, which is provided at the expense of the railway company."
    ---The Railroad Passenger Car, [quoted from A Vacation Tour in the United States and Canada, Charles Richard Weld (London, 1855), p. 222,225,247)]

    Recommended reading & selected recipes:


    Revolving restaurants

    The world's first revolving restaurant, La Ronde, opened atop Hawaii's Ala Moana building in 1961. The visionary architect was John Graham. Seattle's Eye of the [Space] Needle was Graham's second triumph. Before long, revolving restaurants proliferated in trendy venues worldwide.
    "Revolutionary Restaurants," Charles E. Ebeling, American Heritage provides an excellent discussion of the rise (and fall) of rotating rooftop dining. Mr. Graham's patent was #3,125,189 "Restaurant with rotating floor," filed August 15, 1961; issued March 1964.

    Why the 1960s?
    We wonder if these futuristic skytop venues were inspired by president John F. Kennedy's committment to space exploration. John Mariani, noted food historian offers a more practical explanation. Think: Disney.

    "The creating of novel restaurant concepts was, by the mid-sixties, a booming business in the United States. Americans had always loved theme restaurants whether it was a hamburger stand in the shape of a dragon, a Hollywood nightclub done up with waterfalls and tropical rain forest, or a deluxe Manhattan dining room set with Roman antiquities. Now the designs and concepts became more sophisticated and far more costly, though often the themes were strained and mawkish...Then there was a whole genre of restaurants set atop a tall building or other structure, like Seattle's Top of the Needle, which opened May 22, 1961, at Seattle's Century 21 Exposition. Set at the 500-foot level of a 600-foot totem called the Space Needle, the restaurant, designed by John Graham & Co., sat 260 people and revolved once an hour. What any of this had to do with good food was not of much concern to the average customer..."
    ---America Eats Out, John Mariani [William Morrow:New York] 1991 (p. 193-194)

    A select chronology of revolving restaurants
    (This is not a comprehensive catalog of all revolving restaurants. If you are looking for information on a specific restaurant, city or country please let us know.)

    [1930: an unrealized dream?]
    "Erection of a steel tower 600 feet high, equipped with telescopes of a 200-mile range at the top and a revolving restaurant seating 250 patrons half way up the structure, is planned for Los Angeles, according to an announcement of the Los Angeles Tower Company yesterday...The tower is to be the feature attraction of an amusement park of five acres, according to Henry Wacker, president, and John F. Wynne of the Wynne Investment Company, a director. It is to be patterned after the famous steel tower of Leipsig, Germany, but is to be almost three times its height."
    ---"High Tower of Steel Planned for This City," Los Angeles Times, May 30, 1930 (p. A3)
    [NOTE: We find no evidence this restaurant ever opened; nor definition of the term "revolving" as it applies to this dining venue. See next for possible explanation.]

    [1937: stable restaurant; rotating food]
    "'Build a better mousetrap--and the world will beat a pathway to your door.' This old proverb has been given a fresh twist by G. W. Kramm of Los Angeles and his wife...The Kramms have done just this by forging a chain of Merry-Go-Round restaurants in California. Eight years about the idea of a revolving table was brand new in the catering business. Some laughed at it, others scorned it and still others said it was impractical. The Kramm's didn't think so. Today they have a prosperous string of restaurants...In 1929 the Kramms were in the hotel business in Long Beach...The cafe that the Kramms built in San Francisco is one of the real showplaces of the Bay City...If you've never eaten in one of these revolving cafes, here's the way it works: Your soup and entree are served over the counter by spick-and-span waitresses; but salads, desserts and bread and butter-- that's where the real fun comes! Chocolate cake, blueberry pie, custard, cole slaw, nut cookies, hot cornbread come gliding by on an endless conveyor. You simply lift a small glass door and take your pick!"
    ---"Odds and Ends of Life: An Idea That Bore Fruit, Arnold Jackson, Los Angeles Times, January 3, 1937 (p. H12)

    [1961: stable building; rotating restaurant]
    "Honolulu's tallest office building has a revolving restaurant perched on its roof. The saucer-shaped restaurant, opened last week, offers diners a panoramic view of the city. A sixteen-foot-wide ring set into the floor of the restaurant called La Ronde, makes one complete revolution every hour. Windows completely circle the restaurant and are tilted outward to reduce glare. The dining facilities are on the roof of the twenty-two-story Ala Moana Building. The office building, restaurant and an adjacent shopping center were designed by John Graham & Co., Seattle and New York architects. The restaurant seats 162 persons on the revolving floor. The seventy-two-food-wide restaurant is cantilevered from a thirty-eight-foot-diameter concrete core which contains stairwells, elevators, kitchen and other facilities for La Ronde. A three-horsepower motor moves the floor of the restaurant. Two additional motors have been installed for emergency use...The dining facilities and the building are owned by the Hawaiian Land Company, Ltd."
    ---"Restaurant Perches Atop Building," New York Times, November 26, 1961 (p. R1)
    [NOTE: our newly admitted 50th state was recovering from catastrophic typhoons that year.]

    [1962: Eye of the Needle @Seattle World's Fair]
    "While undoubtedly one of the fair's great attractions, the [Space] Needle is also it biggest headache. Visitors queue up for as long as two hours for the privilege of shelling out $6.75 for dinner in the revolving restaurant--not to mention the $1 elevator ride...Reason for the jam is that the Needle Restaurant holds less than 250 diners at a time. While expensive, the meal and spectacular looksee from 60 stories high are worth the drain on the wallet."
    ---"View of Seattle Through Needle's Eye," Jerry Hulse, Los Angeles Times, April 26, 1962 (p. 3)
    [NOTES: (1) John Graham & Co. architects (1961: Honolulu) also designed the Space Needle. (2) Selected recipes from this restaurant here. (3) The New York World's Fair [1964-65] did not offer a revolving restaurant; Top of the Fair was owned by Port Authority, which chose to use the roof as a heliport.]

    [1964: American hotel chain cashes in @Baltimore]
    "The problem of finding a table with a view should not trouble diners at the Holiday Inn restaurant in Baltimore, since the view is constantly changing. The restaurant, called La Ronde, is a circular structure atop the 13-story motor inn in the downtown of the city. It is set on a friction-driven turntable powered by a one-horsepower motor. The turntable can be stopped or started with a pushbutton. The doughnut-shaped dining area has an outside diameter of 84 feet and an inside diameter of 58 feet. It travels at a rate of one revolution an hour, giving diners a panoramic view of the city. The kitchen and service facilities are situated in the core of the 'doughnut' and remain stationary. This enable waitresses to serve the diners with a minimum of steps. The 243-seat restaurant was designed by William W. Bond and Associates, architects, of Memphis, and Bacharack & Bacharack associate architects, of Baltimore. The wood-platform turntable was designed and manufactured by the Macton Manchinery Company of Stamford, Conn., which has also built turntables for showrooms, theatres, sports arenas and the Seattle and New York World's Fairs. The company is also working on a turntable for a revolving restaurant on top of the 16-storey Pier Tower in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which will completed in the spring."
    ---"Revolving Restaurant Varies Views," New York Times, July 26, 1964 (p. R7)

    [1965: Memphis visionaries]
    "A revolving restaurant being erected atop an office building in Memphis, Tenn., will get around on automobile tires. The restaurant will make one revolution every 80 minutes, rolling slowly on 75 pneumatic tires mounted on standard automobile wheels. The designer and builder, the Kemmons Wilson Construction of Memphis, chose passenger-car tires rather than solid rubber rollers to achieve a smoother ride for diners atop the 15-story Mid-City Building on Union Avenue. The revolving section of the eating place will seat 250 persons, with a stationary center dance floor. At the restaurant's rate of speed--one mile a day--the designer estimates the 75 tires will last almost until the year 2050. The tires will be accessible by a a crawl space, and in the event of a flat--considered highly unlikely by the designer--spares will be available. The restaurant, near Methodist Hospital, wil also have a stationary section seating 250 diners. Power will be supplied by a half-horsepower electric motor."
    ---"Memphis Restaurant to Revolve on Automobile Tires," New York Times, June 13, 1965 (p. R10)

    [1965: California cool]
    "With construction of the 39-story Long Beach Tower Building near completion, the circular apartment building's million dollar 'revolving' restaurant on the 36th floor was unveiled Thursday to the press and civic dignitaries. It is scheduled for completion by Jan. 1. The guests, using two high-speed elevators, were whisked to the 'Way Station' on the 32nd floor, thence by a second elevator lift to the 36th restaurant floor. The 'Station' is designed for cocktails and dancing. Terminal Enterprises, an affiliate of Specialty Restaurants Corp., will operate the orbital facility, which will perform a 360 degree 'slow orbit' every hour, 350 feet above Long Beach with as many as 360 diners aboard. David C. Tallichet Jr. is president of Specialty Restaurants Corp....Food preparation will be under the supervision of Paul Peron, executive chef, and John Hogg, general manager."
    ---"Revolving Restaurant Unveiled in Long Beach," Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1965 (p. I6)

    [1965: Chicago spins]
    "Dining will take on a new twist with the opening of the new revolving Pinnacle restaurant at the top of the Lake Shore Holiday Inn, 644 N. Lake Shore dr., in November. At one complete revolution an hour, diners on the 33rd floor will be carried past a panoramic view of the lake and the Chicago skyline much like a revolving tray of hors d'oeuvres. The decor of the Pinnacle will be 'formal roaring '20s,'' said John Bogardus, general manager. This means there will be no flappers who want to 'shimmy like their sister Kate.' serving meals. Instead, waiters in double-breasted tuxedos with wing collars will serve the setting for 200 diners. In the center of the restaurant will be a circular bar and high above that will be a symbol of the Prohibition--a bathtub. In fact, it will be a jewel-studded bathtub, held aloft by four gilded arms...It will be the first revolving restaurant in Holiday Inn's chain of more than 600 motels. The 33-story concrete structure--management calls it an inn not a motel--is expected to be opened Nov. 1. One other revolving restaurant is in Baltimore, and several in Europe...The only moving machinery in the Pinnacle lounge in the southwest corner of the room will be a player piano. One problem to be resolved is the area behind the circular bar. At present the bartender will ply his trade on a floor which is partly rotating and partly stationary."
    ---"Revolving Restaurant to Top Holiday Inn on Lake Shore Dr., Diners Will Turn 360 degrees in Hour," Alvin Nagelberg, Chicago Tribune, September 4, 1965 (p. 5)

    [1965: spinning out of control?]
    "Electrician Ed Wallace soon expects to have his restaurant going at a nice slow pace. In the meantime, the fastest meals in town are being eaten there. The restaurant is The Pinnacle...and it's supposed to give diners a slow turn once an hour... Unfortunately, The Pinnacle--which opened Nov. 10--is spinning around at twice its desired speed, giving diners a side portion of giddiness...[Wallace]..points out the mechanism that controls the enormous turntable--a tiny, three-quarter horsepower motor, hidden under one portion of the restaurant's red carpet. Wallace can point it out, but he can't control it at the moment. This creates some interesting situations: veteran waiters like George Bimbas, 50, come out to the kitchen to find their tables have disappeared. Bartender Jim Moran twirls constantly, but the bottles behind him don't. 'You feel a little disoriented the first hour or so,' he says..."
    ---"Spins to Rapidly: Revolving Restaurant Requires Turn-iquet," Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1965 (p. A7)

    [1967: India investigates]
    "Can a country that worries about preventing famines need a revolving restaurant? The Government thinks it can. If the revolving restaurant helps lure tourists to India and tempts them to part with their money. But in Parliament the idea has been denounced as a 'perverse luxury.' The restaurant is to be on the top floor of a 230-foot tower that is being built by the state-owned Ashoka Hotel here. It will have a Continental cuisine from another continent and sweeping vistas of New Delhi...the restaurant will be made to turn one full circle every hour to insure that the tourists dining there see all. The mechanism to make it revolve is expected to cost about 500,000 rupees ($67,000)...Ashoka's manager, George Verghese, defends the idea strictly in business terms. He says the revolving restaurant is 'nothing more than a gimmick,' but it will pay. There are successful precedents in Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Frankfurt and Dusseldorf in Germany. According to the manager, the idea of the revolving restaurant is proof if India's determination to attract tourists....Other observers associated with the tourist trade here doubt that the revolving restaurant will help bring tourists to the country. They suspect that its real purpose will be to lure tourists from the Ashoka's main competition, the Oberoi Intercontinental Hotel, a sleek, push-button establishment that is not noticeably Indian in character, but is almost invariably full."
    ---"Revolving Tower Cafe in New Delhi Stirs Debate," New York Times, July 23, 1967 (p. 6)

    [1985: Broadway's moving panorama]
    "The Marriott [Marquis; 6th Ave. & Broadway] is topped by a three-story glass box containing a revolving restaurant, which is billed as 'the first in New York.' This section is not quite finished; it is scheduled to open sometime in November. Revolving restaurants, like most of this building, are a show that has been playing out of town for a long time and has never much been missed on Broadway, but this will at least be a novelty. There is, after all, no other place in New York from which you can see the old McGraw-Hill building on West 42nd Street and the Coca-Cola sign in Times Square without ever changing your seat."
    ---"Marriott Marquis Hotel: An Edsel in Times Sq.?" Paul Goldberger, New York Times, August 31, 1985 (p. 25)
    [Note: this revolving restaurant was named "The View."]

    [1991: John Graham, architect credited for inventing revolving restaurants, passes on]
    "John Graham, an architect whose designs included the Space Needle for the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle, died Tuesday...he...created the first revolving restaurant, in the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu."
    ---"John Graham, Architect, 82, Dies; Designed Space Needle for Seattle," Glenn Fowler, New York Times, February 1, 1991 (p. A19)

    [1993: Vegas monolith rises] "The Stratosphere Corporation is building the tallest structure west of the Mississippi, called Stratosphere Tower, with a 1,149 foot tower with a revolving restaurant at the top...The $300 million dollar project...is scheduled to open in April."
    ---"A New, Dazzling Las Vegas Downtown," Verne G, Kopytoff, New York Times, January 26, 1993 (p. R9)

    [1994: revolving restaurants are business deal destinations; sales industry publication reviews top 5 destinations]
    "Sales professionals are constantly on the go. So it follows that they would enjoy having dinner or cocktails on the move as well--at a revolving restaurant or lounge. Here is a selection of such motorized establishments: Seattle. The Space Needle, built as a symbol for the 1962 World's Fair, houses two restaurants that revolve 500 feet above Seattle. Diners can relax in the casual atmosphere of The Space Needle Restaurant or enjoy fine dining in the Emerald Suite. The entire floor revolves, so both restaurants flaunt views of the entire Seattle area. The Space Needle Lounge is located one floor up on the observation deck, at 520 feet. Both restaurants serve a selection of northwestern seafood and "finer cuts" of beef. The Space Needle is most famous for its dessert, The Lunar Orbiter--a delicious vanilla ice cream dish served over dry ice, so it smokes. inner entree prices for both restaurants range from $19 to $31. Reservations are recommended. 219 Fourth Avenue. 206-443-2100. Dallas. Visitors can sip cocktails at the Top of the Dome, 63 stories above downtown Dallas, or enjoy a meal at Antares, a floor below. Located at the top of Reunion Tower, both venues revolve, giving patrons a "tour" of the entire metro area in 55 minutes. Antares offers an American-Continental menu, with dinner entree prices from $17 to $24. The Top of the Dome's featured cocktail, the Electrical Storm, is a lethal mix of liquors, colored blue, and served with a little plastic lightning bolt. 300 Reunion Boulevard. 214-651-1234. Ft. Lauderdale. The Pier Top Lounge, crowning the Pier 66 Resort & Marina, is more than a revolving bar, it's a theme. Created by Philips 66, the lounge takes 66 minutes to rotate, and the elevator ride is 66 seconds long. The favorite drink is 66 Sunset Strip, and there used to be 66 tables (but they've recently added a few). The catch: it's on the 18th floor. Ft. Lauderdale's flat landscape allows for endless miles of views from the Pier Top: Customers can enjoy drinks and cold appetizers while watching the scenes change from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic Ocean to Port Everglades to the Miami skyline. 2301 SE 17th Street Causeway. 305-525-6666. New Orleans. The Top of the Mart, the largest revolving bar (or restaurant) in the United States, sits 33 stories above the banks of the Mississippi River in the World Trade Center building. The Mart overlooks the entire New Orleans metro area, so customers can sip cocktails while watching the Mississippi River's traffic as far as 20 miles away. The Mart serves only drinks and light food. Its most popular drink is the Miss New Orleans, a frozen peach colada that is a perfect compliment to the humid climate. Two Canal Street. 504-522-9795. Atlanta. The Westin Peachtree Plaza, the tallest hotel in North America, is host to The Sundial Restaurant--71 stories above Atlanta--and the Sundial Lounge--at 73 stories. While viewing the Atlanta metro area, diners can enjoy steaks and seafood in the restaurant, or if they're feeling daring, can venture to the lounge and order a Tweety, the house specialty drink, served in a souvenir Tweety Bird glass. Three-course meals cost $22.50 to 5. Reservations are recommended. 210 Peachtree Street. 404-659-1400."
    ---"Restaurants that put a spin on eating: Space Needle Restaurant / Antares Restaurant / and others," Trumfio, Ginger. Sales and Marketing Management, Oct 1994, (p. 162)

    [2003: cliche but still compelling]
    "Today America has about 40 revolving restaurants... but as with many things from the space age, there's a tendency to regard them as quaint or kitschy examples of retro-futurism. None have been built in the United States for nearly a decade; among the most recent is the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas... Since I began my quests, I discovered that the restaurant in Toronto that started everything is now a non-revolving Italian establishment called Toula Ristorante. This, together with the closures at the Hyatt Regency and in Ventura, suggests that North America's love affair with the revolving restaurant may be over. Fortunately, most of the rest of the world retains a passion. There are about 200 revolving restaurants in the world,..But the holy grail of revolving restaurants is probably the one in what used to be called the Saddam Tower in Baghdad. Before the regime change, it tended to be unwelcoming to Westerners since it gave a terrific view of one of Saddam's palaces. It was damaged in the recent war but survived, and in the rebuilt Iraq I would bet it will revolve again."
    ---"Done to a Turn at 360 Degrees," Geoff Nicholson, New York Times, July 13, 2003 (p. TR21)

    [2010: India continues the tradition] "As one of the few revolving restaurants in India, Parikrama is among the most sought after places to visit in Delhi. It's also best known for its Punjabi cuisine. Parikrama offers a range of other regional delicacies as well. "Our prime concern is to offer personalised service to our guests," says Rajnesh Khanna, the General Manager. He adds, "Punjabis are great meat-eaters and we have a range of delectable non-vegetarian specialties for them." Like the rahra gosht, murgh lababdar, chicken curry, and mutton masala. While you're stuffing your face here, you can also enjoy the view. Parikrama offers the best views during the night. A full revolution takes 90 minutes-time enough to focus on your meal as well. Enjoy, while you take in the panoramic view of Delhi.Punjabi By Nature"
    ---"Eating out, Punjabi style; In Delhi and wondering where to eat? These Punjabi restaurants are sure to drive your homesickness away," The Simply Team. India Today, New Delhi: Jun 7, 2010.

    Hofbrau Haus, New York City
    Grand-scale German beer gardens were popular in New York City from late 19th to early 20th century. They were America's first theme dining establishments: complete with stages, props, live music and interactive audience entertainment. The Hof-Brau Haus, located at Broadway near Thirtieth Street was one of the best examples of this genre.
    Restaurant description from Where and How to Dine in New York [1903]. Food ranged from traditional German, to fancy French to standard American fare. Something for everyone. Sample menus courtesy of the New York Public Library: 1916 & 1957. NOTE: There were several independent establishments in the USA with the named Hofbrau House.

    Who was the man behind the concept?
    "August L. Janssen, one of the best-known restauranteurs in the city, died yesterday in the Lenox Hill Hospital. He was 72 years old and lived at 137 East Thirty-eighth Street. From 1898 to 1938, the famous slogan 'Janssen Wants to See You,' drew thousands of New Yorkers to the Hofbrau Haus at Broadway and Thirtieth Street, opposite the old Daly's Theatre. It was Mr. Janssen's custom to sound a bell whenever a new keg of beer was tapped, and as many as thirty were kept on tap at one time. Enrico Caruso, Theodore Roosevelt and William H. Taft were among his regular patrons. Before the World War three branches of the Hofbrau had been opened in the city, but the anti-German feeling during the war forced Mr. Janssen to close the branches. In 1938 the historic Hofbrau Haus was merged with new quareters in the Graybar Building at Lexington Avenue and Forty-fourth Street, which had opened in 1935. Mr. Janssen also had restaurants at Broadway and Fifty-second Street and in New Haven, Conn. In 1928 he opened five places in Paris, France, which he operated until 1932. As the president for many years of the Society of Restauranteurs, Mr. Janssen was the leading spokesman for the restuarant keepers of the city. In this capacity he was active in the fight against prohibition and sought to keep prices up in restaurants during the hard years of the depression. When the United States entered the World War, Mr. Janssen became chairman of the Mayor's Committee on Food Waste. He had noticed the great wastage of food among restaurant keepers and others, and headed a committee which made a report to the Mayor on the subject...Mr. Janssen was born in Emden, Germany. He was forced to cut short his studies at the University of Goettingen by the death of his father, and traveled over Europe, North and South America for a time supporting himself as a musician and tutor. At the age of 20 he arrived in New York and went to work for Pursell & Co., well-known caterers of the Eighteen Nineties. He spent several years with the firm, learning New York and the ways of its inhabitants, and by 1989 had saved enough money to open his Hofbrau Haus. He succeeded Oliver Morosco, the theatrical producer, as president of the Morosco Holding Company, a real estate concern, but lost considerable money when the firm went into receivership in 1923. Mr. Janssen was one of the founders of the Broadway Association and was always active in the welfare of the street on which his restaurant was situated. New was also a founder of the New York Rotary Club and made several trips to Europe in connection wtih the affairs of the Rotary International. He was a member of the New York Athletic Club and was a Mason."
    ---"August L. Janssen, Restauranteur, 72," New York Times, November 17, 1939 (p. 21)

    Space Needle menu notes & recipes [Seattle Worlds Fair 1962]
    "Despite the height, there'll be nothing astronomical about the cuisine served in the restaurant atop the Space Needle at the Seattle World's Fair. Such is the promise of Rene Schless, Swiss-born specialist in gourmet cookery who has been named the head chef for the revolving Eye of the Needle. He will offer he says, 'just top quality food at prices comparable with other fine Seattle restaurants.' Schless (rhymes with lease) has no qualms about cooking at 550 feet. He has prepared palatists' delights at mile-high Swiss resorts without difficulty...Schless came to Seattle from the Istanbul Hilton in Turkey and was sous-chef at the Olympic Hotel before being chosen to head the culinary staff of 25 in the Eye of the Needle. He also has plied his craft in Sweden, Holland, Italy and aboard ocean liners. Schless' high level cookery will be on natural gas stoves...Food is whisked up by elevator before 10 a.mm daily. After that the elevator is reserved for passengers. Once a dish is exhausted, it is crossed off the men until the next day."
    ---"Space Needle Chef Promises Top Fair Cuisine," The Bakersfield Califorinian, May 2, 1965 (p. 15)

    "From the Eye of the Space Needle Restaurant overlooking the World's Fair in Seattle comes a recipe by the executive chef, Rene Schless, for Saute of Beef, Burgundy. The original recipe, a real favorite with the restaurant visitors, starts with 40 pounds of beef; however, here the recipe has been reduced to serve a family of six. The restaurant menu reads: 'Saute of Beef, Burgundy, This outstanding blend of tender cubes of choice beef and fine aromatic sauce with mushrooms and pearl onion, is a delicacy not to be overlooked. Price $2.50.' If a trip to the World's Fair is included in your schedule of events this recipe will be a permanent memento of your visit. Otherwise, the recipe will bring a part of the fair to your family via the dinner table.
    "Saute of Beef, Burgundy
    (Serves 6)
    2 lbs. beef for stew
    3 T. shortening
    1 onion, chopped
    3 level T. flour
    1 cup Burgundy
    1 1/4 cups (1 10 1/2-oz.) can bouillon
    1 (4-oz.) can mushrooms
    2 T. chopped parsley
    1 bay leaf, finely crushed
    1/4 t. each powdered thyme, rosemary and marjoram
    1/2 t. garlic salt
    1/2 t. pepper
    Pinch cloves
    6 small white onions, parboiled
    6 small carrots, parboiled
    1 cup celery slices, parboiled
    1 cup cooked peas (optional)
    Cut beef into 1-inch cubes. Brown meat in heated shortening. Add chopped onion and cook until wilted. Sprinkle four over meat, stirring until blended. Add wine, bouillon. undrained mushrooms, parsely and seasonings. Cover tightly and simmer until meat is almost tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Add parboiled onions, carrots and celery, continue cooking until meat and vegetables test done. Taste and add a little additional salt, if needed. Just before serving, add the cooked peas. Use 1/2 cup additional froth or water and garnish beef when served, with 1 cup sauteed fresh mushrooms instead of using canned mushrooms, if desired."
    ---"Space Needle Chef Has Saute of Beef Recipe," Janesville Daily Gazette, June 14, 1962 (p. 25)

    "The Seattle World's Fair and its famous revolving restaurant at the top of the 80-foot Space Needle sound like exciting places to visit this summer, be we can't all get there, of course. The next best thing is to plan an exciting supper based on a typical menu from the 'Eye of the Needle.' Not only will the meal be tasty, but it will also mark you as a thoughtful and imaginative hostess. Fresh salmon, pride of the Pacific Northwest, will be a featured item on the restaurant's menu so it should be your main dish. A delicious Olympic Salmon Mold can be made easily with canned salmon. Instant minced onion and prepared mustard add a superb, tangy touch. The creamy sour cream-and-cucumber dressing is equally easy to prepare with new sour cream sauce mix...Start your World's Fair meal with chilled apricot juice. Serve buttered green beans, sliced tomatoes, herb rolls and butter with the salmon. Finish with Empire Date Squares with lemon sauce and coffee or tea, hot or iced."
    ---"Friends Going to World's Fair? Serve This At Going Away Dinner," Rocky Mount N.C. Telegram [North Carolina], July 25, 1962 (p. 6A)
    [NOTE: article includes recipes for Olympic Salmon Mold, Sour Cream-Cucumber Dressing, Empire Date Square and Lemon Sauce. We can send if you want.]

    Space Needle cocktail menu.

    Golden Door, Idlewild Airport, NYC
    In 1957, Idlewild International Airport (now Kennedy Airport) was transformed from aging infrastruture to gleaming state-of-the-art crossroads of the jet set world. Among the many transformations, were food service establishments and airline clubs with private bars. The primary foodservice vendor was Brass Rail Inc. The Golden Door was the fanciest restaurant in the new airport. Menus were printed in several languages and the wine list compared favorably (albeit expensively) to the top restaurants in New York City. This was a time when visiting an airport for the sole purpose of exquisite dining made sense.

    The restaurant's name was borrowed from Emma Lazarus' poem adorning the Statue of Liberty. The vision was the same; the demographic was different. Many famous people spent time at the Golden Door. Craig Claiborne, New York Times food critic, found the menu only slightly flawed. Robert Frost, American poet, was bewildered by all the choices.

    Times change. In the mid-1960s the Golden Door was sold to Restaurant Associates and renamed Restaurant America. Idlewild was also renamed, honoring John F. Kennedy. This restaurant flourished, flatlined, then perished. The Golden Door/Restaurant America shuttered permanently December 10, 1971 by court order.

    [1958]
    "Since an international airport theoretically is a place where first impressions count and partings can be pleasant, it is a pleasure to report that the new Golden Door Restaurant at Idlewild is a creditable addition to the roster of the nation's dining establishments. The food is reasonably priced and of a generally high caliber, the service is excellent and the decor by Florence Knoll is sparkling and spacious. It is obvious that careful planning has gone into the choice of foods served there. The number of dishes outlined on the menu is interesting and varied without being extensive to the point of confusion. At a recent luncheon for two, the meal began with snails and a dish called, for some curious reason, baked oyster souffle. The name is misleading, for it applies to oysters on the half shell that have been covered with a rich and delicious cream sauce containing crabmeat and then baked in the oven. The oyster shells are served on a bed of flaming rock salt, a novelty that also has its practical side in keeping the appetizers piping hot. The snails were served on large, sauteed mushroom caps. These were swimming in a melted butter sauce delicately flavored with garlic and parsley. The entrees for this luncheon were highly palatable...A whole broiled squab chicken was well flavored...A serving of beef Stroganoff with wild rice was delightfully seasoned, although the authenticity of the restaurant's version of the dish is open to question. Filet mignon in a sour cream sauce might be a more apt description. The most expensive single serving on the menu is prime sirloin steak for $6.50. There are more expensive dishes, but they are sufficient for two. The snails in mushroom caps cost $1.75; the baked oysters, $1.75. The chicken is $3.25 and the beef with wild rice, $3.50. The decor of this establishment contributes much to the pleasure of dining there. Although the interior is vast, there are four color groupings of chairs and tables, an arrangement that contributes the effect of four rooms without dividing walls. It thus has a feeling of intimacy. The chairs and banquettes are upholdstered in brillian reds and blues in bright contrast to the thick, beige carpet underfoot. On the debit side, it should be noted that the wines at the Golden Door are expensive. It is unfortunate that another name has been added to the long list of establishments that have found it necessary to price their wines beyond the buying capacity or the will of the average public."
    ---"Food: Airport Dining," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, March 24, 1958 (p. 22)

    "To an erstwhile immigrant the recent refurbishment of the International Airport at Idlewild must seem strange when he recalls the scene of an earlier day, when millions of arrivals from overseas gleaned their first impression of America from the forbidding structures at Ellis Island and the depot at Castle Garden. To them this was indeed the 'golden door' celebrated by Emma Lazarus. For those fleeing from persecution and pesitcelnce, who reached our shores in ships swollen to capcity and beyond, the transition from steerage berth to immigration was a golden one. To the modern arrival the 'Golden Door' now has a more literal connotation-- representing as it does a sumptuous restaurant where he may dine in lavish surroundings immediately upon debarking from a luxurious airplane, equipped with comforts undreamed of by those who first came here years ago."
    ---"Topics of the Times," New York Times, April 17, 1958 (p. 30)

    [1960]
    "The heart of Idlewild's overseas operationis the airy, immaculate International Arrival Building, backed by runways, fronted by a shimmering complex of fountains and reflecting pools. Opened late in 1957, the building houses the control tower, customs, and Idlewild's main restaurant, the Golden Door, a glassy place with eye-level views of flags in the wind, below-eye-level views of the tall jet fins and the cool gladiola-and-linen look of a country club."
    ---"New York's Idlewild--The New Look," Vogue, October 1960 (p. 194, 217)

    [1961]
    "The IAB holds shops, airline service counters, and, among its restaurants, the Golden Door, a gourmet establishment which pirnts menus in six languages."
    ---"Idlewild: Jet Capital of the World," James Biery, Popular Mechanics, February 1961 (p. 120)

    "Robert Frost, America's foremost poet and I had supper together the other evening. It was an impromptu get-together, one which neither of us had planned or least expected. We both were bound for Israel--he for the more noble purpose of giving a series of readings and lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and I to cover the opening of the Sheraton Corporation's new hotel in Tel Aviv...Moments before take-off the great jet developed mechanical difficulties and we were forced to return to the Idlewild Terminal Building where w were informed there would be a two-hour delay and that during the interval the evening meal would be served...This elegant meal, referred sumptuously to by El Al as 'and eight-course dinner,' was served in a room known as the Golden Door. A ramrod-erect waiter 'dealt' from under his arm in a most dexterous manner, three menus, 2-by 2 1/2 feet in size. There was a maze of type offering everthing from pheasant under glass to thick steaks. 'That's too big and too much for me,' laughed Mr. Frost, handing the menu boack. 'We just want a little 'supper.' So Mr. Frost settled for a dish of fresh fruit and I for an omelet."
    ---"Supper with Robert Frost: 'I Bare You on Eagles' Wings'," Leavitt F. Morris, Christian Science Monitor, April 5, 1961 (p. 9)

    [1965]
    "Why fly to Vienna for Kalbaschnitzel...stay right here at Kennedy Airport and enjoy it and lovely evening at The Golden Door Restaurant. For reservations call 656-4600."
    ---display ad, New York Times, November 18, 1965 (p. 56)

    [1971]
    "A lot of people who never fly are still driving to the airports. (We're the reason why. Whether you choose the spacious glamor of LaGuardia Terrace, or the authentic atmosphere of Restaurant America, or the sumptuous menu of the Newarker, you're in for a treat. You can fly all over the country, and never find individualistic, unique, and dedicated restaurant like the 3 New York has at our 3 metropolitan airports. (The food must be good. Look at all those planes parked outside.)" ---display ad, New York Times, May 16, 1971 (p. BQ110)

    "The main restaurant at Kennedy International Airport was closed indefinitely yesterday by the Port of New York Authority 'in the interest of the safety and healf of airline passengers' as the resupt of a labor dispute. The authority directed the operator, Restauran Associates, to close the Restaurant America in the International Arrivals Building because of poor service, vandalism and the spoilage of food. Two incident cited by a spokesman for the authority were the discover of 'either ammonia or bleach' in a tray of chicken livers and the discharge of a fire extinguisher over food cooking on a grill. Restaurant Associates, which manages the Four Seasons, Mama Leone's, the Forum of the Twelve Caesars, and other restaurants, has charged in a lawsuit that Local 71 of the Transportation, Terminal, Interplant and Commissary Employes Union is deliberately sabotaging operations at the airport restaurant in an attempt to force hiring concessions. The union has denied the charge, countering that the company is guilt of contract violations... Judge Mishler said that the dispute started July 19, when union employes at the restaurant, formerly called the Golden Door, started to harass passengers brought in by representatives of Alitalia and KLM...The restaurant, which had employed 85 people, was open from noon to 11 P.M. and served about 500 meals a day."
    ---"Airport Restaurant Closed As Peril in Labor Dispute," Robert E. Tomasson, New York Times, August 17, 1971 (p. 70)

    [1972]
    "Cosme Rosado, the president of an airport union awating trial on Federal charges of racketeering, was fined $75,000 yesterday for 'acts of vandalism and sabotage' that forced the closing of the elegant Restaurant America at Kennedy International Airport more than five months abo...The spacious restaurant, a showplace on the third floor of the International Arrivals Bulding, where 500 diners a day had watched jetliners arriving from around the world, was closed Aug. 16 by the Port of New York Authority because of what it said were intolerable conditions...On Dec. 10...the union was convicted of criminal contempt and the union officers were acquitted...Restaurant Associates... chargesd that the union had instituted the vandalism and slowdown as retaliation for the closing of two small bars in the KLM and Alitalia areas of the terminal, where about seven union members lost their jobs."
    ---"Judge Fines Chief Of Airport Union," Robert E. Tomasson, New York Times, January 22, 1972 (p. 33)

    [1979]
    "Mention restaurants at Kennedy Airport an a surprising number of people will recall the palmy days of the Golden Door. Even those who never ate there remember that it was once supposed to be worth the trip to the airport...The Buffeteria, recycled from the Golden Door at the top of the International Arrivals Building, is less expensive...The fixed price ($7.95) all-you-can-eat buffert is an unexciting but edible assportment of cold salads, cheese, breads, hot meat and vegetables, making it one of the better dinner options at the airport."
    ---"Eating t J.F.K.: Not Worth the Trip," Florence Fabricant, New York Times, May 20, 1979 (p. XX27)

    [1997]
    Kennedy Airport was due for refurbishment. The dreary, aging, outdated International Arrivals Building was demolished. From these ashes rises new Phoenix of foodservice establishments. How does this compare with period
    airline food?


    Salad bars

    There is some controversy regarding the *invention* of the salad bar.

    According to the New York Times, the modern salad bar (as we know it in the United States) first emerged in the late 1960s:

    "Salad bars first appeared in the late 1960's in midprice restaurants like Steak and Brew, featuring bon fide salad fixings to keep customers busy and happy until the real food came. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, a group of 35 restuarants in Chicago and other cities with everything from retro diners to elegant hotel dining rooms, got its start--and its peculiar name--with a salad bar. The company's founder and president, Rich Melman, began his career in 1971 in Chicago with R. J. Grunts, a place that featured an all-you-can-eat salad bar with more than 40 items--huge in its day. Even in the early years, there were people who looked no further than the salad bar for dinner...Not long after they opened, the Steak and Brew restaurants, which offered the salad bar free with the steak, found it necessary to set a price for a meal consisting of items only from the salad bar. The sideshow had become the main event. It was a cheap meal..."
    ---"Spiced-up salad bars, at $5.95 a pound," Florence Fabricant, New York Times, September 21, 1994, p. C1

    Modern food historians readily credit Rich Melman with introducing the salad bar, citing RJ Grunt's opening in June 10, 1971 as the *birth date* for this dining phenomenon. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises continues to flourish.

    Counterclaim?
    "As it turns out, there are a number of competing claims as to who came up with the first salad bar and when they did it. The Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, said the term originated in about 1973, and refers to it as "a self-service counter (as in a restaurant) featuring an array of salad makings and dressings." The folks at Merriam Webster's may have been taking there cue from the Wendy's chain of fast food restaurants, which began featuring salad bars in the early 1970s. But even Wendy's doesn't claim to have developed the first salad bar, just the first one in a fast food chain.

    Many sources give credit for the first salad bar to RJ Grunts, a Chicago singles bar and restaurant that began featuring a salad bar in 1971. That claim is trumped by a place called Chuck's Steak House, which advertises that it had the first salad bar in its Waikiki, Hawaii, location in 1959, the same year Hawaii achieved statheood. Chuck's opened a branch in Los Angeles in 1961, which also gives it a claim to having the first salad bar in the mainland U.S.

    So where does Springfield fit into this?
    That's where it gets interesting, because there is evidence that a Springfield restaurant called The Cliffs, at 1577 W. Wabash Ave., may have had a salad bar up and running as much as a decade before even Chuck's Steak House in Waikiki thought of the idea. The evidence includes a 1950 postcard put out by the restaurant that advertised it as the "originators of the famous salad bar," and a 1951 Yellow Pages listing that said the same thing, this time referring to the "salad bar buffet."

    The Cliffs was operated from the late 1940s to the early 1960s by Sam and Viola Cliff, both dead now for more than a quarter of a century. Maybe Sam and Viola had something else in mind when they coined the term "salad bar", something different from the modern meaning of the term, but it's hard to imagine what, especially with the word "buffet" used in the phone directory listing. So maybe it's time to set the record books straight, tell RJ Grunts and Chuck's Steak House to forsake their claims and recognize The Cliffs, and the Cliffs, for the culinary innovators they were."
    ---"Birth of the salad bar; Local restaurant owners may have invented the common buffet," The State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL), December 28, 2001, Magazine section (p. 10A)

    Related item? Surf & turf.


    Steak houses

    Steak houses originated in New York City. Why? New Yorkers could afford to spend the most money and demanded the best cuts of beef.

    "True, the Old Homestead in Manhattan opened in 1868, Keens Chop House in 1885, Brooklyn's Gage & Tollner debuted in 1879, and Peter Luger in 1887, but those revered establishments drew more on English and German models. Luger still features only one cut of steak--the sliced porterhouse, a term derived from English taverns serving porter beer and popularized about 1814 as a steak in America by porterhouse proprietor Martin Morrison in New York. The New York steakhouse--a term still used outside New York to draw customers in the same way ads proclaim "London pub" or "Parisian bistro"--developed along lines drawn at Palm (1926) and Gallagher's (1927), both of which originated as speakeasies during the Noble Experiment of Prohibition. Palm was run by two Italians, John Ganzi and Pio Bozzi, on Second Avenue. (The name was supposed to be "Parma," after the owners' hometown, but a city bureaucrat spelled it wrong on an official document, and so "Palm" it remained.) Gallagher's, on 52nd Street off Broadway, was named after former Ziegfeld-girl-turned-speakeasy-owner, Helen Gallagher. Both places democratically served a little beer, a little hooch and a little beefsteak to everyone from New York's politicians and journalists to Caf‚ Society, who sometimes got their pictures or caricatures put up on the walls. Such places had a swagger, a very masculine feel to them and a perception of exclusivity that made everyone want to go there. After Prohibition ended in 1933, Palm, Gallagher's, Jack Lyons, Manny Wolf, Cavanaugh's, Christ Cella and Farrish's flourished. New York steakhouses got the best meat because they paid the most and charged the highest prices. The menu, rarely varied, became a formula for success: prime beef, lamb chops, lobsters, fried potatoes and cheesecake were pretty much the whole shebang. Wine lists were unknown until the 1980s, when Sparks and Smith & Wollensky invested heavily in wine cellars..."
    ---"Ready for Prime Time: A Good Steak is Hard to Find, John F. Mariani, Cigar Aficionado [magazine], Winter 1993
    [This article also outlines the history of steak in America. Ask your librarian can help you get a copy of this article]

    "Steak, rather than hamburger or the hot dog, is probably the most typical American food. Steak (from Old Norse steik, stick) has meant a strip of meat or fish cooked on a stick over a fire since the 15th century. From the earliest colonial times until the 1860s what you and I call a steak was called a beef steak, to distinguish it from the often more common venison steaks, buffalo steaks....By the 1760s some colonial inns and eating establishments were billing themselves as beef steak houses. Then around 1866 the first Texas longhorns reached New York via the Chisolm Trail and the railroads and soon the backyard cows, pigs, and chickens, and the wild deer and the buffalo, had a competitor--beef raised solely for eating. Thus the modern steak and the cowboy were born together, and since the mid 1860s steak has meant beefsteak. By the end of the 1860s the beef steak house was simply called a steak house...Popular taste...demanded a thick sirloin, broiled over charcoal if possible. Thus in the late 1940s and 50s restaurants often advertised the mouth-watering charcoal-broiled steaks."
    ---Listening to America, Stuart Berg Flexner [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1982 (p. 488-9)

    "In the Sixties, American liked to eat steak when they went out to dinner, and they liked the exotic allure of Japanese restaurants. Enter the Japanese steak house. There were several different "brands" of steak house, both here and in Japan, but the best known of them all was Benihana. In 1964, the first Benihana of Tokyo restaurant in the United States opened in New York..."
    ---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 289)

    If you need additional details... Ask your librarian how to access EBCSO and other magazine/business/newspaper databases. These will provide the latest details on the steak house restaurant industry. You can use the Library of Congress Catalog to identify books written on specific restaurants. Your local public librarian can arrange to borrow them for you. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association provides the latest industry data on prices and consumption.


    Cafeterias

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first print reference in our language for the word cafeteria, generally defined as a "coffee-house; a restaurant, esp. now a self-service restaurant" was published 1839: J.L. Stephens Trav. Russian & Turkish Emp. 1. 157 Every third shop, almost, being a cafeteria [sic] where a parcel of huge turbanded fellows were at their daily labours of smoking pipes and drinking coffee." Our survey of American food history sources and historic newspapers confirms cafeterias, as we know them today, first surfaced in the last quarter of the 19th century. There were known by several names.

    The first cafeteria in the USA?
    The Exchange Buffet, opening September 4, 1885 at 4 New Street, New York City ["Exchange Buffet Corp. Marks 60th Anniversary," Wall Street Journal, September 4, 1945 (p. 4)] is generally regarded to be the first waiterless American urban establishment. The restaurant was located across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, hence the name. German inspired
    Automats debuted in Philadelphia 1902. Who established the first cafeteria, and where? It's difficult to say, exactly. There are several claimants to this honor. The fact that self-serve restaurants were known at that time by several names in different venues does not help.

    "Self-service took another form when the cafeteria was invented in the Midwest. The first seems to have been in Chicago in 1893, and by 1895 there were four there. Soon every major city had cafeterias where the custom picked up tray, cutlery, and napkin and proceeded down a long counter, choosing food and presenting a ticket to be punched accordingly. The diner sat at a polished wood table in a tile-walled room often in full sight, through a plate-glass window, of passers-by. On leaving, the customer presented his punched ticket at the door, paid the bill, took, a free toothpick, and departed."
    ---Food and Drink in America: A History, Richard J. Hooker [Bobbls-Merrill:Indianapolis IN] 1981 (p. 325)

    "Distribution of perishable foods to consumers was facilitated by the growth of chain restaurants and cafeterias which in the late nineteenth century had begun to supplant the old-fashioned corner restaurant with its greasy, seldom-changed menu. The first to employ the system of keeping down the cost of food by letting patrons wait on themselves were quick-lunch establishments for businessmen. The Exchange Buffet, opened in the commercial district of New York in 1885, where patrons helped themselves and ate standing, was for men only. But the Automat, a German idea, where nickels dropped into slot released desired food, was open to both sexes. With increased employment of women in business, smaller families, and apartment living, eating out became more customary, and restaurants and cafeterias increased greatly in numbers. Cafeterias became particularly popular in the twentieth century. Several social and philanthropic organizations run by women had established cafeterias in Chicago during the early nineties. A manager of one of these early experiments recognized the commerical possibilities of the idea and set up her own establishment. Another woman was inspired to adopt the plan for a public restaurant opened in Los Angeles in 1905. The principle of 'see and select one's food' drew crowds, and a brand was opened in San Francisco. In Washington cafeterias appeared in 1915 and increased rapidly in numbers during the crowded days of the war. One of the larger chains, Childs, during the war period and the early twenties tried to capitalize on the new knowledge of nutrition by including in parentheses after each item the caloric value."
    ---The American and His Food, Richard Osborn Cummings [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1940 (p. 153-154)

    [1895]
    "There are various forms of the word indicating these waiterless, lunch houses, as "cafeterion," "cafeteria," "cafeterietto"--as a State street man prefers to call his establishment--and simply "cafe."
    ---"Cafeteriettes," Chicago Daily Tribune, February 10, 1895 (p. 39)

    [1896]
    "The experience of the proprietors of the free and easy eating-houses known as cafeterias, or by names of a kindred derivation, seems to point conclusion that the average percentage of honest to be found in individuals of the human species is very slight. Firm in a belief that there was yet corn in Egypt--that the race as a whole was not dishonest--these misguided men established a business for the success of which a generally disseminate honest was an absolute necessity...The fact that every one who has gone through the lower grades of the public schools has not only had the chance, but has been obliged wto write numerious and authoritative statements that honesty is by far the best policy, over and over again, makes it impossible that all people sin through ignorance. yet when, in accordance with the cafeteria system, a hundred men and women gathered from a down-town neighborhood are requested to selecte from a rack a check bearing the value of the amount that they have eaten, at least seven, and more often ten of them, pick out one from 5 to 20 cents less than they should. So far as is known there is yet to be recorded the case of a man who picked out a check larger than he ought...in many cases the proproetors are obliged to go back to the old method of checks being given by the waiter."
    ---"Honesty Not Their Policy: Unhapy Experience of the Cafeteria Proprietors," Chicago Daily Tribune, January 12, 1896 (p. 39)

    [1906]
    “Before the advent of the now ubiquitous fast-food outlets, before Southern California's fabled Schaber's and Clifton's cafeterias, there were the Boos Brothers. From humble beginnings, Horace Boos and his three siblings opened one of Los Angeles' first cafeterias in 1906 with unconventional methods and consistent success that inspired subsequent generations of restaurant entrepreneurs. Even though turn-of-the-century Los Angeles served cuisine that ranged from plain to appalling, the Boos Brothers' idea of a fast-food, self-service restaurant was laughed at by critics. Waiting on yourself and returning trays and dishes to the kitchen were unheard-of impositions, even for the city's much-put-upon diners. Editorials poked fun at the thought of a "grabeteria" and said it would not work. But the hungry public didn't agree, and the brothers' downtown cafeteria was the first link in a chain of seven that ultimately stretched from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Midwest Roots The Boos Brothers were born in Moscow, Ohio. Horace, the eldest, born in 1872, was 15 years old when both of his parents died, leaving him to head the family. The brothers worked side by side, first by opening a small grocery store and later a restaurant in St. Louis. With a small amount of capital, the four siblings came west and bought a farm in the San Fernando Valley, growing vegetables and raising chickens to feed Angelenos in what would become their next restaurant venture. Observing the efforts of Helen Mosher, who took over the defunct Hafen House, a favorite German resort, and turned it into the city's first cafeteria, a hole in the wall on Hill Street between 3rd and 4th streets, they decided to expand on her idea. She advertised: "All Women Cooks--Food That Can Be Seen," and best of all, "No Tips." Mosher was a pioneer, but the Boos Brothers cooked up culinary history. Their first gamble was a site on the gastronomically deprived south side of 2nd Street between Spring and Broadway. Orlando "John" was chef; Cyrus the butcher and baker; while Horace and Henry washed dishes, swept the floor and took in the money. Determined that quality food--temptingly displayed--together with cleanliness and courteous service would overcome the public's prejudice against self-service, these self-made men of wit and charm used a full plate of new ideas to build their cafeteria into a new type of dining empire. Rubbery chicken was bounced out of the kitchen and lumpy mashed potatoes were banned. Only the cream of the crop survived, as they opened six more cafeterias on Broadway, Olive and Hill streets, Santa Catalina Island and two in San Francisco. After a year, the ranch failed because the brothers were too busy to tend it. But the cafeteria that had become known as an "indoor picnic" was by then the city's hottest restaurant. Its business received a boost when adoption of the 18th Amendment imposed Prohibition, closing downtown saloons, which traditionally had served a free lunch. Angelenos turned to sumptuous yet inexpensive cafeteria fare, which was consumed by Boos Brothers patrons listening to Pryor Moore's nine-piece orchestra renditions of "I Kiss Your Hand, Madam," "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" and "Just a Little White House," punctuated only by the clatter of utensils. After World War I, an employee returned not only with a French wife, but with an award- winning French lemon pie recipe, which was soon one of the chain's staples. Employees in all seven cafeterias began competing in culinary contests and their recipes were added to the menu. By the 1920s, the chain of cafeterias had become so widely known that Los Angeles was dubbed by some "Sunny Cafeteria." Lonely Midwesterners formed clubs and held meetings, turning them into lonely hearts clubs. At the Boos flagship cafeteria on Hill Street across from Pershing Square, the Nature Club of Southern California met every Tuesday, while Sierra Club members gathered on Fridays. Prospective club members sat at separate tables, where their behavior and manners were observed. When Horace Boos died in 1926, the surviving Boos Brothers sold the seven cafeterias for a record $ 7 million to Childs Corp., a national chain of restaurants. Business, however, was on the decline. Bringing in near-beer and wine and even ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy didn't help sales. With the onset of the Depression, Childs sold two of the Boos Brothers cafeterias to Clifford E. Clinton, who launched the Clifton's chain, and Henry Boos bought back two more, one on Hill Street and the other in Avalon on Catalina Island. Back in business, the Boos Brothers offered inexpensive fare of a "40-cent dinner" that made the cafeterias especially popular with the starving artists and angry intellectuals of Los Angeles during the Depression. Garnering a reputation with a multi-course feast for more than four decades, these unflashy foodmeisters called it quits in the late 1940s, before cafeterias would begin to lose popularity with the advent of luncheonettes, soda fountains and fast-food restaurants.”
    ---“L.A. Then and Now,” Cecilia Rasmussen, Los Angeles Times, November 22, 1998 (p. B3)

    [1906]
    "Tait's Cafeteria, 316 South Broadway, is open on Sundays."
    ---"Breveties," Los Angeles Times, October 24, 1906 (p. I16)

    [1907]
    "It's high time this cafeteria habit was looked into: even the superior judges have got it. When court adjourns at noon each day, dignitaries of the bench are to be seen marching solemnly down the Courthouse hill and into one of these reach-out-your-arm-for-what-you-want emporiums. There is no doubt that if this method of nourishing the human system is kept up for any length of time, the right-arm muscles will become abnormally developed: incidentally, the profession of waiter will become extinct. There is, perhaps, a question about the propriety of abnormally developing the right arm, but the waiter and all his kind can be spared witout a pang of regret.. A waiter is a living object made in the duties of a human being...A cafeteria is a place whre you hae to carry back the dirty dishes, and remember to be cautious with the butter, for another plate of butter will cost 1 cent more. Eating seems...to be a mistake. It only serves to maintain the rather unnecessary existence of a tedious and commonplace race of beings who murder one another and get all the others in a stew about it. At the present writings, "cafeterecing" is the favorite method of conduct the habit mentioned. The cafeterias have all the other Los Angeles restaurants worried. These hand-out shops are springing up on every side. The are giving the "old line"cafes and lunch rooms a mighty jolt, and some of them are giving better service since the hehlp-yourself innovation was brought along... The first impulse upon entering a caferteria is to slide bashfully into the first seat that presents itself. The a scowling young woman bears down upon you and sternly orders you into the lock-step with the others. Standing in a long line betwen a fat woman and a small boy, you finally float around to a table with a lot of silver knives and forks, and spoons and trays. With a tragic instinct, you dig into the collection, although you are half afraid the severe-looking young woman will rush up and accuse you of stealing the silverware...It is easy to see why women go: it's because the checks all end in odd-change numbers, like 21 cents..."
    ---"Self-Helping Habit Takes," Los Angeles Times, February 10, 1907 (p. II 18)

    [1907]
    "While in the act of looting the cash register in Helen Mosher's cafeteria at NO. 344 South Hill street about 9 o'clock last night, Fay Hamby was ratpured by the waiter. Hamby confesed that he had looted the restauant four times within the past two months. He was taken into custody by two detectives and locked up in the City Jail."
    ---"Loots Cash Register," Los Angeles Times, January 13, 1907 (p. II 2)

    [1915]
    Preparation of Foods for Factory Employees

    ...Foodservice notes, cafeteria photos & original company recipes from General Electric Company, Cleveland Ohio.

    [1925]
    "Cafeteria Psychology

    'I am,' said the woman, a cafeteria addict. I go to the cafeteria rather than the restaurant because their coffee is hotter, it comes direct from the urn to me, and warms my heart as I drink it. The soups are hotter, too, and they all other foods meant to be hot come right from the kettle to the customer without the long preambles, the waits and inspections and other performances involved in their transference form the hotel or restaurant kitchen to the dining room table, during which hot dishes grow cold, and cold grow lukewarm, and everything steamy gets sodden. Also, when there is a question of a ‘chancy’ food like cantaloupe, I am able to order one from visual inspection rather than from a bill of fare which may read ‘Rockyford melon,’ and turn out to be something like a mealy potato when it comes to the cover. The same holds good for all other fruits, and for pies, cake, dishes of pickles and preserves, vegetables, salads, In the best cafeterias everything is in full view, your slice of roast beef is cut from the hot joint while you look on; your chop is offered for your inspection before it is broiled, you pick you’re your baked potato and point to the salad of your choice. In the best cafeterias—those which are increasing by geometrical progression and are thronged for six hours every day, yet where room is always found for one more by a watchful manager—in these cafeterias I get service plus, meaning service plus courtesy and pleasant human relations. The counter people seem to have the gift of kings and princes in remembering faces, that gift of good democrats in according them welcoming recognition, and that further gift of the born restaurateur in remembering tastes. After one or two requests for the wishbone, the short-bone, or any other bone of the roast chicken, the man will put it aside for you while you are yet three places off. You are free to ask for the red-cheeked baked apple, for the dish of pudding that you know will ‘go to the spot,/ and it will be given you pleasantly as if the party of the second part liked to do it. Finally, the appraiser of the contents of your tray smiles at you, welcomes you back if you have been on vacation, the cashier bids you good-day as you approach with your check, and thanks you when you pay. You leave the place comforted and feeling good. But there are cafeterias and cafeterias. These are others where the counter-folk are morose, they look at you forbiddingly, and never show the smallest recognition of you, not through you may have been going to the place every day hand-running for months. In these cafeterias a stony deafness is returned to your request of the triangle of pie you like best. Your things are pushed over the bars to you with the gestures of person who are saying in their hearts, ‘I hate to do this!’ Their appraiser registers grimness as she punches your check, and as for the cashier—she acts as though she were paid to be rude. The class of cafeterias first described are run by men and women for men and women. The second, by women only for women only. My query is: Why are the ministrations of women only to women only so often highly flavored with disagreeableness? Our answer was, ‘Search me!’ and we gave it up. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us. Psychologists, please answer.”
    ---American Cookery, October 1925 (p. 192)


    Restaurants in China

    Food scholars generally cite 18th century Paris as the
    "birthplace of the modern restaurant". Really? Historians tell us Marco Polo experienced full-service restaurants while traveling the Far East in the 13th century. Sung [Song] dynasty-era restaurants were ubiquitious in capital cities. They were patronized by the wealthy for all sorts of pleasurable experiences, including food. 19th century Chinese restaurants welcomed all classes of citizens. Seating, service and dishes accomodated all purses. Citizens also enjoyed a variety of casual food service options: tea houses, noodle bars, street vendors and such.

    "Prepared food purchased either in one of many kinds of restaurants or from a vendor was, for people of Sung times, part of an activity both casual and deeply felt that it brought them very close to what it meant to be a citizen of the greatest city of the world...Scarcely a section in any of the well-known memoirs of life in the capitals fails to mention some popular restaurants...Eating at restaurants was an inseperable part of being a city dweller. Restaurants created a demimonde with its own delights, hazards, bywords, and peculiar flavor...Wine and tea houses in both Kaifeng and Hangchow lured customers with...fine food. Most of our sources do not describe the wine or tea served at various shops nearly so elaborately as they do the food, and they generally rank them on the quality of food rather than their drink. A Southern Sung source gives a 'casual list' to two hundred and thirty-four famous dishes that such places served, a list from the Northern Sung has fifty-one. Dinners probably startd with a soup or broth like 'hundred flavors' soup, which heads both list. They coud then choose from dishes made from almost any variety of flesh, fowl, or seafood--milk-steamed lamb, onion-strewn hare, fried clams or craqbs. Several kinds of 'variety meats.' lungs, heart, kidneys, or caul were cooked in various manners. Some kinds of buns and cakes were also availablle, though other kind of restaurants specialized in such things. 'Imitation' dishes comprised a relatively large part of the menu--'imitation river globefish,' for example...Ordering was done in approximately the same way in Kaifeng and in Hangchow, wehre all restaurants had menus. 'The men of Kaifeng were extravagant and indulgent. They would shout their orders by the hundreds: some wanted items cooked and some chilled, some heated and some prepared, and some iced or delicate or fat; each person ordered differently. The wiater then went to get the orders, which he repeated and carried in his head, so that when he got into the kitchen he repeated them...restaurants came into and went out of fashion regularly...A step down from the wine restaurants were those which specialized in a particular food, a particular style of cooking, or, as with noodle shops, a category of food... For anyone wealthy enough, Hangchow afforded an unusual service; 'tea and wine kitchens' furnished with everything necessary for a banquet: they reserved the hall, arranged for the food, conveyances, dishes, and napery, and, if necessary, guided the customer in the appropriate etiquette for his party."
    ---Food in Chinese Culture: Anthopological and Historical Perspectives, K. C. Chang, editor [Yale University Press:New Haven] 1977 (p. 158-163)

    "Restaurants have a very long history in China. At a time when fine food in western Europe was confined to a handful of great monestaries, the Song Dynasty capital, Kaifeng, supported hundreds of commercial food businesses and a rich gourmet culture... Some of the city's restaurants were so renowned that the emporer himself ordered out for their specialties; they could also cater the most elaborate banquets, in their own halls or at the homes of the wealthy. Kaifeng's many eateries also included teahouses where men could sip tea, gossip, and order snacks or full meals, as well as wineshops, which ere more popular at night... China's vibrant restaurant culture continued unabated through the end of the Qing Dynasty. The English clergyman John Henry Gray, one of the few Europeans with a serious interest in Chinese food, summed up the typical nineteenth-century urban eatery thus: 'The restaurants are generally very large establishments, consisting of a public dining-room and several private rooms. Unlike most of he buildings, they consist of two or three stories. The kitchen alone occupies the ground floor; the public hall, which is the resort of persons in the humbler walks of life, is on the first floor, and the more select apartments are on the second and third floors. They are, of course, resorted to by the wealthier citizens, but they are open to persons in all classes of society, and it is not unusual to see in them persons of limited means. At the entrance-door there is a table or counter at which the proprietor sits, and where each customer pays for his repast. The public room is immediately at the head of the first staircase, and is resorted to by all who require a cheap meal. It is furnised, like a cafe, with tables and chairs, a private room having only one table and a few chairs in it.'...All guests, rich and poor, entered the restaurant through the ground-floor kitchen, where they could judge for themselves the skill of the chefs, the quality of the roasted ducks, chickens, and pigs hanging from the ceiling...and the facility's cleanliness."
    ---Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States, Andrew Coe [Oxford University Press:New York] 2009 (p. 94-96)

    Chinese restaurants in the United States
    "...In 1847, the first Chinese immigrants settled in San Francisco and were followed by thousands who helped to build the transcontinental railways. The meals of hundreds of California families were influcenced by cooks who were Chinese and had been hired as housemen in middle-class homes. They seldom were permitted to prepare Oriental meals, but they held to their art of serving vegetables that do not lose their crispness or color...Other Chinese were cooks for the work gangs...In the early California Chinese restaurants there was a willingness to cater to customers--some proprietors served their non-Chinese clients only what they though those diners wanted, that is chop suey and fried steak. Better restaurants gained fame on San Francisco's Grant Avenue..."
    ---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, 2nd edition [Vintage Books:New York] 1981 (p. 166)

    "When mining and railroad work were no longer available and discrimination against the Chinese was at its peak, many Chinese men found work as cooks and later opened restaurants. These eateries served primarily foods of their native land to other Chinese patrons. Later they served much the same fare to those willing to try Chinese food...Rare among those who opened these Chinese eateries was a trained cook. Even more rare was someone from China who had a lot of experience eating fine food in restaurants. The immigrants were poor working-class men who cooked and served the foods they remembered eating before they left southern China. At first, they cooked with neither familiar ingredients nor any knowledge about the finer aspects of their own cuisine...Therefore, when they cooked for others in the United States, they prepared improvisations of foods they remembered. But, for their non-Chinese customers, they quickly learned that those in the United States liked beef, chicken, and other meats. So the early Chinese restaurant cooks made southern Chinese food with more animal protien than they would eat themselves. Chinese restaurants still emphasize meats and serve fewer vegetables than are commmonly served in China."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 235)

    First Japanese, Thai & Vietnamese restaurants in the USA.


    Surf & turf

    While meat and seafood have been served at the same meal since antiquity, food historians generally agree the pairing of "surf and turf," as we know it today, is a modern American convention. Fine dining establishments catering to elite diners craving both lobster and steak on the same plate were introduced in the last quarter of the 19th century. Think: Diamond Jim Brady.

    According to our dictionaries, food reference books, and magazine/newspaper databases, the term "surf & turf" belongs to the 20th century. More specifically, the 1960s-1970s. It appears to be connected with theme restaurants targeting young, budget-conscious clientele. Salad bars have a similar history. To date, none of our sources reveal the name of the person/place responsible for coining the phrase.

    "Surf'n'Turf. A term invented by American restauranteurs and their marketers for a dish that contains both seafood ad meat--a concept that strikes terror into pendantic European gastronomes."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 330)

    "Salad Bars, "Freshly Baked" Bread, and Surf & Turf...It was almost a given that a salad bar restaurant would be "themed." Victoriana was particuarly popular, and countless restaurants strove for that olde-tyme atmosphere--while serving completely modern food, of course. The Wall Street in Indianapolis featured surf and turf with a salad bar and "turn-of-the-century stock market decor."...The patrons of these restaurants were usually young..."
    ---"The Seventies," Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 222)

    Our survey of ads published in USA newspapers confirm the term "surf & turf" begin surfacing in the mid-1960s. Restaurant ads touted "Surf & Turf Combination" in papers across the country. The earliest print reference we have (so far) was published in the Eureka Humboldt Standard [CA], August 14, 1964 (p. 2). This article suggests the concept is relatively new: "An entree in restaurants in Portland [OR] is called surf and gurf--a combination of lobster and steak."---"Food With a Foreign Flair," Chicago Daily Defender, May 4, 1967 (p. 22) The oldest printed reference to "surf & turf" in The New York Times appeared in an advertisement for Chelsea Seafood Restaurants, December 27, 1968 (p. 18).

    A New York Times restaurant review for The Harbor, Parsippany NJ printed October 14, 1972 (p. 71) states "The ubiquitous surf and turf grill, which is America's favorite lobster and filet mignon combination, heads the list of main dishes." The term "ubiquitous" confirms general acceptance/popularity in the 1970s. Please note: A truly thorough search for "first mention" requires checking all variant spellings (surf and turf, surf'n'turf, surf-n-turf etc.).


    Take out

    The evolution of modern American take out (&
    take home) foods is a fascinating convergence of social history and packaging technology. A survey of articles published in the New York Times suggests the 1950s as the "start date" for modern take-home meals in the United States. This also coincides with the explosion of family restaurants, mainstream "ethnic" and backyard barbeques. Why? Returning WWII GI's settled their families in the suburbs. And then came television.

    "The term "take-out" describes both a style of eating and a growing list of prepared foods that consumers purchase from a restaurant or food stand and eat in another location. Delivery format, packaging, and types of food vary greatly, ranging from hamburgers to expensive gourmet fare, but all may be categorized as takeout because of this off-premise consumption. In the United States, take-out food is often viewed as synonymous with fast food...The concept of take-out food and the pracatice of buying prepared foods for consumption elsewhere date to early civilization. Roadside stands and food stalls in busy urban markets were commonplace in ancient Greece and Rome...Almost every culture in every era has had its version of take-out foods...Urban industrial workers in nineteeth-century America further popularized take-out foods. Food vendors sold various sausages and stews from carts outside factory gates, catering to workers with little time or money...In many urban areas, ethnic Italian and Chinese restaurants competed with early hamburger outlets for take-out customers. Small storefront pizzerias and "chow chow houses" sold inexpensive pizzas and Americanized Chinese foods on a primarily take-out basis. Using broad, flat white cardboard boxes for pizzas and small waxy paper cartons for chow mein and chop suey, these ethnic restaurants standardized distinctive take-out packaging that became synonymous with their foods. Although popular in city neighborhoods, ethnic restaurants long composed only a small share of the take-out industry. Automobiles revolutionized the take-out food industry, requiring larger-volume production and specialized delivery systems..."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 526-7)

    Pizza & Chinese: the "original" take out foods
    The earliest print reference we find for Chinese food delivery is this ad from the
    Kin-Chu Cafe,Los Angeles, circa 1920s. The earliest reference for pizza delivery is Casa D'Amore, Los Angeles, circa 1950s.

    A survey of historic New York Times articles indicates by the 1950s, pizza and Chinese were readily available. At least in the city. They were packaged in cardboard containers.

    "One of the most popular dishes in southern Italy, especially in the vicinity of Naples, is pizza--a pie made from a yeast dough and filled with any number of different centers, each one containing tomatoes. Cheese, mushrooms, anchovies, capers, onions and so on may be used. At 147 West Forty-eighth Street, a restaurant called Luigino's Pizzeria Alla Napoletana prepares authentic pizza, which may be ordered to take home. They are packed, piping hot, is special boxes for that purpose."
    ---"News of Food: Pizza, a Pie Popular in Southern Italy, is Offered Here from Home Consumption," Jane Holt, New York Times, September 20, 1944 (p. 19)

    "Hillside Inn [Richmond Hill, NY]...American & Chinese restaurant...Food Put up to Take Out."
    ---Christian Science Monitor, September 29, 1938 (p. 16)

    "Those who wish a ready-prepared hot Chinese dinner may call on several different establishments. The Midtown Chinese Rathskeller, 125 West Fifty-first Street, packs such well-known specialties of the Orient as chicken chow mein, subgum chicken chop suey and lobster a la Canton. Deliveries are made on fairly large orders....Most pizzerias have cardboard boxes large enough to hold even the hugest pizza so it may be carried home. But the Sorrento Restaurant and Pizzeria, 216 Avenue A, delivers this and several other typically Italian dishes as far uptown as Stuyvesant Town on the East Side. Assorted antipasto is 60 cents, manicotti 75 cents, chicken cacciatore with spaghetti, $1.25. Desserts are also of an Italian flavor; spumoni (25 cents a serving) is one."
    ---"News of Food: Ready-prepared Meal Services Offer Post-Holiday Respite for Home Cooks," New York Times, January 9, 1952 (p. 32)
    [NOTE: This article also mentions take-out Chinese and Japanese food sold in little cardboard containers. Other foods to go? Chicken dinners, casseroles, seafood and "TV suppers."]

    What about cleverly crafted handled paper cartons used for Chinese take out?
    They were "invented" in 1903 by Bloomer Brothers, a Rochester NY based paper company. The original intent? Oyster pails.

    "The white take-out carton is an amazingly elegant product. It is a simple design, yet it connotes so much: Chineseness, harried lifestyles, working mothers, cheap yet filling, late night, eating together without dining together, meal as afterthought... Pick up a white carton sometimes, and you'll likely see the name Fold-Pak inscribed unobtrusively on the bottom; this is the company that makes some two-thirds of the take-out containers in the country. The industry calls the cartons "food pails"... Tim Roach, a vice president...in the early twentieth century, the cartons were used to hold shucked oysters...At various points... the carton was used to hold ice cream, deli goods, and even goldfish at carnivals...Around World War II, the box found a different audience...Somehow...it worked its way into Chinese restaurants as the take-out container and it became the dominant package for Chinese takeout...Once it evolved into a container for Chinese food, the company put a generic Chinese design on it. The Pagoda was it...The demand for take-out boxes across the country is considerable, so the factory operates three shifts, twenty-four hours a day, nonstop."
    ---The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, Jennifer 8. Lee [Twelve:New York] 2008 (p. 139-140)

    "Q. I've long admired the simple-yet-elegant cardboard cartons Chinese restaurants use to deliver takeout orders. Do they come from China? A. Many come from Hazleton, Pa.,...about 100 miles from New York City. The cartons of folded cardboard, coated on the inside, with the wire handles, veritable icons of economy, ingenuity and simplicity, can hold everything from mu shu prk to won ton soup, retaining the dish's heat while releasing steam. The Fold-Pak corporation, based in Newark, N.Y. is the nation's largest manufacture of cardboard food pails for the restaurant and takeout food industry, and its Hazleton plant produces the majority of the containers used by New York City's Chinese restaurants. Robert E. Mullally, senior vice president of sales at Fold-Pak estimates that his company ships about 100 million of the cartons to New York City each year, where distributors sell them to restaurants. Fold-Pak cartons are available in plan white, or with a festive pagoda design...The company, originally named Bloomer Brothers, began manufacturing the containers shortly after 1900, when they were used as oyster pails...The company...became the Reigel Paper Corporation in the 1960's, then the Fold-Pak Corporation in 1977."
    ---"What Takeout Comes In," New York Times, June 1, 1997 (p. CY2)[NOTE: Bloomer Brothers incorporation notice was published in the New York Times April 19. 1903 (p. 18)

    Original USA patent, #902,932, C.T. Bloomer, November 3, 1908

    Take home meals
    "Take home" differs from "take out" in that it is marketed as a home meal replacement rather than fast food or ethnic fare. It is not necessarily cheaper nor is it always quickly prepared. What sells take home? Convenience and taste. Like take out, this dining option was introduced after World War II. Why? Restaurant survival 101: economics.
    Doggie bags, leftovers taken home from a restaurant meal, serve a different purpose.

    "Restaurant Chains Open Up New Field. Schraft's, Childs, Bickford's Selling Take-Home Meals to Augment Income. New Industry Trend Seen Prediction Made Housewife Soon Will Be Buying Family Dinners Like Groceries.
    Restaurant chains and independents here and throughout the rest of the country are building up new departments which sell meals for home consumption. The three chains here which are entering this field in a big way are Schraft's, Child's and Bickford's. In commenting on this development in the food field, Keith R. Mount, assistant merchandising manager of the Lily Tulip Cup Corporation, the company which furnishes most of the containers in which food for home consumption said yesterday: New Industry Trend "Restaurant sales of food for the home are definately a new industry trend. It won't be long before the average housewife will be buying take-home foods like groceries." Mr. Mount explained that the restaurant business was been sinking steadily the last few years. Operators can't raise prices any more without scaring away what little business they have, he said, but operating costs such as wages have continued to climb. Last year, he said, restaurant earned an average net profit of only about 2 per cent throughout the country and many of these eating places lost money...The take-home trade has come as a solution to the problem...restaurants which build up this type of trade can do so on exactly the same overhead and production facilities they already have to serve patrons at the tables...Consequently [Mr. Mount] said take-home sales are all plus business and should be sold at lower prices than regular restaurant meals because they eliminate waiters, dish washers, table linen, plate breakage and loss of utensils. One of the reasons given for increased demand for prepared meals was television in the home. Some restaurants in New York have regular television menus made up for take-home orders. In stressing the importance of saving the restaurant business from slipping any further, Mr. Mount estimated that the industry represents expenditures by the public of about $12,000,000 each year...take-home orders can easily become the difference between success and failure. Prelimary reports received by his company from all parts of the country show sales increases of 20 to 50 per cent in eating places which have installed take-home departments..."
    ---"Restaurant Chains Open Up New Field," New York Times, July 5, 1952 (p. 18)

    See also: fast food.


    Diners Club

    The modern credit card industry was launched in 1950 by three friends having dinner in a Manhattan restaurant. The card? The Diners Club. The meal is referred to as "The First Supper."

    The story
    "In 1949, Frank McNamara, head of the Hamilton Credit Corp., went out to eat with some of his buddies. At the dinner were Alfred Bloomingdale (grandson of the founder of Bloomingdale's department store) and Ralph Schneider, McNamara's attorney. The three men ate at Major's Cabin Grill- a famous New York City restaurant located next to the Empire State Building. At the end of the meal, McNamara reached for his wallet and was shocked to discover he'd forgotten it. He called his wife to bring him some cash and rescue him from embarrassment. McNamara vowed never to let this happen again. So he came up with the innovative concept of a card that could be used at multiple locations - with a middleman (Diners Club) between restaurants and their customers. In early 1950, McNamara issued 200 Diners Club cards to his associates who often went out to eat with clients. At that time, the cards were accepted at 14 New York City eateries. A customer could eat without cash at any restaurant accepting the cards. Diners Club would pay the restaurant and the cardholder would repay Diners Club."
    ---"The First Supper," Credit Union Magazine, October 2009 (p. 12)

    The restaurant
    "Cabin Grill
    33 West 33d:PEnnsylvania 6-9745 Glass-fronted, modernist rustic establishment serving excellent American fare, especially steaks, chops, and deep-dish fruit pies and other homelike desserts. Mine host is active in seeing that everybody is well taken care of. Good values. Special luncheon, club dinner, and a la carte. Bar and cocktail lounge. Closed Sundays."
    ---Knife and Fork in New York: Where to eat-What to order, Lawton MaCall [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] second edition, 1949 (p. 24)
    [NOTE: We are searching for a menu from this restaurant. If you have one, can you share?]

    "Majors Cabin Grill....World Famous Charcoal Broiled Steaks, Corned Beef & Cabbage."
    ---"Restaurant Guide," New York Times, September 13, 1955 (p. 27)

    “Major’s Cabin Grill Restaurant—famous landmark for fine food. Charcoal broiled steaks, prime ribs of beef, corned beef & cabbage. Smart Cocktail Lounge. Banquet facilities…Member Diners’ Club.”
    ---display ad, New York Times, March 7, 1956 (p. 37)

    The card & the club
    “As early as 1920, hotels, department stores and railroads issued cards to customers which charge accounts. Why not add a third party, the credit company, and allow one card to be used everywhere? McNamara and his lawyer persuaded two dozen restaurants to pay a small service charge and accept a piece of cardboard in lieu of cash. As Diners Club turned profitable in 1952, McNamara sold out.”
    ---“Frank McNamara,” Life special Fall 1990 issue “Most important Americans of the 20th Century,” Volume 13, No. 12 (p. 45)

    [1950]
    "Dining Out? Now...Only One Credit Card is your charge account in more than twenty better restaurants in and around New York participating in our plan. Ideal for Business Firms, Smart For Individuals. No charge for this Convenience. Typical member restaurants: The White Turkey...The Monte Carlo...Penthouse Club...Ruby Foo's...Townley's...Theodore's...La Ruban Bleu...Miller's...Larchmont Lodge...Major's Cabin Grill...Long Island Restaurants: Kings Village Inn...Villa Victor...Herb McCarthy's Bowden Square...Nino's. You receive only one statement monthly for business or social entertaining at any of our exclusive restaurants. Call or write today for application. the Diners' Club, Empire State Bldg., BR 9-4284."
    ---display ad, New York Times, April 5, 1950 (p. 51)

    [1954]
    “Four years ago three men got together in New York City and founded a little organization they called the Diners’ Club—the idea being that members could use a single credit card for a group of designated restaurants, hotels, auto rental, and floral establishments. The club now has more than 160,000 members…The founders began with nine restaurants on their list. Now there are more than 3,000 restaurants, hotels, and other businesses including establishments in such far away places as Switzerland, North Africa, and Hawaii. The club’s volume is approaching 3 million dollars a month. Ralph Schneider, New York City Attorney, and Alfred Bloomingdale, Los Angeles, a member of the New York department store family, were tow of the founders and now are co-owners of the club. The third of the trip of founders, Frank McNamara, sold his interest in 1951 to the other two…Schneider and Bloomingdale said recently …that the highest single bill ever run up by a club member was a $24,000 check charged to a card issued to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios on the west coast. The smallest is charged almost daily by a New York banker—35 cents for an ice cream soda at a Madison Av. Restaurant. Schneider said more than 85 per cent of the members pay their bills within 30 days.”
    ---“Club Grows from 3 Diners to 160,000 in Four Years,” Chicago Daily Tribune, October 24, 1954 (p. A13)

    [1958]
    “Eight years ago a man named Frank McNamara who was in the commercial credit business reached for his wallet to pay a check at a Manhattan restaurant and found he had no money. He called his wife in Long Island who journeyed over the river carrying the cash in her pocket and a hot look in her eye. The next day McNamara spoke to his partner, one Ralph Schneider, about organizing a credit service to that New York businessmen could eat their meals at a wide assortment of restaurants and get the bill at the end of the month. The result of McNamara’s lapse is a million dollar business largely dominated by the company he helped to form=--the Diners’ Club. It now has more than 800,000 card carrying members who sigh now and pay later at 17,000 establishments world over. With the Diners’ Club charge card, which is issued in the form a a small directory and costs $5 a year, a traveler can charge a bauernwurst in the Kurfustenkeller in Cologne, an aquamarine ring at Stern’s in Rio De Janiero, or an Oriental bath at the Tokya Onsen on the Ginza. At the end of the month he gets one bill from the Diners’ Club. Attached to it are duplicates of the chits mailed in from any place on the globe where he flashed his card during the prior thirty days. Six times a year the subscriber also gets a magazine published by the Diners’ Club, chock full of travel articles geared to entice him to more trips (where he will dine and sign). So many people have been nibbling and scribbling that the Diners’ Club year ending last March came to $92 million. August of 1958 was fifty per cent higher than August of 1957, and the million and a quarter bitter than any other month in Diners’ Club history. A compelling reason for the increase is the stricter set of rules laid down by the Internal Revenue Department requiring spenders to itemize reimbursed expenditures. Another, is the pleasant club-like feeling that derives from walking into a beanery and paying for dinner with a card instead of cash. On the other hand, it is no secret…that a charge account customer will spend up to thirty per cent more if he doesn’t have to count out the greenbacks on the spot.”
    ---“Just Write It on the Tab, Joe,” Horace Sutton Washington Post and Times Herald, September 21, 1958 (p. C14)

    “The first charge card is said to have appeared in February 1950. After dining at Major’s Cabin Grill in Manhattan, Frank McNamara was embarrassed to discover that he had left his wallet in another suit. His wife paid the bill, but the experience left him thinking about a better solution. At a later meal at Major’s McNamara presented a small cardboard card bearing his signature, which he called a diner’s club card, and said he wanted to sign for the meal the way members at a private club do and be billed later. He was well known at Major’s, and the restaurant decided to accept his idea. Encouraged, Mr. McNamara and his lawyer founded Diners Club…The first card was offered to 200 people, mostly Mr. McNamara's friends and acquaintances. Fourteen Manhattan restaurants agreed to accept it. A year later, the company estimated that 42,000 Americans were carrying the card and that more than 330 businesses were accepting it. Membership cost $3 a year. At first, all cards were charge cards, remaining that balances had to be paid in full each month. Revolving credit cards, which charge interest and allow customers to make partial payments each month, were introduced in 1951 in New York City by Franklin National Bank.”
    ---“Credit Cards at 50: The Problems of Ubiquity,” New York Times, March 12, 2000 (p. BU11)

    The man
    “Frank X. McNamara, who founded the Diners Club in New York and built it into a $6,000,000-a-year enterprise within two years, died yesterday…His age was 40. Mr. McNamara established the Diners Club, with offices in the Empire State Building, in 1950. He was its president until 1952, when he left to become a sales executive for a lumber company. The Diners Club idea is said to have occurred to Mr. McNamara when he dined out one evening and discovered that he had left his wallet in another suit. He telephoned to his wife to hurry to the restaurant with money to pay his check. He determined then to devise a means of sparing diners from similar embarrassment. Born in Brooklyn, he was an Army veteran of World War II. “ ---“Frank McNamara of Diners Club Dies,” New York Times, November 11, 1957 (p. 29)

    Perfect storm stories spark questions:

    1. Where would Mr. McNamara have kept his credit card if not in his (absent) wallet?
    2. Why didn’t Mr. McNamara's lawyer and the banker friend dining partners offer to pick up the tab?
    3. If Mr. McNamara was a “regular” at Major’s, why didn’t the manager “comp” the meal and let him pay the following day?
    4. Accepting that Mr. McNamara's only payment recourse was calling his wife to bail him out? We wonder: What was Mrs. McNamara thinking when traveling from Long Island home to Manhattan at night to rescue her forgetful husband?
    5. Was this a brilliant marketing yarn conceived and launched by three financial-savvy friends?
    6. What was eaten at the "first supper?"
    Marketing and reach
    The Diners' Club was advertised in upscale travel and leisure magazines. This advertisement confirms the card's reach extended past local dining establishments.
    "Here's what you carry with you when you carry a Diners' Club card: The convenience of charging travel on all major domestic airlines, and on many international airlines and ocean carriers as well...and the option to do so on a regular credit basis or on a time-payment plan with up to 24 months to pay...the convenience of charging accomodations and dining at the world's finest hotels, motels, and restaurants...the convenience of charging gifts and store purchases, car rentals, and gas an services at gasoline stations all over the world. And now, another Diners' Club facility, Cook's Travelers Cheques, is added to make traveling eaier for you. Diners' Club members can, upon presentation of theri Diners' Club card, secure Cook's Travelers Cheques with their own personal check at nearly 500 Thos. Cook & Son or Diners' Club offices throughout the world. This important new service enables Diners' Club members to carry the world's most respected and widely accepted travelers cheques instead of cash. Cook's Travelers Cheques are more than a service...they are an economy. most travelers cheques cost $1 per $100. Cook's still cost only 75 cents per $100. Remember, to travel, you still need only your Diners' Club card and Cook's Travelers Cheques. It makes sense to carry the world's most important credit credential. If you are not already a member of The Diners' Club, you should be. Fill out this application and send it today to: The Diners' Club, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, New York 10019."
    ---full page advertisement, Holiday (magazine), Sepbember 1965 (p. 1).
    [NOTE: Includes illustration of the
    Diners Club Credit Card and application form. The annual fee is $11.00]


    Doggie bags

    Long before American restaurants offered "doggie bags," hungry consumers welcomed the opportunity to take home surplus foods from grand tables. From ancient times forward, wealthy diners took their pleasure from opulent tables. It was common practice to distribute leftovers to less fortunate folks (vassals, slaves, servants) and scavenging animals (dogs & pigs). A Second Harvest of epic historic social proportion.

    Modern western restaurants were founded on the concept of egalitarian dining. Ability to pay trumped socio-economic privilege. Urban freestanding restaurants catered to a wide variety of clientele. 19th century NYC wealthy dined at Delmonicos and the Fifth Avenue Hotel. Opulence, overabundance, & variety were the period's hallmarks of fine dining establishments. In a time when excess was valued, the concept of taking some of that (paid for, well cooked) excess home was eschewed. Gauche. Verboten. Medieval-style privilege social legacy loomed large centuries later. About leftovers.

    This may account for the conflicted acceptance of the modern "doggie bag." Today this is an economic no-brainer. In the 1960s this novel practice was a core of hot social debate. Primary sources confirm the practice of taking the uneaten portion of one's meal home from a restaurant was not universally embraced.

    Our survey of primary historic American sources confirms the term "doggie bag" (aka bowser bag, bow wow bag, doggy bag) dates to the early 1960s. One of earliest print reference [1963] might surprise you. If the article is accurate, the some "doggie bags" were actually filled with leftovers from a dog's meal in a fine California restaurant.

    The Oxford English Dictionary traces the term "doggie bag" in print to this 1964 reference: "More and more, the food in U.S. restaurants seems to be going to the dogs--going there is papers sacks called Bowser Bags and Bow-Wow Bags...diners-out have grown so insistent on taking home the leftovers on their plates that restaurant supply houses now sell millions of special greaseproof containers for this purpose each year...All too frequently, complain restaurant owners, guests use doggie bags to haul off pilfered ashtrays, pepper mills, and silverware." ---"In the Bag," Time, September 4, 1964 (p. 53)."

    "Doggie bag...Although leftovers have long been packed up for customers, the term "doggie bag" dates in print to 1963. Two claims have been made for the idea under that name, Lawry's Prime Rib, a Los Angeles restaurant that dates it usage back to the 1930s, and the Old Homestead Steak House in New York City, whose owner, Harry Sherry, also began to use the term in the 1930s."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 113)
    [NOTE: 1930s claims are referenced in 1988 (see below).]

    "Doggy bag (or Doggie bag)...Early references are from the states of Washington and California in America during the 1940s. They certainly presume the dog as beneficiary. The Pet Packit was a model of bag in San Francisco in 1943."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2007 (p. 253)

    Doggie bags in the news:
    [1957]

    "It was a pleasant surprise--in a small world department--when we strolled into Ralph Schafer's Steak House, The Golden Spur to be greeted by two smiling faces...Ralph uses only Milsteads choice eastern beef that one can order with confidence. Some of our 20 oz. went home in a bowswer bag!"
    ---"Golden Spur New & Food's Sensational," Norman Johnson, Independent Star-News [Pasadena CA], August 25, 1957 (p. 23)

    "The practice of toting leftovers for the dogs from meals at psoh restaurants is widespread. The diner has only to ask for a Pup Pouch, a Rover Sack, or a Fido Bag and the same is delivered with a smile, the theory being that the mutt at home is entitled to a fair share of the goodies. But there are some wrinkles about this custom that have been wrinkling me in my puzzlement department. As a long-time friend of dogs, I am wondering what new breeds must have come into being. Are there really dogs that eat head lettuce with Roquefort dressing, candied yams, poppyseed rolls, grapes, assorted relishes and French fries? Steak bones and the tage engs of sirloin are easy to understand, as are the framework of lamb chops. But what kind of dog is it that conshumes lobster shells, oyster shells and petit fours?...Something is going on here. Someone is saving bargabe as a memento of a meal away from home. Food is being toted away from restaurants to nonexistent dogs. I have seen sacks filled ot the to and packed in by restaurant patrons who do not even like dogs. I have seen dog-despisers tote enough foodstuff away from a scrumptious meal to keep a would at bay for a week. The nonor system has broken down. It is time for restaurant proprietors in demand of dog tags of toter before giving them a sack. Or at the very least, it is time to check the pretense that all food which leaves restaurants in waterproof bags purporting to be for the benefit of mutts really goes to the dogs. What those sacks have been turned into is some cases is Snack Sacks, for taht empty feeling. And when you think of what goes into then and gets all mixed up together, how hungry can a freelance garbage collector get?"
    ---"Going to the Dogs?" Truman Twill, Portsmout-Times [OH], October 10, 1057 (p. 6)

    [1962]
    "Everything about a good meal is good to the last bite, which is hearasy when we slow eaters dine away from home. we neber get to the last bite. In the contest to determine who can ingest the most groceries in the least time we aren't entered. We're bystanders...As children, we were made to chew our food well...Besides a carryover from our early training, many of us have carried away by the idea the table is an ideal place for converstaion; that this distinguishes it from a feed trough...It is not pleasant to keep on chewing under these circumstances. The stomach contracts and feels full. The mouth gets dry and the jaws grow tired. Sometimes the only way out is to ask for a bowser bag on the pretexct of taking the uneaten part home to a friend. And all this discomfiture is caused by the food-wolfing that goes on all about us for no reason, except that people never learned how much more fun it is to savor each bite on the way down and to linger over it like a lover lingers over a kiss. People are not, after all, lions and tigers. They are not even dogs, which still bolt their food because instinct warns them that if they dawdle over it another dog may get it and them too."
    ---"The Last Man," Truman Twill, Steubenville Herald-Star [OH], December 19, 1962 (p. 6)

    [1963]
    "As you may or may not know, Fairchild's, the restaurant on La Ciegna, has very plush kennels where you can leaver your dog while you are dining. What's more, they'll give the dog a fine dinner, too. When a couple left their dog in there the other night, he didn't finish his dinner. So, they asked the waiter to put the remainder in a doggie bag--to take home to the cat!"
    ---"Wry Thoughts About a Rim Go," Art Ryon, Los Angeles Times, December 12, 1963 (p. A6)
    [NOTE: In the early 1960s, La Ciegna Blvd. Los Angeles enjoyed a national reputation as "restaurant row." Our survey of period city newspapers confirms the popularity/commonality of doggie bags emanating from this dining mecca 1964 forwards.]

    [1964]
    "My blond wifemate and I celebrated St. Patrick's Day by eating spaghettin at Dominicks' Spaghetti House on Oxnard boulevard last night. Dominick gives you more than you could every possibly eat, and he has a clever little gimmick to take care of the surplus. He stuffs the leftovers into a aluminum box, which you can hake home and toss in the refrigerator. Then, when you next feel like spaghetti, all you have to do is place the whole git, box and all, into the oven and heat it. And, it's quite good the second time around. This is a clever idea. Sort of an Italian bowser bag."
    ---"St. Patrick's Day: will the Real Irish Stand Up?" Don W. O'Martin, Press-Courier [Oxnard CA], March 18, 1964 (p. 38)

    "One of the best cuts of meat of meat is the Porterhouse. But, very few restaurants in town serve this delicious steak. However, Ollie Hammond's Steak House on La Ciegna does...The thing measures about half an acre, is this thick and is prepared with loving care...With a complete dinner...the tab,...was about $5.50. What I couldn't consume, incidentally, really bulged the Bowser Bag."
    ---"Roundabout," Art Ryon, Los Angeles Times, April 20, 1964 (p. C12)

    [1967]
    "Once upon a time when a restaurant patron asked for a doggie bag to take home an uneaten portion of steak there was the pretense that it was really for the dog. Such nonsense has long been stopped. Restaurants now encourage patrons to take home surplus meat and many have special doggie bags for it. And it is understood that the customer, not a dog, will eat it."
    ---"This Bowser Bag Ting I Nearing the Outer Limits!," Matt Weinstock, Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1967 (p. A)

    [1968]
    "Dear Mrs. Post: I recently had dinner with my son and his family at a fine restaurant. Two small loaves of fresh home-made bread were served at each table, of which we ate little. The children's plates contained large breasts of chicken--which they left untouched. Prior to leaving, I requested the waitress to bring me--if available--a wax paper bag. She brought me a bag with the name of the restaurant imprinted on it. I took the remainder of the uncut bread and a large chicken breast an d placed them in the bag, which I took with me. Was this a breach of etiquette? I have seen it done many times in good places. Sheila P...Dear Mrs. P.: I do not approve of taking leftover food such as pieces of meat home from restaurants. A loaf of bread from which a slice or two has been cut with a knife, and which has not been on a plate with other food, used utensils, gravy, etc., is another matter. Restaurants provide 'doggy bags' for bones to be taken to pets, and generally the bags should be restricted to that use."
    ---"Save Doggie Bag for Use of the Dog," Elizabeth L. Post, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 1968 (p. M4)

    [1980]
    "They may be doggy bags, poodle packs, bone bags, Fido bags, bow-wow bags, cat sacks, un-doggie bags or people bags. Manufacturers such as Chicag's Bagcraft Corp. are turning them out by hundreds of millions...They come with poetry, restaurant logs, art and doggy warnings...'Seventeen years ago, a doggy bag was unthinkable in our type of restaurant,' said Louis Szathmary, chef and owner of the Bakery, Chicago. 'Ten years ago, they might think, but they wouldn't ask. Lately, there are few nights when somebody does not ask for a piece of beef, duck, or pheasant to be packed. Szathmary sees it as spinoff of the tightening economy, but elsewhere there are restaurants elevating the idea to chic. At Boston's elegant Cafe Budapest, a matron looked at the Viennese sweets beckoning from the dessert tray. Her eyes says 'yes!' Her conscience said, 'No!' Assistant maitre d'hotel Brian Angelo quietly and gracefully suggested that 'perhaps later, madame might enjoy?' The pastries were delivered to her table in a white box. In Washington D.C., at The Big Cheese, a place to see and be seen in Georgetown, a couple applauded when waiter Peter White presented their doggy bag in the shape of a silvery swan...'They look more like party favors than leftovers.' But one man's edible extra is another's garbage. There are believers and non-believers...Lois Lindauer, international director of Diet Workshop is a believer: 'Doggy bags are great for dieters. Eye-measure the portion you ought to eat and take the rest home. It makes good diet sense, as well as good dollar sense.' Jean Voltz, food editor of Woman's Day is a believer. In fact, the contents of her bags are even tastier the second time in wok suppers, omelets or soups...Paul Kovi, co-owner of New York City's Four Seasons, is staunchly against it...'I find the idea offensive...'...Author Roy Andries de Groot thinks Alexandre Dumas might have been responsible for the doggy bag. He cites a note Dumas wrote to his friend Jules Janin: 'I made a salad of foie gras which pleased my guests so well that when Ronconi could not come, he sent for his share of the salad which was taken to him in a dish covered by a bag under a great umbrella, so that the rain might not soak the bag and no foreign matter might spoil the dish. 'I am an inveterate demander of doggy bags,' says De Groot. 'Even if the food is bad, I insist on taking it just to throw it away. It is a small project against gross portions at gross prices.'...'It's become the thing to do,' says human-behavior expert Dr. Richard Gelles...'When the economy goes berserk, behavior changes. In a double-digit-inflation time, the rewards for asking for a doggy bag exceed the cost of losing fact...''Social status will have an effect. If you feel superior to those who are serving you, you don't care about their opinion and will ask for the leftovers. If you feel inferior, you will worry about losing face, perhaps leave an entire extra dinner on your plate.'...says Elizabeth Post, author of 'The New Emily Post Etiquette.' 'Doggy bagging can be extremely gauche in a fine restaurant. But in a place it does not matter, why not? You've paid for it.' It even happens at the White House, although executive chef Henry Haller says 'Never!'"
    ---"Doggy Bags Come Out of the Doghouse," Barbara Burtoff, Los Angeles Times, June 22, 1980 (p. T99)

    [1988] "They come in a number of guises-including the plain white unlined variety, leaking meat juices. Others are decorated with pictures of poodles and thoughtfully lined with plastic. There are undoubtedly people out there who've never said the words, "Could I have a doggie bag?"-but their numbers are probably dwindling. At least 20 million people have walked out of just one family of restaurants, Lawry's the Prime Rib in Los Angeles, carrying a telltale bag whose contents Lawry's, in fact, claims to have been the first restaurant in the country to supply its customers with those little bags into which diners could stuff the last bits of their T-Bones and carry them home with dignity. To date, Lawry's -celebrating its 50th year in business-has passed out some 20 million doggie bags since the first one went out the door in the late 1940s. If the first doggie bags were plain paper affairs, they have improved considerably over the years. Some restaurants provide foil-lined bags, to save your car seats."
    ---"Sorry Bowser the Doggie-Bag isn't Really For Your Pet," Karen Evans, Chicago Tribune, October 2, 1988 (Dining, p. 11)


    Concessions: sports & leisure

    Modern concession stands and vending practices descend from ancient
    street vendors. These saavy caterers capitalized on the empty stomaches convening at mass gatherings. Where there are people away from home, there is food to be sold. Then, as today, some folks relish foods sold on site while others delight in supplying their edibles and quaffables.

    Bake sales
    The practice of raising funds (as well as donating labor & materials) for charitable causes dates back to the dawn of civilization. Modern bake sales descend from this venerable tradition. The general purpose of a bake sale is an inexpensive way to raise funds for a common cause. Bake sales are hosted by churches, schools, scouts, community organizations and library volunteers.

    The Oxford English Dictionary (online edition) traces the first print reference to a bake sale (as a fundraising event) to 1902. This term is used in North America/USA. Earliest references pop up in local newspapers in the eastern states. By WWI, the term is common. Presumably it was a favorite way of Ladies Aid Societies to raise money for their causes. It is interesting to note that earliest reference are connected to churches. Such was also the case of ice cream socials. "bake sale n. orig. N. Amer. a sale of donated (and usually home-made) baked goods, held as a fundraising event. 1902 Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) 21 Sept. 14/2 The ladies of the Baptist Church held a bake sale. 1949 N. JONES For Goodness' Sake 60 You then speak of the Bake Sale the previous Saturday and grow lyrical about the home-made bread offered there. 2006 Luton Today (Nexis) 24 Mar., There were cakes galore at Ashton Middle School when it held a bake sale in aid of charity."

    [1907: New Brunswick NJ]
    "The social and bake sale held at the home of Rev. E. J. Meeker under the aucpices of the ladies of the Highland Park Reformed Church last evening was a very pleasant and successful event. About thirty dollars was cleared. Violin music was rendered by Miss Catherine Craven accompanied on the piano by Miss Ethel Flemming."<
    ---"Bake Sale a Success," Daily Times [New Brunswick NJ] April 20, 1907 (p. 5)

    Baseball concessions
    Most baseball history books skip the contributions made by caterers, vendors, and concessionaires who worked hard to feed hungry fans. Presumably, the foods consumed by the earliest baseball fans in the late 19th century were similar to those available in outdoor/sporting venues. Foods served at late 19th century American fairs, race tracks, circuses, railroad stops, and such tended to be portable and simple. These included sandwiches,
    peanuts, ice cream, soft drinks, beer, cotton candy, and yes, the ubiquitous hot dog. Foods sold in baseball stadiums vary according to local place and taste. The menu selections at Fenway and Yankee Stadium are understandably different. Chowder in Fenway; hot pretzels (with mustard) in Philadelphia; Nathan's Famous in New York. Then, as today, wealthy people were generally accomodated with finer dining options: outdoor tea rooms and full-service restaurants. Foods served to fans in the stands were typically hawked by young men who worked very hard for little money. Then, as today, prices were high. Why? Captive audiences in hot outdoor venues have no other option. The history of baseball concessions, as an industry, begins (according to some) with Harry M. Stevens. He is also credited for introducing the hot dog to the American public. Notes here:

    "Harry M. Stevens, formerly resident of this city [Toledo OH], and now manager of the catering privileges at both the Polo Grounds, American League Grounds, and Madison Square Garden."
    ---"Cup for Bresnahan," New York Times, January 28, 1909 (p. 7)

    Baseball & hot dogs
    "Consider the plight of the hot dog. Here is an American institution that has quietly and modestly served the nation for more than half a century with far too little recognition. Why has this gross injustice been perpetrated in a country so proud of its record for fairness and equality? Because the hot dog has no know birthday...no one can point a finger to any specific day and say "This was the start of the hot dog and shall be celebrated ever forevermore." Historians admit that the hot dog was born on a cold day in the Eighteen Nineties, but even the exact year remains obscure. The scene of the momentious event was the [New York] Polo Grounds. Cold winds whipped in off Coogan's Bluff and the baseball fans shivered in the stands. A young English-born concessionaire named Harry M. Stevens was purveying his peanuts and scorecards, but the weather spurred him to history-making action. He recalled that a near-by butcher shop had an assortment of sausages hanging in the window, and he sent a boy to buy ten dozens of them. Mr. Stevens dispatched another lad to purchase rolls from a bakery. He tossed the wieners into a huge pot half-filled with water and boiled them on the clubhouse stove. He sliced the rolls and inserted the hot wieners in them, then told his venders: "Those people are frozen. Go out there and yell, 'red hots, red hots.' The people will buy these red hots if you yell loud enought. Within ten minutes, the red hots were sold, and Mr. Stevens, who went on to become a famous caterer, had a new item for his concession. But the saga of the hot dog was not without its moments of tribulation. T.A. (Tad) Dorgan, the cartoonist, began to characterize the "red hot" in his sketches as a dachshund between an elongated bun, and he called it the "hot dog." This quite naturally started some person wondering what went into the manufacture of the tasty product, and the hot dog business suffered a severe recession about 1910. The hot dog had an indomitable spirit, though, and fought its way back to popularity."
    ---"Topics of the Times: An American Institution," New York Times, August 20, 1953 (p. 26)

    [1924]
    "The frankfurter world is agog. There is a profound stir to peanut circles. The possings of gingre ale, sarsaprilla, and spruce-beer are heaving restlessly. Their big day is at hand--the opening of the baseball season in New York. It takes place on Tuesday next at the Polo Grounds, with the Giants entertaining the Brookly Team. Out at the ballpark the fan of today is not merely a spectator. He is a consumer, and a voracious one, at that. Refreshments are not incidental with him. They are part of the game, as much as the seventh inning stretch or the scramble for balls hit into his section of the stand. It will require more than 200 white-coated salesmen-waiters to serve him on Tuesday. On some double-headers his appetite and thirst will keep as many as 250 energetic young men in constant motion. Eating and drinking at the ball game had a modest beginning, according to Harry Stevens, who feeds the fans at the Polo Grounds and at the Yankee Stadium, as well as at the homes of both the Boston teams. In 1894, when he took up this work, the menus were confined to ham and cheese sandwiches, and the only number on the wine list was beer, retailing at 5 cents, with no extra charge for the generous depth of foam...Foodless ball games. Fans weren't particularly hungry in those days, Mr. Stevens reports. The 'hustlers' employed to circulate food were vigorous to a point the uncouth at times, yet ball-game patrons seemed to prefer to do their eating in more conventional environment. Attendances rarely exceeded 3,000, and few persons cared for even Mr. Stevens's nice sandwiches, although the taste for beer on warm days did not disclose any incipient sentiment favoring prohibition. The peanut quietly took its place onh the roster of things to eat at the ball park. It was considered somewhat of a stranger at first, possibly being regarded as having lost its way while being shipped to some circus to join its fiancee, pink lemonade. Take it from Mr. Stevens, there will never be a wedding between the goober and the crimson citrus concoction, so far as being national-pastime provender is concerned. The New York fan has learned to love the peanut, but his coldness toward lemonade rivals that of the wildly heralded frigidity of the drink itself. 'No,' said Mr. Stevens discussing this matter 'for some reason or other the fans hearabout do not care much for lemonade. The day can be as warm as toast and the lemonade as cold as ice, and still wouldn't mean anything to them. Even with their coats off and their collars wilted, the fans do not heed the music of the ice clinking in the glass. 'For their thirst since beer has departed, they choose ginger ale, sarsparilla, and near-beer. But it is comparatively recently that they have gotten around to taking these soft drinks with any seriousness and in any great quantities. When beer was swept away the fans had to train their palates to the taste of what the law allows; but trainig has been completed by this time. 'There are some and refreshments that the New York fan doesn't care for at all. Popcorn was once in high favor at most amusement places, and we thought we would introduce it to the fans in a big way. We bought a roaster, one of those with a glass case showing the popcorn popping around like big snow flakes in a blizzard...'New Yorkers, contrary to the report, are not cake-eaters. At least those who go to ball games are not. We made an attempt to market cakes attractively put up, but the frankfurter devotees would not leave off their favorite viand long enough to give the newcomers a chance to make good. 'Ham and cheese sandwiches had things to themselves for the first fifteen years of my time in the ball parks. When frankfurters were introduced they were sold at the back of the grandstand. If I were poetic I would say that one touch of the frankfurter made the whole world kin. At the counters at the rear of the Polo Grounds you would find a prominent banker eating a frankfurter and drinking a glass of beer, and beside him would be a truck driver doing precisely the same thing. Both had hurried out to the game, and this was their lunch. 'Coffee wasn't introduced until eight or nine years ago. It has become one of the most popular beverages at the ball park. We always thought there wouldn't be any call for it, and we didn't handle it. On several chilly early season days a baseball writer chided us for not having any hot coffee on sale. We decided to try it. Apparently it answered a need. 'The excitment and the fresh air of the ball game appear to sharpen the appetites even of dyspeptics. When the desire for refreshments meets up with a tempting-looking frankfurter, it is good-bye to the latter. The sale of frankfurters was increased by several hundred percent when our boys began purveying them up and down the aisles.' The taste of the Western fan differs somewhat from that of the Eastern. The Westerner is partial to lemon soda, which receives scant attention from New Yorkers. Popcorn, which had so ignoble a career in this city, is a piece de resistance at Toledo, where Mr. Stevens also had the commissary concession. The appeal of frankfurters and peanuts, he declared, is national."
    ---"Ball Fans Must Eat," New York Times, April 13, 1924 (p. XX2)

    [1955]
    "The cry of "play ball" at today's opening game of the world series will find few happier or busier New York business men than the four Stevens brothers. The reason? They hold the food and drink concessions at the Yankee Stadium and Ebbetts Field, where all the series games will be played. Although the Yankees did not clinch a series berth until last Friday, Harry M. Stevens, Inc., started ordering and preparing foodstuffs several weeks ago...Some Stevens employees worked through last night, putting the finishing touches to the mountains of peanuts, hot dogs, ice cream, soda pop, beer and sandwiches...More than 500 Stevens employees will report for work today, beginning at 5AM. They include chefs, checkers, cashiers, countermen, accountants, bookeepers and vendors. The normal complement of vendors is about 100, but more than 300 will be garbed in white uniforms for today's game...An experienced vender can make about $25 on a good day...The Stevens company was founded at the turn of the century by Harry M. Stevens. When he died in 1934, he was acclaimed for having parlayed a bag of peanuts into a million dollars...Harry Stevens is credited with having popularized the frankfurter. It happeed at the Polo Grounds, before World War 1, on a day when cold weather was curtailing sales. In desperation, the late Mr. Stevens hit upon the idea of boiling dachshund sausages and serving the hot on rolls. Thomas A. Dorgan, the cartoonist known as "Tad," heard about this new delight and shortened the name to hot-dog. Today, about six and one-half billion hot dogs are sold annually in the United States. Although most storekeepers grill their frankfurters, the Stevens company still boils them...The amount to food to be prepared each day depends upon the weather and event. Race track fans are the biggest spenders, per person, but they do not buy peanuts. They're usually too busy with pencil and program to take time to shell them. The poorest spenders are football fans. They are too bundled with clothing and gloves to reach into their pockets for a coin. Locale is another factor that determines what sports fans will eat. In the Middle West, fans prefer hamburgers to hot dogs. Western crowds will not buy popcorn, but it is a bigger seller than peanuts in the Middle West. Fans in most parts of the nation rent seat cushions, but New Yorkers shun them."
    ---"Stevens Brothers Heavily Favored in Series," Carl Spielvogel, New York Times, September 28, 1955 (p. 43)

    Who was Harry Stevens?
    Tribute from a friend: "The extraordinary career of an adventurous spirit drew to a quiet close the other evening when Harry Mozley Stevens passed away. He was known best as the 'Hot Dog King' and the many who 'parlayed a peanut into a million dollars.' But to those who had the pleasure of knowing him intimately, he was much more than that. His biography would read like a romance. He came to this country practically peniless and piled up a fortune. He worked before an open hearth in a steel mill in Niles, Ohio, until a strike closed the mill and put him on the roadside. For two years, wiht a growing family, he couldn't pay his rent. The man who owned his house was an elderly German. The old German didn't worry. 'You are hgones. You are a worker. You will succeed. And you will pay me when you can,' said the landlord. It was all true, with something to spare. When Harry Stevens became a rich man he did not forget the old German. In fact, he never forgot a friend. He worked with a pick and shovel on the county roads to pay off his poll tax. He became an intinerate bookseller, a native of England peddling 'Irish Orators and Oratory' in the United States...He enjoyed it... From bookselling, a field in which he gained many friends but little money, he turned to take his first real step on the road to fame and fortune. He invaded the sports field, getting the score-card concession at the ball park in Columbus, Ohio. From that start he went steadily ahead to become the caterer and generaly concessoinaire at all the big race tracks in the East except Pimlico, five major league ball parks and smaller amusement places galore...It was William C. Whitney who insisted that he run the restaurant at the Saratoga track...It was August Belmont who called him in when he was getting ready to open Belmont Park and said: 'Name your own terms. You've got to set the table here.'...[Stevens] did the catering at the big polo matches and the big auto shows. He knew everybody in sports...He had friends who were powers in politics or finance...Caterer in the old Madison Square Garden, he knew all the famous figures that dined in the roof restaurant there. He was talking with Stanford White there one evening while a man paced up and down near by, waiting for Harry Stevens to leave the architect's table. The impatient man was Harry K. Thaw. When Harry Stevens finished his conversation and walked away Harry Thaw advanced on Stanford White and shot him. Harry Stevens was at the old Savoy hotel until it closed. He was the last one to leave and the last meal was served in his room. He moved to the old Waldorf-Astoria and once again hewas the last diner to eat and the last tenant to move...[Stevens] was a great one for going to the theatres...He was fond of quoting, especially poetry...He worked hard and he waxed wealthy, he never forgot the days when he pawned hes wife's wedding ring to buy food for the children...He was belligerantly proud of three things: his English heritage, his United States Citizenship and the success he had bained by unswerving honesty, undaunted courage and bulldog persistency."
    ---"Sports of the Times: Harry Mozley Stevens," John Kieran, New York Times, May 5, 1934 (p. 15)

    "Peanuts have been associated with baseball almost from the beginning. This relationship had been immortalized by the lyricist Jack Norworth and the composer Albert von Tilzer in their 1908 song 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game.' However, the peanuts sold at baseball games were not freshly roasted and were frequently stale. Some attempts were made to correct this. The Brooklyn Dodgers...recognized the problem and announced that all peanuts sold at the ballpark would be roasted that same day. Vendors proudly announced, 'Jumbo peanuts, roasted on premises daily, sold at Ebbetts Field, 10 cents.' Unshelled roasted peanuts continued to be sold a baseball stadiums until the owners concluded that the cost of cleaning up the shells was far greater than the revenue generated by their sale."
    ---Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea, Andrew F. Smith [University of Illinois Press:Urbana IL] 2002 (p. 48)

    How much did it cost to eat at ball stadiums?
    Then, as today, newspaper articles bemoan the high prices charged by
    park concessionaires. Through time, hungry and thirsty captive sports fans shell out big bucks, accepting high prices as part of the "experience." We have no clue what prices were charged at the New York Polo Grounds in 1909. Our search through old newspapers, baseball history books, and food history resources revealed neither prices nor photos.

    The research experts at the Baseball Hall of Fame [Cooperstown NY] kindly supplied programs listing foods & prices from 1915, 1936, 1937 & 1958.

    [1933]
    "Put drinking fountains in all ball parks. Also reduce the war time prices asked for beverages, hot dogs, etc. If such prices are necessary because of the high cost of the concession have ball clubs deal with the concessionaire on more liberal terms."
    ---"What's Wrong With Baseball," Frederick G. Leib, Los Angeles Times, February 10, 1933 (p. A10)

    [1956]
    "The only beef we've got with [Stevens Brothers] is the outlandish price you have to pay for a two-swallow soft drink, a cold hot dog or a warm beer...But, it's by the hip pocket they've got you and you either go thirsty or shell out...But a lot of fans by the fifth inning are feeling no pain and they pay up without a gripe..."
    ---Lima News [OH], July 25, 1956 (p. 24)

    [2010]
    Concession prices, Yankee Stadium, Bronx New York, July 4, 2010:

    Hot dog (Hebrew National or Nathan's, standard 6" size), $5.50
    Premio Sweet Sausage (with peppers & onions, on 12 inch roll), $8.00
    USDA Steak (chopped with peppers & onions, 12 inch roll), $15.00
    1/2 lb. Yankee Burger, $12.00
    Chicken Kabobs, $6.00
    Yankee Burrito, $10.00
    Spanish Chicken & Rice, $10.00
    French Fries (small), $5.00; (large), $6.00
    French Fries with cheese (small) $6.50; (large), $8.50
    Garlic Fries (small), $6.00; (large), $9.00
    Popcorn, regular, (Jumbo), $8.00; (Large), $7.00; (souvenier bucket), $12.00
    Corn on the Cob, $4.00
    Popcorn (Indiana Gourmet Kettlecorn), $12.00
    Popcorn (Indiana Gourmet Aged White Cheddar Kettlecorn), $6.00
    Utz Potato Chips, $4.00
    Bazzini Peanuts, in shells, $5.00
    Cracker Jacks, $5.75
    M&Ms (plain) $4.75; (peanut) $4.75
    Twizzlers $4.75
    Cotton Candy (blue) $4.50
    Pepsi (& Diet Pepsi),$5.00
    Poland Spring Water, $5.00
    Lemonade (fresh squeezed), $5.25
    Coffee, $4.00
    Hot Chocolate, $4.00
    Budweiser (Bud Light, Miller Light, 16 oz plastic bottles), $9.00
    [NOTES: (1) These foods were sold in the upper deck, 400s level. It is not a complete list of every food. We did not sample restaurant fare or "club" food. (2) Total calories, not product sizes, are listed next to the price on concession menus. (3) These items can be purchased at standard concessions or from pushcarts. (4) Items hawked at upper deck: Nathan's hot dogs, bottled beer, bottled soda & water, ice cream novelties, cotton candy, peanuts & Cracker Jacks. (5) Most popular foods (we actually saw people eating): hot dogs, fries/cheese fries, sausages & ice cream.]

    [2011]
    In-seat service, Delta 360 suites, Yankee Stadium, Bronx New York, April 17, 2011:

    Fresh popcorn, $7.00
    Bazzini peanuts in the shell, $5.00
    Cracker Jack, $5.75
    Turkey Hill Premium Chocolate/Vanilla Bar, $5.00
    Otis Spunkmeyer Fresh Baked Cookie, $4.00
    candy (Plain M&Ms, Peanut M&Ms, Twizzlers), $4.75
    Chicken Caesar Salad, $9.00
    Fresh Fruit Salad, $9.00
    French Fries, $6.50
    Famous Famiglia Pizza, $8.00
    Kids Meal (Hebrew National Kids Dog, Kozy Shack, Pudding & Juice Box), $7.00
    Chicken Tenders, $11.00
    Hebrew National Hot Dog, $7.50
    Hebrew National Foot Long Hot Dog, $8.50
    Premio Sweet Italian Sausage, $9.00
    Veggie Burger, $7.00
    1/2 lb. Brooklyn Burger, Hamburger/Cheeseburger, $12.00
    Carl's Cheesesteak, $12.00
    Brother Jimmy's Pulled Pork Sandwich, $12.00
    Boar's Head Hot Pastrami, $12.00
    Boar's Head Turkey Club with Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato, $12.00
    Dunkin' Donuts Hot Coffee, $4.00
    Hot Chocolate or Tea, $4.00
    Yankees Sourvenir Hot Mug (Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate), $10.00
    Poland Spring Bottled Water, $5.00
    20 oz. Bottled Soft Drinks, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Sierra Mist, Brisk Lemonade, Brisk Ied Tea, $5.00
    Woodbridge Wine by the Glass (Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Gritio, Cabernet Sauvignon), $9.00
    Domestic Bottled Beer (16 oz Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Coors Light, Miller Lite), $9.50
    Imported Draft Beer (16 oz Stella Artois, Beck's, Hoegaarden), $10.50
    Spirits (Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray Gin, Johnnie Walker Red Scotch, Crown Royal Whiskey, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila, Myers Platinum Rum, Jim Beam Black Bourbon, Bailey's Original Irish Cream Cordial, Courvoisier VS Cognac), $12.00.

    Inside concessions offer this NYC array of hot dogs, $10.00/each: Bronx (marinara), Manhattan (BBQ, onion & relish), Brooklyn (chili & cheese), Queens (tzatski sauce) & Staten Island (chipotle & mayo).

    What did Babe Ruth like to eat?

    Boxing concessions
    This passage describes the foods served at the famous fight between Dempsy and Carpentier [1921]. The fight was catered by Stevens, and many of the foods he served at ball parks were also served here:

    "Fight fans who crowd the big arena in Jersey on Satuday for the championship bout between Dempsey and Carpentier may swelter or become drenched,...but there will be no need of their suffering from either hunger or thirst. That part of the program has been carefully arranged by Harry M. Stevens, who is as well acquainted with the appetite of a sport enthusiast as he is with his own son Frank, his partner in the business of satisfying the hungry and thristy at ball parks, race tracks, boxing matches, horse shows, six-day races and sport events of every description. The feeding arrangements are along the same extensive lines as prevail in every angle of the big contest. For the last ten days Stevens's men have been getting things in readiness at the arena, and yesterday the work of stocking up with provisions get under way. Hundreds of cases of beer, sarsparilla, ginger ale and mineral water were taken to Jersey City in big trucks; but the preparation of the food will not be started until midnight Friday or later. Time has no effect on the drinks, but the food must be positively fresh...Furthermore, he says with emphasis that he will have enough for all and expects to bring back a few truckloads after a new record for the consumption of food and drink at one sporting event has been established...One feature of the usual sport event bill of fare will be among the mising. The Board of Fire Commissioners in Jersey City has passed a rule concerning the sale of food and drink which may be called a "No Dogs Allowed" announcement. The succulent all-hot has been banned. fear of fire was behind the order, and and Stevens has bowed gracefully to the edict, but he admits that he will feel lonesome without the little towsers around...As complete last night the bill of fare will include ham, chicken, tongue and cheese sandwiches and every known variety of pie. To wash this down or to quench the parched throat will be ginger ale, "sas," mineral waters and the best that Jake Ruppert could brew after Volstead let him up. Peanuts will be there in profusion...To the average person who yells to the boy and passes out his change for sandwich, drink or smoke there is no thought of the time, energy and preparation it all entails...Trucks will be making their trips to the arena to deposit something like 80,000 bricks of ice cream...There will be no cones on sale, as it would be difficult to keep cones in proper condition, so brick swill be carried in cooled containers, to be served on small plates. More than 50,000 bags of peanuts will be ready and the sandwiches will run close to the 100,000 mark. Many fans will arrive late, some of the early comers will bring their lunch, but to offset this will be the patrons who arrive early and who will trust to Stevens to see that they are supplied with whatever they eat and drink. Hundreds of cases of beer...will be at Thirty Acres long before the eatables arrive. Getting the drinks to the arena is only one part of the work. The fan insists on his liquids being ice cold and to chill them properly twenty tons of ice will be unloaded at the arena tomorrow morning...On Saturday morning another twenty tons will be received. Again the vastness of the enterprise stands out when forty tons of ice are needed for the ice cream and the soft drinks alone. That there may be no gouging of the public by the vendors Stevens will follow the system in vogue at the ball parks. Every waiter will carry on his hat a card showing the prices of everything he sells. Big posters around the arena will convey the same information. The same prices as prevail at the ball parks and race tracks will be in effect at the fight and the signs protect the public against gouging."
    ---"Food Consumption To Set New Mark," New York Times, June 30, 1921 (p. 21)

    Worlds fair fare

    1876/Philadelphia... 1885/London... 1889/Paris... 1893/Chicago... 1900/Paris... 1904/St. Louis... 1915/San Francisco... 1939/New York... 1962/Seattle... 1964/New York... 1967/Montreal... 1984/New Orleans

    Fair food, as we Americans know it today, descends from street foods sold in ancient market stalls. Food vendors were quite popular at Medieval fairs. Folks hawked foods from portable carts the Globe Theatre during Shakespeare's time. On a related note? Military messes throughout time set up mobile feeding stations specializing in portable foods. What is fair food? The answer depends upon the place and period. Some foods are contemporary "staples," (cotton candy, waffle cones, corn dogs, mini-doughnuts, Karmel Korn); others are regional/local specialties (maple fudge at the Eastern States Exposition; open pit whole pig barbecue in Arkansas).

    World's Fairs (aka exhibitions/expositions) serve as national benchmarks for fair food introductions. Of these, the 1904 fair in St. Louis is perhaps the most famous. The Corporations used these venues to promote new products to the general populace. 1964 New York City World's Fair put Belgian Waffles on our culinary map. Fair years/venues are easy to identify. Some of the more popular fairs have entire books written about them. Beyond the Ice Cream Cone: The Whole Scoop on Food at the 1904 World's Fair/Pamela J. Vaccaro profiles that famous exposition.

    Local fairs (state, county, seasonal, product specific) reflect the heritage of the folks living in that area. Most major fairs have Web sites. There you will find current information on food contests and vendor information. Some fairs publish cookbooks containing recipes of contest winners. These do not reflect the vendors, corporate promotions or other fair favorites (free milk at the New York States Fair). Many, though not all, states and cities host annual fairs.

    Your best bet for comparing/contrasting foods served at local fairs throughout the country is to select target areas and contact the fair managers. Do they have scrapbooks or archives? The local library and/or historical society may hold primary documents (old fair map maps, menus, promotional material &c.) Old newspapers often provide accounts of the foods available at the fair; some aritcles include prices. This information helped visitors plan their trip. Foods offered at local fairs generally featured local bounty. These fairs were held during harvest time, when local produce was at its most bountiful. Pies, cookies, cakes, canned goods (jams, jellies, preserves, pickles, pickled vegetables) were often sold for on-site consumption or bringing home.

    General history notes on selected major American fairs

    [1876] Centennial Exhibition--Philadelphia
    1. One of the best collections of
    Centennial Exhibition materials is housed at the Free Library of Philadelphia.(Search: food to find the appropriate buildings/companies; menus for restaurant selections)
    2. The two most influencial 19th century Philly-area cookbook authors (cooking school teachers, lecturers, etc.) were Miss Eliza Leslie and her student, Sarah Tyson Rorer. 1876 lies in the "cusp" of influence between these two. We have a copy of Mrs. Rorer's Philadelphia Cook Book, 1886.

    "The Centennial jarred Philadelphia sensibilities with a crazy-quilt of foreign cookeries--such an ollapodiania!...being the old city dialect for hodgepodge or mixture. The chatter of culinary voices was parodies in the press, and cleverly pictured in characatures, but many things were simply too good to let pass when the Centennial closed. Among these were celery salt, the Viennese breads, hot dogs, Centennial Cake (now called Shoo-fly Pie), the integrtrated diningrooms of Fleischmann's Restaurant-Cafe for ladies and gentlemen (this boing the same Fleishmann who introduced yeast cakes at the fair, ice cream sodas, and the ubiquitous hokey-pokey man."
    ---The Larder Invaded: Reflections on Three Centuries of Philadelphia Food and Drink, Mary Anne Hines, Gordon Marshall and William Woys Weaver, exhibition catalog published jointly by the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania [1987] P. 38
    [NOTE: Hokey-pokey men were ice cream vendors, the name derives from an Italian phrase.]

    [1885] Cookery & Food Exhibition--London
    Summary event description, circa 1893,
    here. Complete catalog of exhibitors for this 12 day event is also online. Official Catalogue of the Cookery and Food Exhibition, Royal Aquarium, London, December 7-19, 1885

    [1889] Exposition Universelle Internationale--Paris
    Our survey of 19th century American magazines and newspapers reveals little with regards to hospitality aspects of this particular exposition. Somewhat understandable, given the tension between France and the USA in 1889. Shunning our proposed Corn Palace garnered more headlines. American journalists were eager to share the negative aspects of this particular exposition. The "fleecing of America" was a common theme. Nor, apparently were American reporters impressed by the "monstrous" Eiffel Tower (which, by the way, housed four restaurants). The great equalizer? Everyone was impressed by Edison's electrification.

    French culinary scene/1889 (political-historical context)
    "The Universal Exhibition of 1889 marks a turning point. France is back on her feet. Colonization--Indo-China, black Africa, Tunisia-satisfies the capitalists and the Jacobins, since the Republic wishes to expand, to put down roots...The Saint-Simonien currents which flowed strongly during the Second Empire--pro-technology, Christain, socialist--have ebbed away. In England and Germany, chemical and textile industries expand, while in France they stagnate...Great works are foreseen: a railway network underneath Paris...The Eiffel Tower consecrates the Iron Age. Paris begins to enjoy herself again. But there is certainly a latent political crisis. The right wing will not give its consent to parliamentary democracy. Boulanger has failed to occupy the Elysee...Strikes are brewing up...Many of the famous restaurants, Brebant, Riche, the Anglais, etc. now have open-air terraces. What decadence! Terrace cafes in the courtyards of the gastronomic temples! How long before we degenerate to canteens, or even street stalls?"
    ---The Art of Eating In France: Manners and Menus in the Nineteeth Century, Jean-Paul Aron [Harper & Row:New York] 1973 (p. 75-76)

    Government regulation
    "The admission to the Exposition ground is only about 20 cents for all the departments, and it is unnecessary to leave them until the our for closing at night. There are ample ample resources for feeding the multitude within the grounds at moderate prices, the restaurants being under offical control."
    ---"The French Exposition," Columbus Enquirer [Georgia], May 7, 1887 (p. 1)

    Enough to feed everyone?
    "There was hardly room to move, and at the hour of breakfast it was almost impossible to find even a sandwich. I know those who offered gold pieces for bread, but provisions had entirely 'given out.' "
    ---"Big Boom for Paris," Philadelphia Inquirer, November 23, 1889 (p. 9)

    "Out of this multitude...comes another grievance, and now the exhibition restaurants begin to complain that half the people bring their own provisions. Cold chicken, ham, and Strasburg jambonneaux perfume the air, combined with garlic and sausages. To wait for the illuminated fountains and the Eiffel Tower projections the people, and even the well-to-do bougeois, eat, drink, and make merry, and make merry, and only extravagant purses patronize the restaurants."
    ---"Paris in a Crowded State," New York Times, June 2, 1889 (p. 9)

    "The predominance of cafes and beer saloons suggests a suspicion that this exposition is a big show to attact business for these two prominent enterprises, and the proprietors seem so to view it, i.e., that they are of the most importance, and the wail in the newspapers that the people have the assurance to bring their own luncheons instead of buying them. They make grievous complaint, too, that their other conveniences are not patronized, and ask the Government to do something about it. The French Government assumes to be a paternal one, but it would be curious to know how it is going to make the public drink more beer. They could not well drink less and get any at all, for these Frenchmen have acquire the art of giving out a glass of two-thirds froth and one-third beer, and the whole thing is sheer robbery at the price--6 cents per fractional glass, and then two cents to the waiter who brings it. There is a general scheme to pluck the public, and it is so barefaced and open as to excite unusual indignation. The beer is fairly good but very light, and it requires several glasses to quench an exhibition thirst. All other drinks are as bad as they can be, vile decoctions, and in the line of food poor in quality and extortion ate in price. There is a showy soda font with a conspicuous card: 'American Soda Water.' A trial of it proved to be merely still water with a teaspoonful of syrup as warm as dishwater, with no sizz in it at all; and when you ask for ice they break off a piece the size of a walnut from a small cake lying on the counter. It melts immediately without cooling the liquid, and you pay 10 cents for this fraud. A genuine soda font, served as it is in New York, would be a fortune to its owner, but the French drink the poor stuff under the impression that it is a sample of American soda water. They have soda in bottles, but a glass of it is a guarantee for a first class cholic."
    ---"Fleecing the Americans: A Cynical Observer at the Exposition," New York Times, July 8, 1889 (p. 5)

    How much food was consumed at this Exposition?
    "It may be interesting to know the quantity of food consumed each day at the Exposition. The calculation has been made that it amounted to 1,935,000 pounds of bread, 205,560 pounds of beef, 250,000 pounds of veal, 200,000 pounds of mutton, 150,000 pounds of pork, 25,000 pounds of horse flesh, 500,000 pounds of poultry, 200,000 pounds fruit, 2,500.000 pounds of vegetables, 200,000 pounds of butter, 100,000 pounds of cheese, 1,000,000 pounds of fish, 412,532 dozen oysters, 625,272 eggs and the wine it is impossible to measure."
    ---"Big Boom for Paris," Philadelphia Inquirer, November 23, 1889 (p. 9)

    Official documentation for 1889 Universal Exposition, Paris is online (in French). Exposition universelle internationale de 1889 à Paris: Rapport général. Alfred M. Picard, ed. 10 vols. Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1891-1892. LC call number: T803.D2 This official general report by the French Ministry of Commerce is illustrated with heliographs by Lemercier, mostly after photographs by Berthaud, Chevojon, Levy, Mieusement, Neurdein, and others. Some heliographs are of prints and drawings. Volume 1 is on the preliminary planning of the exposition; Volume 2 the construction; Volume 3 the financial and commercial aspects and appraisal; Volume 4 liberal arts, fine arts, and education; Volume 5 furniture, textiles, and clothing, Volume 6 mining, petroleum, and crude industries; Volume 7 industrial-mechanical industries, electricity; Volume 8 agricultural and horticultural industries, Volume 9 anthropological and social history, history of work; and Volume 10 official, financial, and statistical reports on the fair. Food notes are reported in Volume 10, p. 253+ "Establissements de Consommation ou de Spectacle, Cahier des Clauses st Conditions Particulieres Relatives aux Restaurants, Cafes, Brasseries, Buffets, etc. Here you will find official documentation regarding planning, organization, regulation, and listing of food service establishments grouped by type and reported by name, size and predicted customers served.

    [1893] Columbian Exhibition--Chicago
    "The great restaurant concession of the fair is held by A.S. Gage in the name of the Wellington Catering company and covers 137,800 square feet of floor space. It also embraces privileges in all the buldings erected by the World's Columbian Exposition, sixteen in number, as well as a supply depot to be erected by the company. The concession provides for three classes of eating places. The first will include the finest restaurants, with service equal in excellence to that maintianed in any hotel in this city. The second grade will be on an equality wiith the the style of caravansary known as the popular restaurant, while the third takes in lunch-counters and the buffet system, where cold meats sandwiches, hot coffee, pies, and cakes will be served. This class will be operated in the building where the odors of a kitchen cannot be permitted to float around promiscuously among the exhibits and sightseers. These counters and buffets, whowever, says Mr. Gage, will be as fine and supplied with just as good food as can be found anywhere. The total space involved in this concession will be allotted to the different classes in these proportions: To the first 20 per cent, the second 40 per cent, and the third 40 per cent. Thes eating capacity at tables throughout the different buildings is estimated at 12,000 and the lunch counters aggregating 7,500 feet, or one and one-half miles in length, 4,000 person may dine at one time. On the supposition that this capacity can be changed five-times--and that is a low calculation--the Wellington will feed 80,000 people a day. This number may be increased to 100,000 a day. The company will not only adopt its own standard, such as prevails now in the Wellington Hotel cafes down-town, but proposes to serve the best of wholesome food at each and every one of its places...In the general supply estimate something like fifty head of good-sized bullocks that will dress out 30,000 pounds of beef a day,w ith two and a half tons of ham for sandwiches, will cover the meat demand. Sixty barrels of flour a day will be consumed in bread, pies, and cakes, with potatoes and other vegetables of all kinds in proportion. The quantity of milk that will be consumed is beyond the limit of advance figures. The very finest restaurant to be conducted by this company will be located in the Administration building, and it is understood it will be the best place on the grounds."
    ---"Catering Commpany's Plans: Extent of the Eating Houses and the Supplies Which Will be Needed," Chicago Daily Tribune, February 18, 1893 (p. 9)

    "Restaurants and Dining-Rooms. Visitors who elect to stop at hotels and places in this vicinity of Jackson Park will find accomodations provided to feed a multitude. Nearly all, if not all, of these hotels will be equipped with restaurants or dining-rooms. To them must be added the restaurants in the Fair Grounds, those on the Midway Plaisance, and the hundreds which will be opened in the district contiguous to Jackson Park. Visitors may have their choice among thirty-five places to dine in the grounds. The concession held by the Wellington Catering company provides for three classes of restaurants. The first will include restaurants of the highest rank, equal to any in the city. The second grade provides for what may be called popular restaurants, with prices on a lower scale. The third class takes in lunch counters and buffets where cold meats, sandwiches, pies, cakes and coffee will be served. There will be one and one-half miles of lunch ounters. Among the larger restaurant are the Great White Horse Inn and the Columbian Casino. The first occupies a building which is a reproduction of the hostelry made famous by Dickens. It is located south of Machery Hall. The cooking will be strictly English. On the first floor of the inn anything from a ham sandwich to a $2 porterhouse steak will be sold. The second floor will be given up to the finest trade, and will be patterned after the best London clubs. The Columbian Casino will occupy the Casion, a three-story building at the mouth of the lagoon. The first floor will be fitted up with parlors, reception rooms, lavatories, and smoking rooms. On the second floor will be a public dining room, with tables and seats for 1,500 people...The "Clam Bake" will be one of the novelties at the Fair. A three-story building in the northern part of the grounds is occupied for this affair. Old-fashioned New England clam bake dinners, it is stated will be served, as well as all sorts of fish. There will be room for 2,500 people at one sitting. Within the World's Fair ground 59,400 people can dine at one time next summer. Counting six changes of plates for each place at table 356,400 meals may be served every day in the Fair grounds. Dining places on the Midway Plaisance will have accomodations for 16,000 people at one time. A vistor, among other places, may choose to dine in the natorium--or in cafes overlooking the animals in Hageabeek's Zoological Garden, or in the Hungarian Orpheum, or in the Dutch settlement, the Polish cafe, or the Turkish village. He may be served with familiar viandes or may taste the food of strange lands and be waited on by natives of these countries. If he is particularly exclusive he will find a lunch-room 1,200 feet above the earth in the captive baloon."
    ---"Guide for Visitors," Chicago Daily, April 30, 1893 (p. 45)

    If you want to recreate an authentic period dinner, we suggest you start by examining the recipes offered in Favorite Dishes: A Columbian Autograph Souvenir Cookery Book, compiled by Carrie V. Schuman. This book is a collection of recipes of Chicago's "leading ladies" in the early 1890s. The edition recently reprinted by the University Of Illinois Press (2001) contains scholarly essays on both the fair and the book.

    If you want to feature some popular foods introduced at the Exposition this book suggests: "Cracker Jack, Cream of Wheat, Shredded Wheat, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Gum. Prominent, too, were Aunt Jemima (wth Nancy Green playing the eponymous cook) and the H.J. Heinz Company's Sour Spiced Gherkins. It is said that a million visitors flocked to Heinz's display, where they were given small "pickle pins." Conserves and pickles were serious components of the American diet. Foods like these were industrial products made for mass consumption. While some, such as Heinz pickles, were hand packed, foods were becoming entirely industrialized, raised with farming machinery and artificial fertilizers and cooked and packed in factories." (p. xl)

    [1900] Exposition Universelle Internationale--Paris
    Much is written about the foods of popular American expositions (St. Louis 1904 classic example); less so about fairs held in other countries. We also need to keep in mind our American news sources generally concentrate on USA foods, perhaps because that's what their readers are most interested in. Our survey of historic USA newspapers confirms the popularity of American fruit, corn, California wine, beefsteak and
    Lobster Newburg. The article below describes the German pavilion restaurant was the overall favorite dining venue. The reporter does not mask his obvious distaste for German cuisine & restaurant service. It would be interesting to compare USA accounts with those published in French, German, and British newspapers.

    Popular dishes
    "The efforts which foreign nations make to compare with France in the culinary domain are worthy of a good deal of attention. In Paris there are not a few establishments where meals of various kinds are prepared in exotic ways to suit foreign palates, but it is at the exposition that international cooking may be best examined and compared with the home industry. At the last exposition it was the Russian restaurant which won the highest approbation from the culinary wise and the pound foolish. On this occasion it is the Germans who seem to have struck the newest and most successful note. At any rate, the German 'weinstube' on the Qual des Nations is crowded even when other places are empty, and the Paris season being in full progress, great difficulty was encountered in getting a seat at any table. Personally I consider this success unwarranted, at least on such a scale. This luncheon and dinner seemed to me a very ordinary table d'hote of the monotonous Berlin type; the detestable German habit of sitting down at any vacant placer whether the table was partially occupied or not prevailed and the service had and irritating slowness and solemnity about it suggestive of a German chorale. The ubiquitous and centrifugal German waiter put on the air of a Prussian Corporal for the house and refused to understand any language but German. One of then even assured me in a Berlin accent that German cigars were superior to any in the world. The wine was good, but not unnecessarily expensive, and certainly not better than the German wines which can be procured at Cafe Anglais. The glasses in which they were served were pretty, of delicate form and tender hue, a little too small perhaps, but on the whole charming. Whether they were afraid of being prejudiced in their judgement or not I cannot say, but truly the French were remarkably uncritical in their appreciation of this place. They extended a similar approval to a vast German beer house where the Teuton reveled and roared all day long and late into the night, singing riotous choruses to two German bands which played all the National airs, and generally be conducted himself en maitre, with an assurance I had almost written arrogance, I had never dared to display in Paris for the past thirty years. This in fact was the harmony with that leading fact about the exposition-the conquest of Paris by the Germans. The Russians have had but little success with their culinary venture this time...The Chinese restaurant was picturesque by reason of the variegated architecture and its pig-tailed waiters, but the native cooking was altogether inferior. The bamboo shoots which I ate there were evidently canned, and as tough as bits of paper mache, while the sauce they were served in was ordinary palm oil, not caster oil with shrimps, ova, as it should have been.

    "American Dishes Popular. Nor have the English done very much to distinguish themselves. At the last exposition the English beefsteak was very much in evidence, and British ale flowed in torrents. This time it is the American beefsteak which carries of the palm or popularity, and as much may be said for American beer. For the first time, in fact, since my recollection. Parisians have had an opportunity of tying the choicest feature of the American culinary art in all perfection. I am aware that there are certain places in town where American dishes are advertised,as is also the case with specialties of British cuisine, but the same drawback attends them all. Sooner or later their proprietors are forced to fall back upon local cooks, and then the true traditions are falsified and the genuine style disappears. A French artist, for instance, cannot stop abroad for long with any sort of impunity. His style is certain to be vitiated sooner or later by his environment...For this, among other reasons, the Parisian gourmets of at least the vast majority of them, have been kept in almost complete ignorance of the extraordinary resources of the American cuisine...The American restaurant, beneath the American Pavilion, has attained to a great degree of popularity, and some of the most learned Parisian "forchettes" have expressed themselves to me delighted with the nouvelle they have discovered there and have expressed the hoe that an American restaurant in Paris on a permanent institution. They have admired particularly the American method, totally unknown to here, of eating an entire melon before a meal with the top sliced off, the seeds taken out and replaced by crushed ice. The 'gombo en gelee," an intense chicken consomme with the delicate flavor of the okra, served cold, filled them with admiration. I think their highest...praise was reserved for lobster a la Newburg. Lobster is so rare a crustacean in Paris, and few French cooks are in genuine sympathy with it or know how it should be treated...The Newburg sauce is the invention of a race of men who are in love with the sea. The American beefsteak was also a revolution to my gourmet friends. Anything more succulent or tender, they declared, in the way of a beefsteak, had never passed their lips...California Wines Praised. I have already referred to the great admiration generally called forth by the various brands of American beer, and the intelligent method adopted in icing it to exactly the right temperature. French beer is rarely well iced. The Commissioner for the State of California...has won not only golden opinions, but 'extraordinary number of golden medals for the wines produced by the State. A certain old California brandy was recognized as rivaling the best matured congacs. A combination of Benedictine and cream, known as 'night cap' made a great sensation when it first struck the palate of a well-known Parisian bonvivant a few days ago, and it is likely to be the most popular liqueur of the forthcoming season. One modest little culinary demonstration has in particular charmed everybody. It is that of the American corn exhibit. Here there is a series of counters served by an old darky, 'Chloe,' who comes from the best families in Maryland At the first counter you are served with American tomato soup, thickened with corn and beans. The 'Chloe' gives you corn cakes with maple syrup and beautify fresh butter, followed by blancmange with raspberry jelly, and grits with cream. And all these delicacies for nothing! No wonder that the Parisians call down blessings of Heaven on American cooks."
    ---"Cooking of All Nations," New York Times, August 26, 1900 (p. 7)

    American fruits
    "In view of the growing importance of the fruit industry and the prospective large commercial surplus of certain fruits, the Paris Exposition of 1900 is deemed and excellent opportunity to acquaint European consumers with the beauty and general excellence of American fruit products. Under the act of Congress on July 1, 1898, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to prepare suitable exhibits of the agricultural products of the United States and Territories of the United States, including those mentioned in groups VII, VIII and X of the French classification (agriculture, horticulture and food products) the same to be exhibited under the control and direction of the Commissioner-General. Under this authority it is therefore proposed to make representative exhibits of American horticultural products, particularly of such as are obtainable in quantity and likely to be in demand abroad. Arrangements are being made for representative exhibits of canned, preserved and evaporated fruits, jellies, fruit juices, etc., as well as of canned vegetables, pickles and other prepared articles of horticultural origin. To call special attention to the great variety of fruits now procurable in the United States in quantities sufficient for the export trade, it is proposed to install and maintain during the entire period of the exposition a representative exhibit of American fresh fruits. To accomplish this it will be necessary to provide a supply of choice specimens of the more durable fruits, such as winter apples, pears, citrus fruits, cranberries, nuts, etc., of the 1899 season for display at the opening of the exposition and until specifics of the crop of the year 1900 are available. It is intended that all the more important fruit-growing districts of the United States shall be represented in this exhibit and the active cooperation of growers and other persons interested is solicited... As to the kinds of fruits desired, only such varieties should be chosen as possess special merit as market, dessert or culinary fruits in the different section of the country. Special attention should be given to standard varieties that are likely to keep well and be adapted to the requirements of export trade."
    ---"Fruits at the Paris Exposition," Los Angeles Times, September 11, 1899 (p. 5)

    "The fresh fruit from Lost Angeles, Cal. for the exposition has been received in perfect condition, traveling 8000 miles and being rehandled in New York, Southampton and Havre. The consignment consists of lemons and oranges and amounts to tow carloads."
    ---"Our Fruit in Paris," Los Angeles Times, May 27, 1900 (p. 12)

    American prohibitionists have their say
    "The question of the Sunday opening of the American pavilion and section at the exposition had barely been settled when the temperance advocates lifted their voices against the sale of liquor in the cafe of the American pavilion. The basements of all the pavilions on the now famous Rue des Nations, where are erected the official buildings of the foreign nations, are occupied by restaurants and cafes in which are served dishes and beverages characteristic of the respective countries. The establishments look out on the Seine, and the terraces in front are becoming popular rendezvous for foreign visitors...The American prohibitionists feel very strongly in the matt of allowing the sale of liquor in the American cafe, which forms a part of their national pavilion. The open letter column of The Paris Herald offered and arena for a wordy warfare between the opponents of and the sympathizers with the sale of liquor, which has been highly interesting to Parisians, who utterly fail to comprehend how such a subject could form a topic of discussion. At the headquarters of the American Commission it is explained that those who have been vehemently assaulting the idea of an American bar are acting under false impressions, as no bar is to be located there. The cafe will be such as is found in all American cities. Distinctive American food can be had there, and American beverages will be served to those dining."
    ---"Liquor at the Fair: Prohibitionists Object to its Sale in the American Pavilion," New York Times, May 13, 1900 (p. 7)

    Electric kitchens
    "The kitchen at the Paris Exposition illustrates what can be cone in labor saving, by the application of electricity to food-preparation on a large scale. Between three hundred and four hundred guests are cared for daily in the restaurant to which the kitchen is attached. The kitchen is equipped with highly elaborate electrical apparatus. The maximum current used is three hundred and fifty amperes at one hundred and ten volts. Of this, a large proportion is used in keeping hot coffee, tea, chocolate, and other hot drinks. About four times the quantity of current--it is put at about two hundred and eighty kilowatt hours--is utilized in cooking. The mean cost of the current for each guests served is about six cents. The electrical heating apparatus is of a French type, in which a metallic powder is mixed with various proportions of a non-conducting enamel, thus making blocks of high-resistance material, well adapted to develop heat under the application of the electric current. The eight heaters of the huge restaurant oven can be carried up to a temperature of 1200 degrees centigrade. Four of the plates absorb twenty-five amperes each, and four others twenty amperes each. There is also a roasting oven, which broils meats with heat from red hot plates. This apparatus absorbs thirty-five amperes. There are other smaller ovens all heated electrically. In one of these, seventy-five pounds of meat can be roasted in about three hours, with a mean intensity of current of forty amperes. Heated by the same current is a water boiler, and a thirty-quart soup kettle, as well as plate eaters and many other appliances."
    ---"Electrical Kitchen," Los Angeles Times, September 6, 1900 (p. I5)

    Concessionaires & restauranteurs complained
    "Most of the restaurant keepers in the other parts of the exposition--scarcely one of whom has but lost money on his concession--talk of joining the syndicate formed in the Champs de Mars quarter. These concessionaires paid half of their rentals for the season in advance, and signed agreements to pay the rest on June 15. The second payments have not yet been made...One of the grievances of the restaurant keepers is that the low price of tickets of admission to the exposition has resulted in bringing in a class of people too poor to spend any money, who carry their lunches and dinners in baskets, and eat on the grounds."
    ---"French Exposition News: Concessionaires Want Closing Day Made a Month Later," New York Times, September 11, 1990 (p. 5)
    Full Exposition report here/in French. ...536 pages, Groupe X is titled "Aliments," [food]

    [1904] Louisiana Purchase Exhibition--St. Louis MO
    Americans are fascinated with fair food, especially the items attributed to the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. The truth? Most of these popular foods existed before the fair, and many have several conflicting stories with regards to "true" origin. This makes the lore even more intriguing. What these foods have in common is that they were mass marketed at the St. Louis fair. That is why this year holds a special place in the American gastronomic chronology.

    The best way to cull a comphensive list of foods served (or made popular) during the 1904 St. Louis Fair is to go straight to the source. The St. Louis Public Library has uploaded a fabulous collection of primary fair documents, photographs, and publications.

    These foods were made famous (but not invented) at the St. Louis World's Fair

    Recommended reading: Beyond the Ice Cream Cone: The Whole Scoop on Food at the 1904 World's Fair/Pamela J. Vaccaro.

    [1915] Pan Pacific International Exposition--San Francisco CA
    Laura Ingalls Wilder was one of the many famous people attending this fair. Her daughter Rose described their visits in a series of letters published in book form,
    West From Home. One of the foods Rose told us her mother enjoyed was "Pan-Pak." Surely, if this item was notable enough for Rose to record, print evidence/description exists.

    To date, we have not discovered any other print reference to Pan-Pak. We have, however, found a recipe for Pan-Pacific from the Panama-Pacific Cook Book, the "official" cookbook of the 1915 World's Fair:

    417. Pan-Pacific
    Shred the breast of a boiled fowl into inch lengths. Cut three slices of pineapple into cubes. Remove the pulp of a fine alligator pear with a teaspoon and the pulp from a grapefruit and an orange and a slice of banana, the hearts of four large artichokes, boiled until tender, and a cup of boiled asparagus tips. Mix all of these lightly together and add enough highly seasoned mayonnaise to blend; then chill in an ice-chest. Serve on a platter bordered with crisp lettuce and garnish with strips of pimiento and ripe olives."
    ---Pan Pacific Cook Book, L.L. McLaren [Blair-Murdock Company:San Francisco] 1915 (p. 116)
    Perhaps this was a colloquial moniker familiar to all fairgoers? We checked: [1964-5] New York World's Fair
    Top two things every boomer kid attending this fair remembers most? It's a Small World fantasy boat ride sponsored by Pepsi Cola and the oversized
    Belgian Waffles, slathered with whipped cream and strawberries. Top of the Fair restaurant, offering spectacular views, was the first building to open to the public, October 1963.

    Fair foodservice
    In addition to hundreds of food vendors, dozens of restaurants serving national cuisines offered fairgoers an amazing array of tempting delights. Among the restaurants: Tree House (Africa), Austria (Austria), Rathskeller Buffet (Belgian Village), Danish Gardens (Brass Rail, also owners of the famed Golden Door in Idlewild/JFK airport), Caribbean (Caribbean), Smorgasbord & Kattegat Inn (Denmark), India (India), House of Japan (Japan) Al Mat'am (Jordan), Sun Luck (Hong Kong), Korea (Korea), Patio (Lebanon), Malyaysia (Malaysia), Focolare (Mexico), Farooq (Pakistan), Snack Patio (Phillipines), Toledo, Greanada, Marisquria (Spain), Nile Terrace (Sudan), Swedish Smogasbord (Sweden), Thailand (Thailand), Snack Bar and Patio Restaurant (United Arab Republic). Source: "List of Prices for Meals, Rides, Shows and Exhibits," New York Times, April 21, 1965 (p. 37) Recipes from some of these restaurants were published.

    "They're cooking with gas at the New York World's Fair...literally! A survey of restaurants and food service stands at the World's Fair shows that approximately 99 per cent of the cooking at the Fair will be done with gas. Most of the major restaurants at the Fair will use gas, as well as the 25 Brass rail food service stands which will be scattered throughout the fairgrounds...The Top of the Fair restaurant, located at the top of the New York Port Authority Heliport, is the first of all--gas restaurants to open at the Fair. From the Top of the Fair restaurant the 'Drinks around the World' cocktail lounge, just under the helicopter landing platform, diners will get a unique view of the Fairgrounds. Other restaurants at the Fair will include a variety of international and American cuisine, with many countries featuring national cooking within their pavilions. A total of 65 public restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets are scheduled to operate at the Fair. The Fair's Industrial Area will feature 13 major restaurants, accenting everything from gourmet American regional cooking at the Festival '64--'The American Restaurant' in the Festival of Gas pavilion to international sandwich specialties served at the Seven-Up pavilion. The International Area, which will highlight the traditional national foods of countries represented there, will feature 27 restaurants. Among the pavilions featuring restaurants are Hong Kong, Indonesia, International Plaza, Japan, Lebanon, Malaya, Pakistan and Spain. The Federal and State Area will feature 11 restaurants, highlighting such state foods as Maryland 'eastern shore dinners' and 'golden trout and baked ham' from West Virginia. In addition to Top of the Fair restaurant, the fair's Transportation Area will feature four other restaurants. The Century Grill will serve hamburger steaks prepared in accordance with recipes from nations around the world and foot-long American-styled hot dogs. The Greyhound pavilion will feature American regional food in dining rooms accenting a 'Main Street U.S.A.' theme. And two Brass Rail restaurants, part of the six which will be at the Fair in addition to the 25 food service stands, will feature Italian and American cooking. The Lake Amusement Area will have another 10 restaurants open to the public. Among these will be the Chun King pavilion where Fair visitors can enjoy a 7-variety Oriental dinner for 99 cents and the Texas pavilion where they dine in fie or six restaurants of different design and decor or a Western saloon featuring 'dance hall' entertainment. The Hawaii pavilion will feature both Hawaiian and Polynesian delicacies and special luau dinners ain a setting complete with gas burning Luau torches. Other restaurants of note at the Fair, each featuring special dishes, service or settings, include those in the Pavilion of American Interiors, the Better Living Pavilion, the Schaefer pavilion, and the World of Food."
    ---"'They're Cooking with Gas' at the World's Fair Cafe Survey Shows," News-Post [Frederick MD]. March 5, 1964 (section 4, p. 6)

    "A world of sights, sounds, smells and tastes awaits the World's fair visitor in the International Plaza. A fairgoer can arrive by air--a Swiss cable-car--and can, in a mere lunch hour, eat his way from Tunisia to the Orient to the Philippines to Belgium. The plaza occupies only two acres of the fairgrounds, but more than two dozen foreign nations are represented there with unusal products and culinary treats...Lunchtime aromas greeted them. For an appetizer, it was a toss-up between egg rolls form the new Orient or form Tunisia, where they are called bricks. Munching on the Oriental variety, the visitors strolled into the San Miguiel lounge for a chaser of Philippine beer and an American cheese sandwich. Around the corner, some Belgians were drawing the dessert crowd with bel-gem waffles. They are about four-by-eight inches, and an inch thick, and are covered with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, topped with powdered sugar. To let his international meal settle, the fairgoer can sit for his portrait at the Arista d'Italia, Inc., studio, and maybe sip a demitasse from the Brazilian Coffee House."
    ---"International Plaza a Symphony of Sights, Sounds, Smells, Taste," Walter Carlson, New York Times, May 10, 1964 (p. 73)

    "The Brass Rail will maintain 25 snack stands (30 cents for a hot dog, 15 cents for a small soda). The Seven-Up International Sandwich Gardens will be a bargain ($1.50 for four sandwiches and all the Seven-Up you can drink). Moderately priced culinary adventures ($10 to $12 for the family of four) will be everywhere: Moroccan or Mexican, Sudanese or Swiss, Jordanian or Japanese."
    ---$2 Admission Fee is Just a Starter: Free Exhibits Mingled with 30 cent Hot Dogs, $10 Steaks and $4.80 Musical," Joseph Lelyveld, New York Times, April 22, 1964 (p. 21)

    Top of the Fair
    Top of the Fair Resturant, located in the elevated New York Port Authority structure just outside the offical fair grounds, was considered by some the crowning jewel of dining venues. Top of the Fair opened October 1963, six months prior to the fair, officially making it the first public building of the fair.

    "The Top of the Fair, the official New York World's Fair restaurant and club atop the Port of New York Authority exhibit building, will open Wednesday, some six months ahead of the official opening of the fair itself. The new dining center is operated by the Knott Hotels Corporation. Seth Flewharty, vice president of Knott, said that the Top of the Fair is already booked weeks in advance by many business and trade meetings and conventions as well as a number of charity balls. The restaurant will be open the year-round and is expected to gross more than $5,000,000 for the two seasons of the fair."
    ---"Top of the Fair Restaurant Will Open Next Wednesday," New York Times, October 13, 1963 (p. 158)

    "Hordes of construction workers, interior decorators and broom pushers worked at a feverish pace yesterday in preparation for the official opening today of the first public building of the 1964-65 World's fair. The structure, the Port Authority's Heliport and Exhibit Building, will be opened by Governor Rockefeller, Gov. Richard J. Hughes and City Council President Paul R. Screvane. By Friday it will be ready for anyone desiring a look at progress being made by the fair, which is scheduled to open April 22. The circular dining room and bars atop the building will also be open to the public, affording a view of hundreds of men working on the 150 pavilions that eventually will constitute the fair...'We put the most important people here, is that right?' aksed one worker yesterday in the Top of the Fair Restaurant, a dining room 100 feet or so (depending upon where one sits) above sea level, providing enough room for 1,500 people...Despite the poshness of the restaurant, William Foley, its manager, said that diners with moderate means would not find it overly expensive. 'We want to give elegance at moderate prices,' he said, adding that it was his desire to run a family-type restaurant. However, ties would be required, he said. As for children he noted that he had six of his own--he said they would be most welcome. Nonetheless, the restaurnt is making room for the affluent by setting off a glass-partitioned section of the dining room called the Terrace Club. Anyone wishing to join can do so by buying a two-year membership for $1,200....The restaurant's decorators picked blue and gold as its dominant colors. At one bar, a large Rube Goldberg drawing entitled 'How to Cure World's Fair Tired Feet' was hung. Near another bar was a picture of a Madonna and Child...The restaurant will be open from 11:30AM to 10PM on Sundays through Thursdays and from 11:30AM to 2AM on Fridays and Saturdays."
    ---"1964 Fair Opening Its First Building," Alexander Burnham, New York Times, October 16, 1963 (p. 41)

    Craig Claiborne's restaurant review
    "In several areas there is a noticeable ambivalence about the Top of the Fair, the first of numerous restaurants to oepn at th World's Fairground in Flushing Meadows. The decor runs the gamut from hypermodernistic murals to antique tapestries, the service from sleek to so-so, and the food from excellent to middling. The restaurant is moderately expensive, but, in spite of certain vulgar aspcets, it is worth a visit by day or nigth if only for the beguiling view. In any world's fair enterprise, commercial overtones are inevitable. Taste would seem to involve the degree to which the commercialism is conspicuous. In the midst of neo-modern elegance at the Top of the Fair, there is a large counter that flourishes such gewgaws as T-shirts, key chains, paper weight sand pennants. Menus may be purchased for $1 (they may not be otherwise retained) and there is a table-hopping cameraman always at the ready for taking the souvenir photo. The most garish note in the restaurant is struck by the bartender, garbed in a shimmering gold outfit that resembles in design the uniform of a garage mechanic. It must be added in haste that the maitres d'hotel, captains and waiters are handsomely turned out in traditional black and white. Both of the menus at the Top of the Fair are a la carte and dishes that they list are generally interesting in concept. The menu is basically French, although there are occasional dishes of Greek origin, such as Athenian style lamb. There is small doubt in this reviewer's mind that the chef is competent in his metier, although the quality of the food varies. Among several dishes sampled recently at the restaurant, one remembers with pleasure wonderfully sweet, fresh and tender oysters; and individual hot casserole of glazed sea food in a mornay sauce, and excellent liver. By contrast, there is the memory of a serving of assorted hors d'oeuvre with too much tomato, too much salami, too much beets and too little finesses. There was also a cold dish of crab ravigote, in which the crab was flecked from top to bottom with bits of shell or cartilage. Any restaurant with style would serve whole lump crab beat or remove the item from the menu. Unless one palate is woefully wrong, the crab was mixed with commercially prepared mayonnaise. The wine serve at a recent luncheon was both painful and, in its own way, humorous. The waiter brought to the table a bottle of white wine at room temperature and, when it was requested that the wine be chilled, he informed those gathered for the feast that, in Burgundy, white wine was never chilled. He could not have known that one of the gentlemen at the table was born Burgundian. The wine was subsequently iced, but it offered little comfort to the oysters. The cost of main luncheon courses at the Top of the Fair ranges from about $2.75 to $4; the cost of main dinner entrees is from $3 to $6.75. The restaurant is open ever day and there is supper dancing Friday and Saturday. The telephone number is 888-5500."
    ---"Restaurant on Review: A Fair Meal," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, December 10, 1963 (p. 71)
    [NOTE: Sharing our copy of this legendary
    restaurant's menu. cover art is stunning!]

    "The Top of the Fair is under the management of Restaurant Associates, Inc., which, in addition to operating the renowned Forum of the Twelve Caesars, Four Seasons and La Fonda del Sol in Manhattan, also operates the highly successful Festival '65, The American Restaurant in the Fair's Gas Pavilion. Top of the Fair, the official restaurant of the New York World's Fair, is atop the Port Authority Heliport. It is one of the few operations to be continued after the Fair closes in October, and is building a reputation as a family restaurant for Manhattan and Long Island residents. The restaurant is accessible both to visitors to the Fairgrounds and touring diners who are looking for something different in the way of atmosphere and fine food at luncheon and dinner. (It is outside the Fair gates, but if you're inside, you can get a re-entry pass.) Two walls of glass afford a panoramic view, looking down, of many of the Fair's attractions; looking up, the diner sees the gaily painted helicopters of the New York Port Authority coming in or taking off from the roof overhead. There's good news, too. If you simply arrive by car; free parking is available adjacent to the restaurant. Menu prices are lower than they were during the Top of the Fair's first season. A complete luncheon, served from 12 noon on, may be had for as little as $2.95, and includes appetizer, entree, dessert and beverage. Dinners, served from 5:30 p.m. on, are complete, and range form $4.95 for stuffed baby flounder to $6.95 for roast prime ribs of beef. Prices for children's dinners are $1.00 or less. The spacious dining area, seating 500 people, is decorated in lively blue, tangerine and white. The blue walls and carpet, the tangerine leather upholstered chairs and offset by oyster-white pillars and glittering chandeliers. Guitar and piano music make a melodious backdrop for dinnertime conversation, and there is dancing in the evening in the Capsule Bar. One of the highlights is the installation of a Marketplace Buffet which includes a fresh vegetable stand and a pastry shop with a chef at work. Diners can imagine themselves strolling in the open marketplaces of Paris, pausing at the colorful vegetable stands displaying the day's fresh produce, stopped by the fragrance and tantalizing appearance of the mouth-watering concoctions arrayed in a pastry shop. Much of the pleasure of eating is in the eye of the beholder and diners may see in the Marketplace some of the tempting selections offered on the menu. In addition to the freshest vegetables, the most delicate and delicious pastries a variety of meats, fish, and poultry are served at the Top of the Fair. The kitchen, under the irection of famed chef Albert Stockli, produces such succulent meat dishes as Roast Filet of Beef, Perigourdine, for which the recipe follows.
    Roast Filet of Beef, Periogourdine
    4 to 4 1/2 pounds filet of beef. Remove fat an connective tissue from beef. Place beef on rack in shallow roasting pan. Tuck narrow end under to make roast uniformly thick. Roast in 450 degrees F. oven 45 minutes. Serve with Perigourdine Sauce. Yield: 6 servings.
    Periogourdine Sauce
    2 cups veal, pot roast or canned beef gravy
    1/2 cup Madeira wine 2 tablespoons brandy
    1 can (4 1/2 ounces) back truffles, chopped
    6 tablespoons firm butter
    Salt and pepper to taste, optional
    Put gravy into a saucepan; stir in wine and brady. Add chopped truffles and liquid from can... Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add butter, one tablespoon at a time, stirring until each tablespoon butter is melted. If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper."
    ---"'Top of the Fair' Is Tops For World's Fair Dining," Lubbock Avalanche Journal [TX], May 9, 1965 (p. 16-D)

    "There are no reservations for tables at the Top of the Fair Restaurant, high up in the New York Port Authority Building. And the lines are long! But if you are slightly patient and lucky, you will be on hand at nine of an evening to watch the fireworks through the vast glass walls. After having partaken ecstatically of a baked coquille of seafood, perhaps, and maybe, the bombe of three ice creams, served with a sauce of blueberries, bewitched with spice and citrus peel! Easy to reproduce back home are these recipes given to us by Executive Chef Charles Pepchakis, who received the secrets of his trade, and practices the culinary arts handed down to him by his forefathers. Charles is the fourth great chef in his family. His grandfather Nicholas was in charge of the royal kitchens of King Constantine of Greece. His great grandfather was a combination butcher-chef in some of the finest eating places of Paris and Greece. His father was the renowned Chef John of the St. Moritz--darling of visiting royalty.

    Dinner at the Top of the Fair
    Jellied Consomme Madreilene
    Baked Coquille of Seafood
    Around the World Pilaf
    Frozen Green Beans with Almonds
    Top of the Fair Bombe
    Chef Charles' own Blueberry Sauce
    Baked Coquille of Seafood
    To serve 6, you should have on hand, 4 cups of cooked or canned and drained seafood. Chef Charles likes to use 1 cup each lobster meat, Alaska king crab, scallops and shrimp. Place the seafood in a frying pan along with 1/2 cup white wine, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Heat. Place on a shallow, ovenproof dish, which can go to the table.(Chef Charles uses a shell-shaped dish, hence the name). Blend in 2 cups canned or homemade cream sauce combined with 1/3 cup prepared Hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
    Around the World Pilaf
    ...This is a quick version of the pilaf so popular in Chef Charles' native land of Greece. Bring to a boil 2 cups consomme or bouillion, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon white pepper. Add 1 cup rice. Stir well. Cover and allow to cook slowly about 20 minutes or until done. Add 1 more tablespoon butter, broken into little bits, and fluff with a fork.
    Frozen Green Beans with Almonds
    ...The combination now comes frozen ready to heat.
    Top of the Fair Bomb
    ...To serve 6, you will need 12/3 pint each of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Rinse a melon mold with cold water, slightly soften the ice cream. Cover the inside of the mold with strawberry ice cream. Add the vanilla and place a bit of the chocolate in the center. Smooth the top. Keep in the freezer until serving time. Unmold and decorate with sweetened whipped cream.
    Chef Charles' Own Blueberry Sauce
    ...To 2 cups briefly cooked or canned blueberries, add a 2-inch strip of lemon peel and the same amount of orange peel, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 or 3 whole cloves. Simmer 3 minutes. Serve warm."
    ---"Top of the Fair Restaurant Recipes Can Be Made At Home," Poppy Cannon (syndicated columnist) Ada Evening News [OK] May 31, 1964 (p. 15)

    "Famous Foods from Famous Places: Top of the Fair," Better Homes and Gardens, May 1964 (p. 72+) [includes selected recipes]
    Festival '64 menu (Gas Pavillion) July 4, 1964.


    FoodTimeline library owns these NYC World's fair cook books (happy to scan/send upon request, sorry! no recipes for Belgian waffles):

    Wanted: The original formula for the "Top of the Fair Cocktail." If you know it, would you please share?

    Expo67/Montreal
    According to the Official Guide to Expo67: "Expo's visitors, in the process of spending and estimated $80,000,000 at the exhibition on food and drink, anc dine and wine their way round the world...To oragnize and streamline the oerall restaurant operation took a great deal of planning. It represents six months of the greatest mass feeding project of its kind in Canadian history. At Expo you should find the kind of food you want, from snacks to elaborate meals of many courses, within easy reach wherever on the site you my happen to be...In Expo-Services complexes...are restaurants, snack bars, specialty food shops and vending machines..." (p. 206) Complete list of all Expo67 dining facilities (published in this book)
    here.

    1984 Louisiana World Exposition
    Food Timeline owns Jambalaya: Official Cookbook of the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition/Junior League of New Orleans. Recipes focus on modern New Orleans cuisine.

    Move theater concessions

    What kind of food was offered at movie theater concesssion stands in the 1920s? The answer is: nothing.

    We seached dozens of interior shots of early 20th century theaters and found no references to concessions or any other food-selling activities. The Great Depression changed that. Popcorn was grudgingly adopted by movie owners. Theater concessions, we know them today, were introduced in the 1940s. No doubt, like today, some people snuck food in.

    "Because concession stands didn't exist until the 1940s, all around each theater there was a cluster of lunch counters, ice cream parlors and candy stores a whole thriving ecosystem of urban gathering places, with the theater at its heart," reported the [Boston] Globe." ---Tufts University ENews

    Why were foods sold in theatres?
    "Satisfying the sweet tooth of American moviegoers has zoomed into a multi-million dollar sideline business for theatres, with sales of popcorn, candy, ice cream and soft drinks now totalling about $500,000,000 a year, according to figures compiled by the concession commmittee of the Theatre Owners of America. Incidentally, the National Theatres circuit...will sell $4,000,000 worth of popcorn this year."
    ---"Big Business," New York Times, October 2, 1949 (p. X5)

    Drive-in theatres, doubling as amusement parks, sold foods similar to baseball stadiums.
    "From its novelty state of just a few years ago the drive-in theatre has mushroomed into a multi-million dollar outlet for the exhibition of motion pictures...But the convenience is beginning to take on other meanings too as the drive-in operators step up public services...Nor have tose extra lures for the kiddie trade been overlooked. Pony rides and toy train raides, swings, see-saws, carousels and other amusements are offered in a large number of drive-ins as before-the-show attractions. These accomodations serve another purpose, too. By bringing the family groups out an hour or so before showtime the candy, ice cream, popcorn, soda, coffee, hotdog and hamburger stands, among other concessions, do a thriving business. According to reports, it is not unusual for receitps from these enterprises to range in amount from 40 to 60 per cent of the gross box office revenues."
    ---"Movie Novelty Develops into Big Business," Thomas M. Pryor, New York Times, September 4, 1949 (p. 47)

    Concessions are winners at double-features.
    "The only one apparantly still profiting by the double reature is the exhibitor--he sells more popcorn, soda, candy and ice cream via the double gill. It was brough out at the Senate Small Business Committee hearings in Washington that the concession business done by theatres in 1951 resulted in gross sales of approximately $506,000,000."
    ---"Hollywood Augury, Production Switch Dooms Double Feature--Addenda," Thomas Pryor, New York Times, May 31, 1953 (p. X3)

    Food sales keep theaters open.
    "At the trade show of the National Association of Theater Owners...there was also a choice of Odell's butter, Durkee Pop-all, Super Gold, Bee-Hive, Flavacol and Pop-Top to pour over the popcorn...This trad show takes such products very seriously. That's because approximately $750 million will be spent at movie-theater concession stands this year...'Without concessions, no hteater could remain in business.'...Approximately 65 cents of every doall that comes into the concession stand is profit...Because candy is a lower profit item than either drinks or popcorn, the space for candy at concession stands is shrinking...The competition for the 19 percent reamining of concession-stand sales includes candy, ice-cream, nachos, hot dogs, burritos, T-shirts, lobby video games and--the newest competitor--framed paintings."
    ---"For Theater Owners, Many Flavors of Profit," Aljean Harmetz, New York Times, November 5, 1983 (p. 17)

    Popcorn goes to the movies
    "An extraordinary influence on popcorn's history was its shotgun wedding to movie theaters...During the 1920s the motion picture industry had emerged with large studios and chains of theatres...By 1930 movie attendance reached 90 million patrson per week. This huge audience was potentially a prime target for popcorn sales, but movie owners refused to sell it. To some owners, vending all concessions was an unnecessary nuisance or "beneath their dignity." In the rowdy burlesque days hawkers went through the aisles with baskets selling Cracker Jack and popcorn. Much of the popcorn was tossed in the the air or strewn on the floors. In addition popcorn sellers were often slovenly dressed and did not always follow the most hygienic practices preferred by the middle classes who frequented theaters. These were not the images most owners wanted to cultivate for their upscale theaters. Other owners considered the profits on concession sales to be negligible compared with the trouble and expense of cleaning up spilled popcorn and scattered boxes and sacks. Many move theaters had carpeted their lobbies with valuable rugs to emulate the grand theater lobbies. Operates were not interested in having their expensive carpets destroyed by spilled popped kernels, soda pop, and other confections. Finally, most theaters did not have outside vents. Early popcorn machines filled theaters with an unpleasant, penetrating smoky odor. Owners interested in selling popcorn were required to construct vents, which ran up the expenses and reduced profits. Even when owners were willing to do this, fire laws in some cities prevented the popping of corn without further extensive remodeling. Until the 1930s most theater owners considered popcorn to be a liability rather than an asset. Theater owners shifted their perspectives dramatically during the Depression. At five or ten cents a bag, popcorn was an affordable luxury for most Americans. Unlike most other confections, popcorn sales increased throughout the Depression. A major reason for this increase was the introduction of popcorn into movie theaters. At first independent concessionares leased "lobby privileges" in theaters. Vendors paid about a dollar a day for the right to sell popcron. As many theaters did not have lobby space and most did not want the popcorn or smoke inside, operators leased vendors space outside the theaters. This suited the vendors for they were able to sell both to movie patrons and passersby on the street. This was a lucrative business during the Depression. When an Oklahoma banker went bankrupt during the Depression, he set himself up with a popcorn machine in the little store near a theater. He made enough money in a few years to buy back three farms he had lost in the bank failure...Soon popcorn entered the theater. In part this change was effected in a roundabout way by popcorn machine salesmen. As a matter of tactics, salesmen made special efforts to sell poppers to stores near theaters. When theater owners saw their costomers entering with popcorn bags, they quickly saw the light...Independent movie theaters were the first to capitulate to popcorn's financial allure...As soon as machines were placed in the lobbies, business picked up."
    ---Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America, Andrew F. Smith [Smithsonian Press:Washington] 2001 (p. 99-102)

    "Movies had prospered without popcorn until the Great Depression, when theater owners scrambled to make up for reduced ticket prices by turning to "audible edibles." The appetite of moviegoers was so great that from 1934 to 1940, the nation's annual popcorn harvest grew from 5 million to 100 million pounds. Marty Winter...recalled that Mr. Rubin was popcorn being made in Oklahoma City on a visit around 1930 and started selling it a concessions he contrlled when he returned to New York. But Mr. Rubin's duaghter and a other longtime business colleague, Carl Levine, said it was not unitl the early 1950's that Mr. Rubin began to sell popcorn in a major way. At the time, his company...had the refreshments concessions for major movie chains in the New York metropolitan area, including RKO, Brandt and Lowes. Andrew F. Smith, the author of "Popped Culture: The Social History of Popcorn in America," said New York theaters were among the last to embrace popcorn, because it had a small profit margin, popping machines were a fire hazard and the snack seemed a bit delcasse...Mr. Smith said that popcorn was being sold in some New York 1940s...At [age] 12, [Mr. Rubin] went to work for Lazar, Stein & Landsman, ABC's predecessor company, filling vending machines in movie theater, which did not yet have concession stands. When a vending machine rolled and broke against the stage, he used it as a counter to sell candy, a precursor of the modern movie concession stand. Over his conccession career, Mr. Rubin...developed movie-size candy bars and boxes, which could be sold for $1.50 instead of 35 cents."
    ---"Samuel M. Rubin, 85, Vendor: Put Fresh Popcorn in Theaters," New York Times, February 9, 2004 (p. B8)

    The earliest pictures we find of theater concession stands were taken (probably) in the 1940s:

    Ancient Roman Colosseum fare
    What did the spectators munch while watching events (chariot races, sports contests, circus, etc.) in the Colosseum?

    "The most varied and the most typically Roman of entertainments were the Games. These were at first presented in the old Circuit Flaminius and the later Circus Maximus. Long and straight, these had been designed for the chariot races that were a part of Roman life for hundreds of years...In due course, vast, circular open theatres were built specifically for the Games. There was Nero's wooden Ampitheatrum of AD 57...so called because its oval shape resembled a double theatre entirely surrounding the stage...The Emperor's box commanded the arena, and the front rows reserved for upper ranks...had unrivaled views, but visibility was excellent even from the wedges of seats rising skywards. Comfort was limited: you took your own cushion; in fact chopped reed was called tomentum circense 'circus stuffing'. If you were wise, you took some refreshment too, like the eques, drinking during the show, to whom Augustus sent down a message: "I go home when I want to have a meal." "Because you needn't worry about losing your seat," said the eques'...The Games brought many citizens...together for a whole day or for days on end, drunk with wine, sated with beauty, and with thrills and with blood, galvanized by the roars and applause that could be heard all over the city and well beyond. With childlike enthusiasm Statius tells us of the Saturnalia entertainment arranged for a temporarily grateful citizenry by Emperor Domitian:

    "Off with you, father Phoebus, stern Pallas, and all the Muses: you're on holiday. We'll want you back on the first of January. Saturn, loose your fetters. Come here you three, Drunk December, rude Fun, indecent Joke! Help me tell about the fine day and the bibilous night that our cheerful Caesar arranged for us. Scarce had Dawn got out of bed when sweets began to rain down on us, a rare dew distilled by the rising East Wind. The finest harvest of the hazel orchards of the Pontus and of the fertile hills of Idume, all that devour Damascus grows on its boughs, all that thirsty Cunus dries, all fell in profusion: there was a veritable shower of little cheeses and fritters, Amerines not too smoked, must-cakes, and enormous caryotis dates form invisible palms...A second audience, at least as good-looking and well-dressed as we who were sitting down, now threaded its way along every row. Some carried baskets of bread and white napkins and more elaborate delicacies; others served languorous wine in brimming measure: you would think each one a divine cupbearer from Mount Ida. The same table served every class alike, child, woman, plebs, eques and senator: freedom had loosed the bonds of awe. You yourself--most gods could not have managed this!--you, Caesar, condescended to share our feast.""
    ---Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2000 (p. 230-2)

    "Just as sacrifical meat from the altar was in demand, the meat from circus sacrifices fetched a good price, because it was meat from a holy sacrifice; because it was game--often exotic--that the Romans enjoyed; because it was supposed to contain substantces that fortified them and because it was scarce. There was nowhere near enough to go round the tens of thousands of greedy spectators."
    ---Around the Roman Table, Patrick Faas [Palgrave MacMillan:New York] 1994 (p. 282)

    Related dining? Ancient Roman fast food & Roman Legion mess.

    Vending machines
    Americans are conflicted when it comes to vending machines. Automated food dispensers have been regarded as "wave of the future," "better than personal service," "hygenic," and "evil purveyors of junk food to our children." Vending machine manufacturers are truly an inventive group.
    Automats took the vending industry to the next level.

    When was the first USA vending machine introduced & what did it sell?
    "The first American vending machine appeared in 1888, when the Thomas Adams Gum Company (American Chickle, Pfizer) placed a machine selling Tutti-Fruitti chewing gum on a platform of the elevated train in New York City. The following year, a penny vending machine was developed that could dispense handfuls fo candy and peanuts. Round, bubble-topped penny gumball machines were introduced in 1907. Because vending machines were still quite unreliable, most sold only penny items until the 1920s. One exception was the Horn and Hardart Baking Company, which opened the first coin-operated Automat restaurant in Philadelphia in 1902...In 1908 the Public Cup Vendor Corporation (Dixie Cup Company), devised a machine that served cooled water in a paper cup for a penny..."Sodamats," forerunners of the modern soda machine, were installed in amusement parks in 1926...In the 1930s vending machines began to offer a variety of candy bars. Movie theatres, popular sites for candy machines, displayed large, ornately designed versions. In 1935 the first cup-type soft-drink vending machine was made by Vendrink Corporation...and Coca-Cola introduced the first standardized coin-operated bottled soda machines selling nickel Cokes...Refrigerated machines were perfected in the 1950s. The War Production Board stopped the production of vending machines in 1942 because of the need for metal to support the war effort. Still, vending machines sustained the war effort, feeding factory workers during their long shifts, which led to the later acceptance of vending machines in the workplace. By 1960 some companies and schools and colleges abandoned their cafeterias and replaced them with banks of less expensive vending machines. Sandwiches, desserts, hot coffee, and soup created a growing market in factories and plants...The period also saw the introduction of machines that exchanged coins for dollar bills...Hot coffee machines were invented in 1945 and remained unchanged until the 1980s, when new innovations allowed coffee beans to be ground within the machine, as needed. This innovation produced the 1990s explosion of gourmet coffee and espresso machines."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 586-7)

    A selected survey of American vending machine developments:
    [1891]
    "The now popular on omnipresent "nickel-in-the-slot machine" has only come into practical use within the past four years, although the idea is 2,000 years old. Four years ago this class of apparatus was entirely unckown as far as commercial purposes were concerned. Up to the beginning of 1888 only forty patents had been issued in this country governing such devices. The principal upon which the earlier machines were constructed is at least 2,000 years old. The device was employed by the priests of Alexandria, Egypt, for selling 'lustral' or purifying water to their parishioners. The apparatus was so arranged that upon the dropping of a coin into a slot it would fall on a lever which would raise a valve and thus allow the water to flow out. As soon as the coin fell off the lever the valve would reseat itself and the flow be stopped until another coin was deposited. The device was very simple, and if it worked successfully it was a monument to the honesty and stupidity of the ancient Egyptians, as the average street urchin of to-day would have found a way to "beat" this machine in five minutes. Since 1888 there have been about 4000 patents issued for these machines, which have been classed under the head of "coin-controlled apparatus," and this class has been divided into twenty-four sub-classes. About the same number of patents have been issued in England and a large number in Germany. Almost everything can now be obtained from these automatic clerks or, waiters. A person can drop a coin, either a penny or a nickel, in a slot and procure a cigar, cigarette, or piece of candy, or have his boots blacked, see a horse race, game of baseball, or get a glass of soda, lemonade, mineral water, a cup of tea, a cup of coffee, or have a spray of perfume thrown over his handkerchief, and send a telephonic message, ascertain his striking capacity, test his lungs, get a postal card, a postage stamp, a newspaper, borrow an opera glass, a fan, a book, set a phonograph in motion and "hear the band play," and do a hundred other things "too numerous to mention." The first patent of a machine bearing any similitude to those now in use was granted in England in 1839. This device was intended to prevent the use of seats in public vehicles without paying fare...An English patent was granted in 1870 entitled a "vending machine," which was intended to be used in selling various articles."
    ---"A nickel in the slot: Ancient idea modernized for practical commercial purposes," Washington Post, April 19, 1891 (p. 15)

    [1950]
    "New Yorkers learned recently that they had put a total of eight million dollars into subway vending machines during the last year, in exchange for candy, peanuts, chewing gum, cigarettes, carbonated drinks and a variety of other edible, nonedible and inedible commodities. They have also put in a great deal of physical and mental effort aimed at deceiving and punishing the machines, presumable in exhange for certain inner satisfactions...[Vending machines] serve a substantial, though somewhat limited, workingman's lunch or snack in the form of soups, sandwiches, cakes, pastry and hot and cold drinks. It also serves fare accepable to ducks, yaks, antelopes, chickens and such simple forms of animal life; the Bronx Zoo, for example, has machines selling cellophane-wrapped packages of bird-and-beast goodies, and ice-cream and pop corn machines are legion. A coin in a slot buys a tin of snuff, a picket comb, a dosage of sun-tan lotion or a one-shop dental kit, including a disposable toothbrush, a vial of toothpaste and a snack-sized length of dental floss...Recently, the robots have joined ranks and set out to conquer new and broader commercial fields, replacing not only the man behind the shop counter but the counter itself, and even the shop. Rows of monsterous, coin-operated refrigerators, combining the design of a restrained juke-box with the architecture of a bank vault, have been installed in apartment houses to compete with the milkman and the grocery store's dairy department...The late-mode vender is a dazzling thing of artfully chsen colors, sleek outlines, and trimmings of illuminated glass and plastic. It looks neat, efficient, and sanitary enough to meet the requirements of a hospital waiting room--qualities which have a decided attraction to almost anyone who has ever had to sort out his morning cup of coffee from the elbow-deep litter of a midtown luncheonette counter. Consciously or not, the public also has been influenced by the machine's ability to produce, at a price sometimes lower than that of a simlar item sold over the conventional store counter, a product of uniform quality, not subject to the haste, whimsy, fallibility or malice of a clerk or counterman."
    ---"Coin-in-the-Slot: New Vending Machines are Harvesting Millions--and the end is not yet," John Sharnik, New York Times, December 3, 1950 (p. SM 30)

    [1951]
    "When Winnie the Welder on the "graveyard shift," or Tillie The Typist, late in the afternoon, gets that gone feeling, she hastens to the nearest canteen, puts in her coin, and promptly becoems one of thousand of coast-to-coast customers."
    ---"White Collar Girl," Chicago Daily Tribune, December 3, 1951 (p. D2)

    [1952]
    "Retail selling without sales clerks is ringing up new gains. This year Americans will drop an expected $1.2 billion into vending machines, double the amount of 1946...The coin-droppers are plunging more money into such mechanical salesmen standbys as cigarettes, peanut and chewing gum machines. And they're also buying from machines such varied merchandise as lighter fluid, postcards, hosiery, and magazines. Among the latest mechanical salesmen is a machine that offers four kinds of refrigerated fresh fruit and can serve four customers at once. Then there's the miniature version of the Automat, dubbed the Lunch-o-Mat. It sells the eater-on-the-run hot and cold sandwiches, pie, pastry, milk, fruit juice and coffee...Besides the usual stress on things for on-the-spot consumption, vending mahcines are making abigger play for the take-home market...Behind the rise of vending machines, of course, is the rise in the cost of retail sales help. The average wage of the human salesperson climbed, by Government calculation, from about $1 an hour, on the average in 1947, to $1.32 last July...The opening-up of new markets in factories and on military posts has contributed heavily to the advance of the mechanical salseman."
    ---"Mechanical Selling: Vending Machines Win a Rising Flood of Coin With New Merchandise," Thomas S. Watts, Wall Street Journal, October 16, 1952 (p. 1)

    [1953]
    School vending machines criticized by dentists.

    "This, we say, is going too far. How would you feel if a vending machine which has just pocketed your coin and--with whirrings and bangs--delivered into your hand a candy bar, some peanuts, or a beverage in a paper cup should conclude the deal by booming as you turn away, "Thank you!"? A "polite" vending machine which will do exactly that has been announced by the National Automatic Merchandizing Association."
    ---"'Dispens-able' Voice," Christian Science Monitor, September 8, 1853 (p. 16)

    [1956]
    "Robot salesmen are winning in ever-increasing covey of customers among factory workers, travelers and housewives-but not without a few creaks and groans. Vending machines throughout the country are swallowing a record $1.9 billion in small change this year. The people who make these automatic merchandisers and the operators who keep them filled with food, drink, smokes, nail clippers, perfume, pills and other products share a firm belief that this rain of coin is just the beginning. By 1960, they predict, another billion dollars...will be flowing into the devices every year...The high cost and scarcity of labor, as well as the growth of public confidence in vending machines, is helping swell the population of these robot sales clerks."
    ---"Robot Salesmen: Vending Machines Offer Soup to Nuts Array, Even Cook the Stew," Jerry M. Flint, Wall Street Journal, December 14, 1956 (p. 1)

    [1957]
    "In the rapid expansion of automatic merchandising, the dispensing of hot foods in plants, schools, and many other areas of activity has been one of the major developments...The American fondness for snacks is responsible for the largest segment of the automatic merchandising industry. Greatest growth has been in the hot food end of this phase of merchandising. Much of the growth for the immediate future also hinges on further developments in machines to dispense complete hot meals. First introduced in 1955, many have already been expanded into complete automatic cafeterias...The impact has been felt throughout the food field. Candy manufacturers turn out a good share of their production in special sizes, shapes, and packs for machines. Confectionery and pastry houses have developed special nickel and dime pies, cakes, cookie and cracker packs, and other pastries. The packaging industry has been called on for special wraps, boxes, and sacks that can be adapated to machines. There are hot meal vendors for foods such as Swiss steak, chicken a la king, beef stew, spaghetti and meat balls, macaroni and cheese, meat and chicken pies, and baked beans. One firm now has 27 hot foods which are sold from an automatic cafeteria that takes up little more space than the average soft drink machine. There's the endless choice of soups from a soup bar. There are also special vendors for fresh, crisp salads, multiselection machines for hot and cold beverages and hot soups, and for a wide choice of sandwiches. There are special machines for parties and other desserts. It is possible to buy a freshly roasted hot dog, served in a roll, complete with sealed portion of mustard...One of the newest and most complex machines serves a complete meal from appetizer to dessert in a matter of seconds...Most of these hot food machines are installed in factories, schools, and military establishments. Eight out of 10 manufacturing plants use vending machines to help solve the problem of factory feeding...Such installations save capital investments, as well as the cost of operating regular cafeterias...They also provide round-the-clock feeding to take care of night shifts. In many plants, profits form the machiens are used for employee welfare and recreational funds. This encourages use of the machines and discourages abuse and pilfering. One plant uses commissions to buy uniforms and equipemnt for athletic teams...The RCA Victor TV division plant in Bloomington, Ind., uses automatic machines to feed 4,000 chips, pretzels, and other foods. Cooky sales have beenfound to increase reapidly when installed beside beverage machines...The Pennsylvania Railroad has an automatic snack bar to supplement dining-car service in some trains..."
    ---"Flick Button: Hot or Cold Bite. Vending Robots Serve Snacks," Bernice Stevens Decker, Christian Science Monitor, February 16, 1957 (p. 12)

    [1960]
    "Southern Californians clinked $40 million in nickels, dimes and quarters into gaudy machines to buy cigarettes, pop, candy, coffee and 25 other lines of merchandise last hear. One out of every five candy bars and packs of cigarettes is peddled through vending machines. There are 150 companies installing and servicing the automatic merchandising equipment, but close to half of the business is in the hands of three giants, all with national operations...It is an industry in revolution. There is the technological revolution, touched off a decade ago with perfection of automtatic coffee-peddling machines. There is the financial revolution, as big firms get bigger and small ones struggle for survival...And there is the revolution of service, as vending machines offer more and better general food service to the point that automatic cafeterias are not far in the future."
    ---"Vending Machines Become Big Business in Southland," Louis Fleming, Los Angeles Times, October 16, 1960 (p. h1)

    [1960]
    ""We belive that there is a big future in the field of automatic merchandising and that this concern is in a position to benefit form such developments," At a time when vending machine securities have become top speculative favorites, this quotation from an investment advisory service sounds as contemporary as a Kennedy headline. And yet it was written in 1920. The concern reviewed, Autosales Co., went out of business in the mid-1930s. It seves to point up the classic differentiation betwen invention and innovation by Joseph Schumpeter, the late Harvard economist, and the frequently great time lag between the two. Vending machines...are hardly new although the stock market currently acts as though they were. The automatic merchandising industry is now celebrating its 75th anniversary. The first patents were granted in 1886 and two years later machines were already installed in New York's elebated train stations. Machines dispensing gum, candy, cigarettes--and more recently, soft drinks and coffee--have become commonplace. And yet the automatic merchandising industry feels it has hardly begun to tap its potential. Why has such a promising industry take to long to grow up?..For one thing, the early vending machines were relatively simple devices, But only until recently has technology been able to broaden their applications to take them out of the subway gum and candy rut....[the] vending equipemnt is essentialy labor-saving machinery. Scarcely had an automatic merchandising boom gotten underway in the 1920s when the Great Depression turned a labor shortage into a surplus, and "wage rates turned down, lessening the pressure to replace retail clerks with machines." Thre wasn't much point in putting a nickel into a slot for an apple when one could be bought on any street corner. Today, the trend has again been reversed. The labor supply has tightened and retail labor costs have mounted...Hence the present drive to replace the retail clerk with a machine. Vending equipment has been developed to recognize and change currency up to $20 bills, to handle race track bets, to dispence movie tickets, phonograph records, ice cubes, hot meals and what have you. Since June...Macy's New York store has been testing a machine which sells 36 different items of men's underwear ad shirts. The lease charge averages 20 cents an hour on a round-the-clock basis against an average of well over $1 an hour for a sales clerk. Automation has already invaded in-plant feeding, a $4 billion industry in itself. In Kansas City, a recently opened vending drive-in bult like a carport offers prepared foods, beverages and staple grocery items 24 hours a day from 24 machines."
    ---"75-Year-Old Prodigy Gorws Up," Frank C. Porter, Washington Post, December 2, 1960 (p. B8)

    [1967]
    "...children, if left to their their own devices, will buy what is at hand and is appealing. Vending machines, drugstores and variety stores are at every corner. If you give your child 25 cents to buy his breakfast on the way to school, it is likely that breakfast will be candy bars and pop--not a glass of milk and a bowl of cereal."
    ---"Food and Your Health," F.J. Stare, Los Angeles Times, November 30, 1967 (p. G5)

    [1968]
    "Each day Americans drop and estimated 111 million coins into vending machines to buy such items as cigarettes, candy, chewing gum, milk, soft drinks, nuts, ice cream and sandwiches. Last year the clinking of nickles, dimes and quarters added up to a sales volume of more than $4.5 billion. This year the projected sales value is $4.9 billion, an increase of 8 per cent. The American vending industry is expanding in what has been called its "third evolution" since World War II by establishing itself as a significant retailing channel and providing service to such new outlets as factories, offices and colletes. The "second evolution," in the priod between 1959 and 1961, led consolidations of vending mahcine manufacturers and service companies. This resulted in the establishment of national service concerns and public ownership of the largest service companies. The "third evolution" is palcing a majority of vending machines into new avenues of operation...the extent of this change was disclosed in two surveys of the industury, sponsored by the N.A.M.A...."An increasing variety of convenience foods will be available and purchased by smaller service firms who can thus cut down on production costs,"...The application of computers will have an important impact on the future of the vending business..."
    ---"'Third Evolution' Seen In Vending Machines, New York Times, September 22, 1968 (p. 155)

    [1972]
    "Do you want your child lunching at school everyday on potato chips, soda pop, and candy instead of meat, milk, and fruit? That might happen if a bill now in the final stages of congressional passage is approved without change. And it probably will be--due to heavy lobbying pressure which has brought it almost unnoticed this far. This pressure comes primarily from makers of snack foods with little or no nutritive value, show see school lunchrooms as a marvelous place to increase sales and profit."
    ---"Vending-machine school lunches?," Rober P. Hey, Christian Science Monitor, September 11, 1972 (p. 12)

    [1974]
    "When students at Cornell University want a quick snack, they buy an apple--from a vending machine! The robot food dispensers are placed at strategic spots on campus and stocked with fresh, cool fruit. Despite competition from candy and soft drink machines, the apple vendors "do a really big business," says Prof. Robert Smock, of Cornells' Pomology Department...Of coruse the fruit business is just a drop in the bucket for an industry with total annual sales of more than $4 billion. Sugar-laden snacks like candy bars, cookies, crackers, soda, and ice cream are where the money is in automatic food vending. That's why Mrs. Jean Farmer of Bloomington, Ind. became so alarmed when vending machines appeared at local schools....Vending machines are not evils, she says, nor are the people who operate them. But especially in schools, they need to be stocked with wholesome foods..."The only profit we should consider...is the lasting profit of good health and good habits." Concerned parents elsewhere are also resisting the vending machine invasion."...Lets remember that automatic vendors are only machines. If we want them to provide people with better nutrition, we'll just have to program them that way."
    ---"Vending machines that dispense health," Robert Rodale, Chicago Tribune, August 5, 1974 (p. N5)

    [1992]
    "It is not hard to see the flaws in vending machines. They swallow money and never return it. They promise to drop a package of candy but freeze in mid-moment, cruelly dangling something that cannot be reached. They offer food that is appealing only to the desperate. But there are visions of what a vending machine can be: a quick, easy way to get fresh, nutritious food, valued not as a last-ditch choice but as an appealing alternative. There is a growing belief in the food industry that the next few years will witness the transformation of vending from a static, change-resistant business into one that will provide food anywhere people happen to be...Some of ther first tentative signs of change are already being spotted: vending machines that grind coffee from beans and brew a fresh cup...and systems that use debit cards rather than coins that do not function or coins that mysteriously disappear...This fall E.C.C. International Corporation...will begin selling vending machines that offer frozen foods that can be bought and then heated in a microwave oven. And Ore-Ida Foods...plans to begin production soon of a manchine that cooks french fries with hot air..."There are a lot of interesting machines coming,"...Although radical changes could take years to establish, there are several reason to believe that they are likely to occur. Vending has long been a dormant area of the food business which is constantly seeking new areas to exploit. Now, executives at large companies say vending has become a priority...Changes in the economy are also creating a demand for better vending in more places. The shrinking of large companies has led to the closing of many company cafeterias. They are being replaced with vending areas...Vending has been slow to change partly because the business for years could depend on what it called the four C's: cold drinks, candy, confections and cigarettes. Most of the items were small and and easy to buy with a coin or two. Now, the smallest candy bar seems to take a pocketful of change, which discourages purchases...It is not clear to all operators of vending machines...that their future lies in dispensing meals, rather than snacks or candy...The perceptions affect what people are willing to pay and buy. "We are still looked at strictly as a convenience and not as a food source,"..."People don't expect to go to a vending machine and buy steak and a baked potato."...They expect to pay less than they would for the same item bought in a grocery store...Meeting the needs of vending customers...is not easy. People are extremely impatient even in stores...They are at least as demanding when it comes to being served by a machine...Mollie Little...is the kind of customer the vending industry is trying to lure. She often takes her lunch to work, but said that she would buy from a machine if she could get good sandwiches, salads or entrees from companies like Weight Watchers or Lean Cuisine. Now, though, she sticks to buing soda or trail mix because she does not like the sandwiches from the machines...."the bread was soggy.""
    ---"Vending Machines, the Next Generation in Dining," Trish Hall, New York Times, September 9., 1992 (p. C1)

    [2009]
    "Over the past decade, Mr. [Claudio] Torghele, 56, an entrepreneur in this Northern Italian city [Roverto] who first made money selling pasta in California, has developed a vending machine that cooks pizza. The machine does not just slip a frozen pizza into a microwave. It actually whips up the flour, water, tomato sauce and fresh ingredients to produce a piping hot pizza in about three minutes. The machine, which Mr. Torghele calls Let's Pizza, is only the spearhead of a trend...The idea of the pizza robot came to Mr. Torghele after he worked in California in the mid-1990s creating a fresh pasta manfacturer...With backing from a Dutch investment fund, his own capital and money from friends, he set to work...by 2003 Mr. Torghele had produced a machine ready to be tested in Chicago and shown at a trade fair in Orlando, Fla...The machine Mr. Torghele and his engineers produced is outfitted with little windows so the customer can watch the pizza being made."
    ---"In Italy, the Vending Machine Bakes: Inventor Takes Human Touch Out of the Recipe for Pizza," John Tagliabue, New York Times, March 14, 2009 (p. B4)
    [NOTE: Mr. Targhele's US patents are online. Sample
    here.]

    Recommended reading: Vending Machines: An American Social History/Kerry Segrave.


    A la Carte, Prix-fixe & Table d'hote

    The three primary modern Western restaurant menu options are "A la Carte," "Prix fixe," and "Table d'hote." The Culinary Institute of America defines them this way: "A la carte: A menu in which the patron makes individual selections from various menu categories; each item is priced separately."
    ---The Professional Chef, Culinary Institute of America, 8th edition [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 2006 (p. 1170)

    "When traiteur in the 1780s added "restauranteur" to his sign, he probably began to serve some sort of bouillon, but he also, if it all possible, made provisions for more particularized repasts, for service a la carte. The restaurant made it possible, for the first time, to partake of a meal in the company of others without actually sharing provisions. In 1794, one would-be restauranteur identified serving single portions as a rare new talent, and thus advertised specifically for a cook who know how to "carve dishes for a-la-carte service" and price single servings. Yet if restauranteurs and their kitchen staffs knew that restaurant service was intended for individuals, their novice customers might not, and so menus throughout the 1790s carried reminders in large and boldface type informing eaters that prices listed were for single servings only. Restauranteurs had printed menus because the offered their customers a choice of unseen dishes...the restauranteur's printed menu made standardized transactions possible in a time when printed prices or fixed charges were still far from the norm in most shops or markets...While a restaurant's fare might not be uniform...its monetary transactions were...the printed menu allowed restaurant patrons to calculate costs 'before spending a penny... There in print, set and fixed before his or her very eyes, the [a la carte] restaurant customer saw prices and dish names, concoctions and costs. No longer required to share each of the dishes brought to a table d'hote, but permitted to concentrate on the ones he or she explicitly requested, the restaurant patron could make a preference as much as a matter of finance as of taste......The rejection of the table-d'hote tradition indicated far more than a move toward flexible mealtimes and away from shared provisions; the restaurant also altered the relation between provider and customer...The table d'hote had literally been "the host's table'...The restauranteur offered a different sort of hospitality: he promised to provide each customer, with his or her or their...own table..."Restaurant" service--as unlike the cafe as it was distinct form the table d'hote--characterized not commonwealth but compartmentalization, a world of dividing partitions and individual isolation..." ---The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, Rebecca L. Spang [Harvard University Press:Cambridge MA] 2000 (p. 77-78)

    Ladies menus
    Restaurant history sources suggest giving women (accompanying men) menus without prices is a traditional haute cuisine "Old world" custom. Most notably, French. None of them provide details regarding the origin and evolution of the "Ladies' Menu." The practice is indeed intriguing. The origins, elusive. Historically, unpriced menus accompany banquets bankrolled by the host. They are souveniers, not practical working a la carte documents. "Ladies menus" make perfect sense in late 19th/20th USA context when "all things French" were embraced by wealthy folks eager to flash new money in public. In the 1970s-1980s "Ladies' menus" were challenged in court as discriminatory. Restaurants backed down.

    [1964]
    "Here's a New Thing--the C'est Si Bon on Brighton Way and Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills, which just opened its new La Potiniere (Conversation) Room, has dreamed up quite an idea. In this intimate, beautifully decorated room. patrons can go global, ordering French, Italian, English, Spanish, German and Mexican dishes. But that's not the point. The point is that this restaurant has two sets of menus--one for the gentlemen, one for the ladies. One the ladies' menu, no prices are listed. This, of course, is gentility at its utmost. But, let's face it, Mr. and Mrs. John Smith go to La Pontiere Room for dinner. Mrs. Smith sees no prices on her menu. She is almost certain to whisper to her husband: "Psst, John, how much are the stuffed pork chops and what do they get for a Caesar salad?' Nice try, though."
    ---"Place with His, Hers Menus, Round About with Art Ryon," Los Angeles Times, March 1, 1964 (p. B28)

    [1977]
    "The lady pleads for anonymity, but willingly tells her story. One night some time ago she found herself seated with her husband at a Palm Spring restaurant, staring at a menu with no prices listed. What she had come up against as an old European custom, that of presenting only the gentleman with a menu bearing prices--a practice still prevalent in Paris. But, the lady in Palm Springs reasoned, she was not in Paris and she did not mind being bothered about prices. She was, in fact, offended..."I know it's supposed to be high class, but I guess I'm not a elegant lady.' She had reason to be surprised at her menu. Except at a handful of restaurants such s as Chez Cary and Ambrosia in Newport Beach, the practice has gradually been dying out in Southern California. That is, it had until Bernard's, the new and much -heralded restaurant at the refurbished Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, revived the custom upon opening late last year. The purpose, managers at quality restaurant explain, is not to 'inconvenience' the ladies with matters such as prices. As it happens, this works out well for the restaurants too. Diners who don't know the price won't hesitate, as they normally might to order the most expensive dishes. Because Bernard's is located downtown, a working center for increasing numbers of women executives and professionals, the resurrection by be considered either gutsy or foolhardy. It certainly raises all manner of questions. What, for instance, if the lady wants to be inhibited by the prices, so as not to gouge her host for every dollar in his pocket? What if the lady is paying for her own meal? What if she simply takes offense and being shielded from such matters as menu prices? What, in other words, of women's liberation...Bernard Jacopy, food and beverage director at Bernard's, reacts with mild shock to this last question. 'It's just a matter of haute cuisine and savoir faire, not women's lib.'...He acknowledges...that 'some women layers over in the Crocker Bank building' have complained. 'So now whenever they come in, we give them the menus with prices. The men who come with them get the menus without prices.' He is careful...to offer the menu with prices when two ladies dine together, or when the reservations are in the lady's name, or when it is made clear the lady is the hostess. 'It is not a 'ladies' menu...'Male or female, the host gets the priced menu...This is not very convenient for lunch, we have found, but it is nice for dinner.'...At Chez Cary, where only the gentlemen get menus with prices unless a lady hosts the party or other arrangements are made...'We do not trouble our ladies with prices. We try to pamper our ladies.'...Geril Muller, owner of Ambrosia, where as a rule only the gentlemen get menus with prices, is more adamant. 'It is very rude to be a guest and have prices in front of you. You never show a lady the price of what she orders. A lady is a lady and should not be involved in prices...If the lady feels offended or discriminated against, tough luck. She can go somewhere else.'...A survey of a cross-section of the better restaurants in Southern California yields none but Bernards, Chez Cary and Ambrosia with no-price menus."
    ---"A Menu That Feminists Can't Swallow," Barry Siegel, Los Angeles Times, January 5, 1977 (p. F1)

    [1980]
    "Kathleen Bick took Larry Becker, her partner in a public relations and design business, to a celebration dinner two weeks ago at L'Orangerie, a French restaurant on La Ciegna Boulevard. Becker was handed a french menu with prices listed. Because she is a woman, Bick got a pristine, white menu--but no prices, a practice considered refined and genteel by many French restaurants. But Bick was 'humiliated and incensed' and she and her partner registered their opinion of L'Orangerie's notion of refinement by walking out by walking out without ordering their dinner. On Tuesday, citing California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, they sued the restaurant, charging discrimination, asking for statutory damages of at least $250 and seeking a permanent injunction to end L'Orangerie's menu practice. Bick and Becker have also asked the state Alcohol and Beverage Control Department to revoke the restaurant's liquor license until its 'discriminatory' practice is changed. Feminist lawyer Gloria Allred, who prepared the Los Angeles Superior Court civil suit, denounced the dual menu practice as the 'last bastion of all the rituals having to do with the subordination of women.' Before filing their suit, Bick and Benker said they tried in vain to get the restaurant to change its policy...'It's not discrimination. It's not a provocation. It's tradition,' said Ferry [L'Orangerie owner], bewildered at suddenly being thrust into the unflattering limelight. 'It's done in the same spirit as lighting a woman's cigarette, or standing up when she enters the room.'...Local French restaurant operators contacted by The Times said the menu custom was imported from France, but conceded that even in Europe the custom is bending gradually to women's liberation...Allred said...'It's an assumption that women will always be taken care of if they're with a man,...'...Other Los Angeles area French restaurants polled by The Times said they had menus with prices to the host--even if the host is a woman--and the menus without prices to guests..."
    ---"Suit Claims Unpriced Bill of Fare Is Unfair," Myrna Oliver and Linda Drucker, Los Angeles Times, July 30, 1980 (p. OC-A1)
    [NOTE: This suit was dropped in 1981 then the restaurant decided to order new menus with prices for all customers .'Restaurant Gets the Point: Women to Get Prices," Myrna Oliver, Los Angeles Times, April 9, 1981 (p. OC-18)]

    About men and women dining together in public.

    Price-free menus
    There are four types of restaurant menus without prices: (1) Special meals paid by the host (2)
    Ladies menus (3) Pay what you can (meals subsidized by religious/social service organizations) (4) Pay what you think the meal is worth. The last option is the most intriguing. Why would a fiscally responsible restauranteur let his customers determine how much to pay? Buzz. Pay-what-you-want menus, 3 ways.

    [1984]
    "At La Casa de Pasta restaurant in Warrendale, Pa., the price is right--and so is the customer. Owner Jerry Juliano decided to allow his patrons to decide what a meal is worth on the honor system...'You come in and name your own special. If you want a dollar off, you get a dollar off. If you don't like it, you don't have to pay. Juilian decided to take the prices off his menu two weeks ago. His restaurant had been open for 14 months, but 'no matter what I did, it wouldn't work,' he said. The new menu reads: 'Here at Juliano's we trust the Lord to meet our needs. For this reason, there are no prices on the menu. You may place your oder when you are finished, you will decide what the cost should be. We ask that would be fair in your judgement.' So far, he said, 'it's balancing out...I may even be doing a little bit better than before.' Only a few customers have deliberately underpaid their bills, he said--such as the family of five who ordered large dinners and left $15 for the entire meal. They drove away in 'a big, white Cadillac,' he said."
    ---"Newsmakers: Cafe Has No Beef on Wey Treatment of No-Frills Menu," Connie Stewart, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 1984 (p. D2)
    [NOTES: (1)We wonder if all this family had left was the car and they were living in it? (2) This restaurant (later renamed "Juliano's Family Restaurant" was featured by the Wall Street Journal "We can name lots of restaurants that wouldn't dare attempt this," Terence Roth, February 21, 1985 p. 35 (3) Juliano's discontinued this practice in 1986, per AP wire.]

    [1986]
    "Some upper-crust restaurants in France give women diners a menu without prices. Only their male companions are privy to the costs unless it's specified that the woman is treating. Now, a restauranteur here [London] has gone one step further and elminated prices on all his menus, but the move has little to do with etiquette. The purpose of this price-less menu is to allow people to pay what they think the meal is worth. Peter Ilic offers a six-course meal at Just Around the Corner, his cozy French restaurant in northwest London, and lets customers pay what they like. The wine list is also sans prices. The Yugoslavia-born Ilic said 'This way people pay as much as they like. If something is not right, they don't have to pay. I hate an empty restuarant. I would rather pay people to come in and have a meal than have an empty restaurant...Ilic said he has wanted to open a restaurant with a no-price menu since he got interested in the business, but thought such an idea too risky for his first enterprise. Now that the others are healthy, he's putting the unconventional idea to the test with Just Around the Corner, a name he chose because it's easy to remember and appropriate for the residential area of the restaurant...The amount customers pay varies greatly, Ilic said, but he is not afraid of being misued or cheated. 'I get more here than from my other restaurants where a meal is about L10-L12 ($14-$17). People are embarassed to leave too little.' The lowest...was L8 ($11) left by two women after having a three-course meal. The most generous was L80 ($116) for dinner for two on New Year's Eve...Ilic admits that one drawback to the no-price menu is that some people are very ill at ease trying to decide on a fair price. A few insist on being told what to pay. 'I tell them we're searching for a good value. Whatever you ate before, just take 30% and leave us that much. I would prefer that they leave less and they come back and recommend me to their friends,'... The unusual venture has gotten plenty of attention in magazines, newspapers and on the telly. It's been called 'a winner,' 'good value,' 'lunatic,' 'gimmick,' and 'economically irresponsible.' 'The restaurant will not last long,' predicted Punch magazine. But, buoyed by the successs of Around the Corner in its first six month, Ilic replied cooly: 'It'll stay forever like this."
    ---"Price is Right at London Restaurant," Marian Smith Holmes, Los Angeles Times, September 21, 1986 (p. G21)
    [NOTES: According to the "Who is Peter Ilic" section of the Little Bay restaurant web, Just Around the Corner opened in 1984 (2) Just Around the Corner closed in 1997.]

    [1988]
    "A cartoon in the July 18 issue of The New Yorker showed a waiter serving a dish to a startled customer and saying: 'The chef did this on spec. Pay if you like it.' It's not so far-fetched. Through Sept. 30, Windows, a restaurant in Rosslyn, Va., a Washington suburb, is offering 'the priceless dinner.' Customers receive a menu without prices and at the end of the meal can pay what they think the food was worth. Alcoholic beverages, beverages, taxes and gratuities are added on. The priceless dinner is available only to those who are on the restaurant's mailing list and who make reservations. Most people are paying as much as, if not more than, the regular a la carte prices for the dishes, according to Michel Bergman, the restaurant's publicity agent. The menu, which features California-style cuisine, offers a choice of five appetizers, five main dishes and five desserts."
    ---"Food Notes: Paying What You Like," Florence Fabricant, New York TimesAugust 3, 1988 (p. C7)

    Prix-fixe

    Prix fixe dining, charging a set price for an entire meal, is not a new concept. Neither is all-you-can-eat. Colonial taverns, grand passenger ships, free lunch saloons, college dining halls and Victorian eating clubs were founded on these principles. Modern American (upscale) Prix Fixe began in the early 20th century. Prix-Fixe flourished during the Great Depression, saving many a restaurant from shuttering its doors. The grand American Buffet was a natural iteration on this foodservice theme.

    "Have you noticed how many restaurants now offer prix-fixe menus? Although prix-fixe is being heralded as a new approach to menu pricing, it is actually not new at all. In fact, its origin lies in the hotels of the early 1900s. Prix-fixe is really nothing more than table d'hote, which means "table of the host." Table d'hote, or a complete meal at a fixed price, was the only way people could order food in the early inn and tavern dining rooms 90 years ago. The early inns and taverns did not give patrons a choice of menu items. The patrons ate whatever the innkeeper prepared that day. The menus in the hotels in the early 1900s were just the opposite. Then the typical menu could contain more than 400 different items. Even the smallest hotels offered guests a choice of two to three items over as many as seven courses, including appetizers, soups, entrees, vegetables, salads, desserts and nonalcoholic beverages. Back in those days, hoteliers never bothered to track food costs because meals were considered a loss leader. Money was not made on rooms, as it is today, but from alcoholic-beverage sales in the saloons. That was the origin of the belief that you had to sell liquor to make money in a restaurant. In time, some operators sought to plan and price items separately, or A la carte. Still, they continued to offer table d'hote menus because some guests did not see the value in paying more for separate courses. But when Prohibition killed the cash cow of alcohol sales, hotels converted their bars to coffee shops and soda fountains. A la carte pricing became the preferred menu format. A la carte portions were more substantial than the portions served on the table d'hote courses, which cost more when purchased separately. Bundling the items and selling them for a lower price gave customers the incentive to buy a full meal. Although the term table d'hote is not used much today, the bundling of courses at a set price is used in most table-service restaurants and even fast-food operations. Fast food purveyors call them "value meals." Perhaps the most enduring example of table d'hote is the club breakfast served in every coffee shop. Pancakes, eggs, grits, bacon and toast are included in "hungry farmer breakfasts." Customers probably pay 10 percent to 20 percent less for prix-fixe breakfasts than they would for each item a la carte. The term prix-fixe is more often associated with white-tablecloth restaurants, however. And those restaurants are more readily adopting fixed-price menus. Back in the early 1900s, menu prices were entirely driven by food cost. With the pricing restrictions brought about by World War I and the Depression, prices reflected only a slight markup of cost. Food-cost percentages during those times averaged about 50 percent. Labor costs were very low, so food costs could be high and still result in a profit. No one thought of adding a premium charge for service, amenities or demand. Except for elaborate private functions put on by very wealthy industrialists, prices for food were marked up only two times cost. The old table d'hote menus, which required advance preparation, had resulted in food sitting for long periods, resulting in poor food quality and much waste. Cooking to order was seen as a way to offer adequate choices to guests during nontraditional meal periods and to keep waste to a minimum. Because sugar, meats, coffee, butter and other ingredients were rationed during World War I and World War II, anything that conserved supplies was lauded by operators and the public. The elaborate table d'hote offerings were not appropriate during those times, and the media quickly pointed out such extravagances when elaborate parties were thrown. A la carte pricing has several advantages over prix-fixe. It allows the customer to spend only what he wants for a meal, and it allows the operator to price each course so that it pays its proportion of overhead and returns a profit. Prix-fixe, on the other hand, requires the customer to eat what is listed. Back in the early 1960s one of the better-known restaurants on Chicago's south side was Club El Bianco. It was an Italian restaurant famous for its signature "fiesta dinners," which were really a novel way of presenting a prix-fixe menu...The prix-fixe menu is not universally beneficial. The higher the prices, the smaller the customer base. If your target markets are those customers who desire a unique dining experience, then it might work. However, this is a very narrow customer niche that demands the very highest level of food, service and ambience. One of the touted benefits of prix-fixe menus is the no-surprises pricing. Both the customer and the operator know what the final bill will be. Another advantage of prix-fixe menus is that fewer ingredients are needed, and bulk purchasing can lower costs.Yet prix-fixe may not be appropriate for every operator. On most menus the lowest- and highest-priced items in a category are divisible by two and half. For example, if the lowest-priced entree is $10.95, the highest priced will be $27.50. If you want an average check of $18 per person, most of your menu items should be priced between $17.50 and $19.95. In addition, the menu should be designed so that items priced near the desired check average are placed where they are most likely to be selected. Servers also should be trained in the suggestive selling of these items. A regular analysis of your menu-sales mix will reveal the items that are helping or hindering your cost, sales and profit objectives. While prix-fixe has its place in the high-end markets, the majority of markets are more conservative and price-sensitive. More courses mean that customers take longer to eat, reducing table turnover. Only certain markets can support that kind of service during the week. In addition, the prix-fixe menu is restrictive, and some customers may be unhappy if they are limited in what they can order when they are asked to pay between $38 and $80 per person."
    ---"History repeats itself as prix-fixe menus make a comeback in many restaurants," David V Pavesic, Nation's Restaurant News, Nov 22, 1999. (p. 22)

    Prix-fixe, Depression-era style
    The phrase 'all you can eat' took on a special meaning during the Great Depression. Hungry consumers spent their money wisely. Enter: the modern
    American Buffet.

    "Is there is a real aristocracy--a food aristocracy--of the dinner table? Would baked beans be esteemed as highly as turkey if both were the same price? And would caviar always be caviar to the general? As long as the pate de foies gras is ranked on the menu at 70 cents, while pork with 'lovely rice pudding' is 35, never, probably, shall we have a satisfactory answer to questions like these; we shall not know whether our present food hierarchy is based merely upon rarity or upon true gustatory values. But, so far as the great middle class of viands is concerned, we are beginning to have an inkling--at least as to what the average American rally prefers when price is no object. For a hear now certain restaurants in various cities from New York to California have been making the patron a quondam king. Up and down a fairly diversified menu he many choose what he wants and all the wants at a fixed, and very moderate price. At an entrance fee set customarily between 60 cents and $1 he may roam these particular gastronomic pastures fancy free. It has been the small boy's dream come true--a kind of glorified and amplified table d'hote, with any unlucky choice retrievable by another, and second, third and fourth helpings to the waistband capacity. And, like a small boy's dream fulfillment, it has been greeted as a kind of horn of plenty in the midst of want. One restaurant chain estimates that it has sold 1,000,000 more meals in a single month because of it. Another, with fewer shops, has increased its patronage at the rate of 750,000 a month, and is more than tripling its business on holidays. Thus, for the first time among the rank and file of foods, there has been a large-scale popularity contest, with no price handicaps. And the early returns are in. During the war the army psychological tests are siad to have disclosed our national mental age as about 14 years. Our gastronomic age on the new restaurant tests would be similar. For the result of the wide-open menu has not been vast new inroads on the roast beef and the mutton chops and other stalwar he-man viands. What we lean, dieting, strenuous go-getters of Yankees really want--according to the past year's comprehsensive experiment--is more dessert! Our esrtwhile suppressed desires have apparently been for ice cream on our apple pie, more peach shortcake and another chocolate eclair...Whether the diner is actually tempted to eat more under this system than under that of the merely printed choices, is a moot point. Possibly, it is believed, he does at first. But after becoming acclimated, so to speak, to the fragrant wells and mounds of food, he gains a final immunity and eclecticism similar to that induced by the old-fashioned church supper. Most people do, however--the flat-priced restaurant heads agree--eat, or at least drink, a little more at any rate than when they have to count the pennies for extra helpings...another cup of coffee, like the free lunch at the old-time saloon, is coming to be looked upon as an inalienable American right...'Occasionally...a group of three or four persons will come into one of these restaurants and indulge in an eating race.'...Whether the all-you-want plan is economically sound is also still debated. ...'it would seem that this plan of liberality can scarcely be profitable to a small organization'...Of course the fact is that the schjeme is essentially a pulmotor devised to keep the restaurant business alive through the present crisis which has hit it particularly hard. As such...it has on the whole been successful, enourmously increasing the volume of business..."
    ---"All You Can Eat--And wWhat is Chosen: The New Fixed-Price Paln at the Restaurants Revelas That the American's Real Desire is More Dessert," Eunice Fuller Barnard, New York Times, February 28, 1932 (p. SM11)

    Table d'hote

    "Table d'hote: A fixed-price menu with a single price for an entire meal based on entree selection."
    ---The Professional Chef (p. 1188)

    "Whereas traditional table-d'hote service placed all comers at a single large table, restaurants were innovative in the use of small tables and private rooms...The restaurant, unlike the table d'hote, presented its patrons with at least the appearance of choice. Even when it served on 88 entrees, but bouillon's, vermicelli, capons, waters, and rice pudding, the restaurant seemed--in comparison to the table d'hote's dependably "overcooked beef, so-called stew, veal cutlets, and a few vegetables" --to offer an enormous range of options. The restaurant allowed for variety...Furthermore, the [restaurant] eater could choose exactly what to eat...A table d'hote had no menu; the eaters...and the food...arrived at the same moment.. a table d'hote offered little individual choice."
    ---The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, Rebecca L. Spang [Harvard University Press:Cambridge MA] 2000 (p. 75-76)

    Related topics? A la carte & Prixe-fixe.

    "Changes resulting from social movements (such as the French and Industrial revolutions) and the need for more efficient use of time have led to a reduction in the number of courses in modern menus...The table d'hote menu...offers a complete multicourse meal for a set price and may offer a choice within each category...The most common type of table d'hote is the prix fixe menu--a set meal at a set price, usually with no additional choices...Since the meal is predetermined, the kitchen can operate more efficiently, and therefore, offer the meal at a lower price."
    ---Remarkable Service: A Guide to Winning and Keeping Customers for Servers, Managers, and Restaurant Owners, The Culinary Institute of America [John Wiley:New York] 2009, 2nd edition(p. 36)


    Tasting menus

    Our survey of articles published in the New York Times reveals Tasting Menus (aka Menus Degustation) surfaced in the United States during the early 1980s. They were a practical byproduct of Nouvelle Cuisine. On some level, the concept is related to the classic table d'hote and the modern chef's table.

    "Some fine restaurants may offer a menu degustation ('tasting menu'), consisting of small portions of numerous items to compose a five- to ten-course meal, sometimes accompanied by paired wines, following the basic classical structure. The menu degustation allows chefs to exhibit their skills creating an extensive and varied meal. This elaborate meal is served to everyone at the table, thereby eliminating a situation in which some guests have to wait with no food in front of them while the other guests enjoy the multiple courses. The meal follows classic guidelines, but provides small portions of each of the items the chef chooses."
    ---Remarkable Service: A Guide to Winning and Keeping Customers for Servers, Managers, and Restaurant Owners, The Culinary Institute of America [John Wiley:New York] 2009, 2nd edition(p. 36)

    "One byproduct of the nouvelle cuisine is the menu de degustation, or tasting menu, that is offered in many restaurants here--including the Quilted Giraffe, Chanterelle, Claude's and Lutece--and in France and that is perhaps being overworked. As this new cuisine became highly publicized, diners were eager to sample all of the dishes they had read about, and so each person in a group ordered a different appetizer, main course and dessert. Then all would taste everything. Although that custom existed before the nouvelle cuisine, its practice was not nearly as widespread; indeed, it was considered declasse in more formal quarters. As the practice became more frequent, kitchens began to feel the burden of preparing, for example, 12 different dishes correctly timed for one table. Partly for that reason, and also because it gives diners the opportunity to experience many dishes without the mess of back-and-forth tasting, the menu de degustation was born. Usually consisting of a set menu with anywhere from six to eight course determined by the chef, it must be taken by everyone within a party. Rules prohibit two people ordering that menu while two others choose from the a la carte selections; that would not making things any easier for the kitchen and probably would complicate the timing because usually those ordering a la carte would not have more than three or four courses....But as with so many other good ideas, this one seems to be going bad, primarily because too many restauranteurs push it for their own convenience but also because so many diners are insecure. Experienced eaters value suggestions from chefs or captains...I have never had a menu de degustation when I have not wished a few dishes had been dropped in favor of others, and, more important, I cannot remember a single knockout dish eaten from such a menu--so small, it is hard to get a really solid impression of the dish. The effect is somewhat like eating a variety of canapes at a cocktail party, with much the same overly complex mixture of seasonings and sauces, and much the same running together of dishes, resulting in a nagging sense of dissatisfaction and unease...The other negative effect of the overused menu is that the regular menu falls out of use and one cannot develop longstanding favorites...In the final analysis, ordering the menu de degustation becomes much like ordering a complete model room from a department store. You may not go very wrong, but your own crotchets and preferences will not be there to give it character, and ultimately the room--or the meal--will not really be yours at all."
    ---"De Gustibus: 'Tasting' Menu: A Good Idea Sours," Mimi Sheraton, New York Times, October 10, 1981 (p. 18)


    Covers (Couverts)

    The term "covers" (French "couverts") holds several meanings in the culinary world. The one meaning it does not take is "course." A menu of 24 covers is not a 24 course menu.

    "The world couvert (cover) denotes a number of things, slightly differing from one another. Couvert is used to denote the collection of utensils set out on a table which has been laid. The expression lever or enlever le couvert (to clear the table) denotes the operation of clearing the table once the meal is over. The same world applies as well to the number of guests present at a meal: un diner de 20, de 100 couverts 9a dinner of 20, of 100 covers). Couvert also denotes a fixed charge written on the menu and on the bill in French restaurants, which is added to the amount charged for the dishes consumed...More generally the word covert de table (table setting) denotes the three individual utensils used by the diner: the knife, the fork, and the spoon."
    --Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 313)


    Early bird special

    This American restaurant option is popularly regarded as the senior citizen's meal of choice. Smaller portions with pro-rated prices served in the lull between standard lunch and dinner (4-6PM). In sum: efficient, economical, and intelligent for both diners and restauranteurs.

    Our research indicates the "Early Bird Special" dining option was not invented by a particular restaurant, chef or critique. Like many other tasty phrases, it evolved. While inexpensive dining options served during non-peak periods have been offered for hundreds of years, the phrase appears to catch on in the early 20th century. Quote books offer dozens of examples confirming the "early bird" has long been the symbol for wise procurement.

    The earliest print reference we find using the term "early bird" with regards to commercial sales date to the early 20th century. Sometime in the 1950s the term begins to apply to dinners. By the 1960s, the term "early bird special" was ubiquitious and understood by baby boomers to mean the supper your grandparents ate in Florida. If you were visiting it also meant you had to leave the beach way too early to get washed and dressed. And? no matter how small the portions, your grandmother always wrapped something up for later. Sometimes she even brought her own baggies or re-used foil. What we could not really appreciate then was that Grandmother lived through the Great Depression and WWII. Old habits die hard.

    Today's restauranteurs are re-inventing the Early Bird Special. It is being pitched as both power meal for busy executives and trendy option for pre-theatre diners. Once again, a Depression-era economy sparks creative solutions in the restaurant industry. What goes around, comes around.

    The Oxford English Dictionary (online edition, accessed 10.29.2009) confirms the term "early bird special," originated in the United States. The first print source cited dates to 1917. It refers to a railroad schedule.

    "early bird n. orig. U.S. attrib. designating a product (esp. a meal) or service offered at a discount before the usual or peak hours of purchase or use; (also) designating a discount so offered; cf. the early bird gets the worm at sense A. 1a. 1917 Washington Post 12 Aug. 2/2 The following train schedule will be in effect: *Early bird special, 9.15 a.m.; joy special, 10 a.m. 1976 J. LUKASIEWICZ Railway Game 275 An ‘early bird dinner’ was advertised for those who wanted to eat between four and six P.M. 1994 P. HOBBS & M. ALGAR Free to Travel i. 3 Early bird discounts may motivate you to book well in advance of your vacation."
    The economic model
    "By offering different prices in different periods, sellers motivate consumers to space their purchases across periods in a profitable manner. Thus, the demand and price in each time period is endogenously determined. Consumers and sellers are fully informed and fully rational. This model can explain such phenomena as ''early-bird specials'' in restaurants and bars, off-season discounts by airlines and hotels, and preseason sales by stores."
    ---"Peak Load Pricing in Competitive Markets," Eitan Gerstner, Economic Inquiry, Apr 1986, Vol. 24, Iss. 2; (p. 349+)

    A survey of early bird (& early dining) articles from historic USA newspapers
    Note:we consulted ProQuest Historic Newspapers, Factiva, EBSCO Newspaper Source & NewspaperArchive.com. None of these provide archival deepfile coverage of the Miami Herald or other Florida newspapers. This is critical, since Early Bird Special meals are iconically connected with this state.

    [1901]
    Early dining the "norm" in our nation's capitol; reflection of civil service work hours.

    "The New Yorker who settles in Washington is likely to think he is in wonderland until he gets his bearing and accustoms himself to the revolution in his ideas. To him everything seems topsy-turvy, and the very hours of the day are all mixed up. It is all because Washington is the seat of the Federal Government. The controlling influence in the life of the town is the Government clerk...industries dependent upon them close at 4 o'clock, and the clerks go home in that time...The dinner hour in boarding houses is from 4 to 6, instead of beginning at 6, as in New York, so that Mr. and Mrs. Clerk can dine at any time after Mr. Clerk gets home. The majority of the boarders may not be clerks, but that makes no difference. A man who wants to visit a restaurant when it is not crowded will find himself in no way icommoded if he waits until 6 o'clock. The early dinner hour causes the markets to close early, because almost all the shopping for a four-o'clock dinner has to be done before 2...As the department clerk is supposed to finish his dinner at about 5 o'clock, a great many people are in the habit of making evening calls earlier than is the fashion in New York."
    ---"Daily Life in Washington," New York Times, April 28, 1901 (p. 4)

    [1900-1940s]
    Several references to "early bird" and "early bird specials;" most posted by department stores promoting product sales. Scattered references to Early Bird Dinners held in American Legion Halls seem to refer to incentive events held for people who join/renew memberships early. No information provided regarding the actual time of the dinner. "Early Birds" was also an elite organization of pioneer pilots. Amelia Earhart, etc.

    [1950]
    Retired folks in Florida demand inexpensive dining options. No time specified.

    "Restaurant patronage. An interesting trend can be observed daily at the restaurants and cafeterias in Miami Beach whose cafeterias rival in splendor the restaurants of Hollywood. At the dinner hour long queues from at the doors of the cafeterias and inexpensive restaurants, while in the plushier restaurant guests can find tables without waiting. The night clubs report the same situation."
    ---"Miami Trade Winds," Arthur L. Himbert, New York Times, Jaunary 15, 1950 (p. XX7)

    [1952]
    First print reference we find to "Early Bird Special" relating to an early dinner.

    "...San Francisco...something new tonight. They call it the Early Bird Special..a dinner...The Early Bird idea means you have to come before..." ---Oakland [CA] Tribune, November 25, 1952
    [NOTE: this reference was retrieved through NewspaperArchive.com. The full-text of the page with the actual article was not available, only this snippet.]

    [1960s]
    'Early Bird Special' dining ads begin to proliferate in Los Angeles newspapers.

    "For Sale. Range. Will sacrifice. We won't be needing it since we discovered the Pepper Mill's 'Early Bird' special dinners from 4:30 to 6 PM, Monday through Saturday, from just $1.95, complete with soup through dessert, with a choice of entrees."
    ---display ad, Los Angeles Times, March 2, 1961 (p. F9)

    "Early Bird Special: The Lark restaurant at 2624 W 3rd St. serves a lovely dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. for the unbeliveably low price of $1.75."
    ---"And Did Those Steaks Sing?" Joan Winchell, Los Angeles Times, January 26, 1962 (p. A8)

    [1987]
    Iconic senior dining repackaged as upscale dining option.

    "Benjamin Franklin would be hard-pressed to predict that nowadays the early bird would get not only the worm, but the pasta, the moo shu pork and the salmon with dill. Not to mention a sizable discount. Getting a head start on eating out these days can reap some unexpected benefits, including slashed prices at everything from homey ethnic storefront restaurants to simple diners, good old-fashioned delis and elegant cafes. With choices like these, few early birds will settle for worms anymore.Early evening specials are offered in various forms: prix fixe complete dinners, theater packages, discounts and a la carte items. Some have rigid hours, others are more flexible, but almost all are good deals."
    ---"Flocking to early-Bird Specials," Soon-Har Tan, Chicago Tribune, Oct 9, 1987 (p. 39)

    [1997]
    The new power dinner???

    "Forget the power breakfast. Who has time for lunch anymore? For Wall Street the business meal of choice these days is dinner, and the earlier the better. In an industry where many arrive at their desks by 7:15 A.M., and a commute home to Westport looms at the end of the evening, 5:30 is just fine for entertaining, making the early-bird seating at select Manhattan restaurants -- an hour that elsewhere belongs to children and retirees -- today's real power meal."
    ---"Power Dinners: The Early Bird Special," Trip Gabriel, New York Times, May 11, 1997, (p.33)

    [2000]
    This is NOT your grandparent's meal any more. Pre-emptive dining, anyone?

    "THE early-bird special. Is there a more mocked and maligned dining ritual? Who eats before 8 o'clock? It's so Boca Raton, so AARP, so tacky as to be ripe for reinvention as New York's next big dining trend -- as long as everyone agrees to call it something else. Pretheater, prix fixe and ''sunset menu'' are the preferred euphemisms for cut-rate dinner specials between 5 and 7 p.m. The concept has trickled up from the all-you-can-eat buffets that service Florida's gerontocracy to Manhattan's whitest tablecloths.Restaurants that once might have shunned such vulgarity now have early-bird specials. Three courses for $46 at La Caravelle. Half-price sushi at March. Pretheater prix fixes extend well beyond the theater district, from Avenue uptown at 85th Street down to Phebe's, on the Bowery, and sunset menus are promised in establishments where sun seldom shines (like the subterranean Vice Versa in Midtown).Even buzzing places of the moment seem eager to make arriving early seem less unfashionable...To see how New York's chronic late birds were reacting to these efforts to get them to migrate to the early hours, I tried a week's worth of pre-emptive dining, from 3:30 -- yes, 3:30 -- to 7, but only at places offering the equivalent of early-bird bargains. A few times, I was even able to persuade people to go with me.I like to think I was early on the early-bird trend. I was trained that you ate 6:30, and in the company of Walter Cronkite. In adulthood, I was ridiculed for espousing the upsides of early dining. Faster service. They're never out of the special entree. Finish at 8 and the whole evening stretches before you: see a movie, read a book, shop. Burn calories!...One advantage of the 5 or 6 p.m. dinner preached to me by a couple of restaurateurs is better service. The waiters are fresh, not yet beaten down by demanding patrons. Our waiter at Avenue was, for the most part, attentive, though not all that attentive considering he had no other customers. I had to wave him down at least once and remind him we had a movie to catch. Getting out in time meant either coffee or dessert, but not both. We passed on the banana gateau and, just as we were leaving, another couple arrived...Now, we were getting some of that wacky early-bird ambience! Just as we made it out the door at 5:50. Enough time to make the movie, walk out after 20 minutes, go to Cafe Luxembourg for a drink, then Coco Opera for another drink. Then go home and read...The economics of the early-bird offering, for a higher-end place, are hard to work out. The kitchen is up and running, the waiters standing around rehearsing their lines. As David Cunningham, the chef at the Lenox Room, said of his Monday-to-Saturday, 5:30 to 6:30, $25 menu: ''We're open. We have the staff there and we have the food there.'' Jimmy Bradley, the chef and a co-owner of Red Cat, in Chelsea, said ''There's no way to make money off it.'' His $20 prix fixe, Monday to Friday from 5:30 to 6:30, has drawn in ''dribs and drabs,'' he said, adding, ''Some people are like, 'Wow, that's a crazy value' or 'Wow, that's really cheap!'...''The early bird suggests people who might not make it to nightfall,'' Mr. Batterberry said. ''It has the aura of the excessively elderly.'' But hip foreign foods like tapas and sushi can get people used to dining after work without feeling like grandparents."
    ---"Fashionably Early: New York Starts Buzzing Before Dusk," Rick Marin, New York Times, Feb 9, 2000 (p.F1)

    Additional historic citings from Barry Popik.

    Related concepts? Prix fixe & Tasting menus.


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    29 July 2014