Tag Archives: James Beard

Hidden Treasures at Printer’s Row Lit Fest


Used cookbooks I found at the Printer's Row Litfest.

Used cookbooks I found at the Printer’s Row Litfest.

If you go to the annual Printer’s Row Lit Fest  in Chicago this weekend I recommend spending some time at the many used book stalls.   They’re a treasure trove for lovers of vintage cookbooks.  Several years ago I found “A Taste of Ireland in Food and in Pictures” by the esteemed  Irish food writer Theodora FitzGibbon, ( Food writing was the least of her accomplishments. Read her biography “A Taste for Love.”) published by Pan in 1970.   Three years ago — on my birthday — I did one last search through a stack of used books before leaving the festival.  I nearly fell over when among the dog-eared and stained volumes I discovered  the 1959 paperback edition of the James Beard Cookbook and saw that it had been autographed by the great man himself.

James Beard autograph

James Beard autograph

I felt like the universe had given me a birthday gift.  Both of these vintage cookbooks have become indispensable in my  growing collection.  I can’t wait to see what I find this year.