A Cookbook from the World’s First Celebrity Chef

Food & Wine: A Cookbook from the World’s First Celebrity Chef
Courtesy of University of Toronto Press
By F&W Editors Posted June 30, 2014

Getting a chef to pick a favorite cookbook is like asking a parent to choose her most-loved child. But F&W pressed great cooks around the country to reveal their top picks of all-time.

The Chef: Tyler Florence

The Book: The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi, 1570; translated by Terence Sully

“Scappi was arguably the world’s first celebrity chef,” Florence says. “He cooked for the pope, and wrote this book, with small drawings of bizarre kitchen tools, and recipes for strange things like dormice. Seriously: They would keep mice in small cages and feed them figs soaked in wine, then roast them or fry them whole. It’s just bizarre! But it’s also beautiful. It shows you we do have a pretty antiseptic idea these days of what’s edible and what’s not edible.”

Related: The Hottest Cookbook of 1896
Steal This Cookbook
The British Joy of Cooking

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