Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard... MORE

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Italy in America, Circa 1951

Some early issues of Gourmet were absolutely stellar. This one, April 1951, was one of those issues. Yesterday we looked at a few Chinese recipes. Today I'm adding a few recipes from an article on produce in the Veneto by a writer named Dorothy Giles. I haven't been able to find any information on Ms. Giles, who wrote this wonderful...

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From China with Love, Circa 1951

You don't think about Americans eating - much less cooking - sophisticated Chinese fare in the fifties. So I was truly surprised to find recipes for an entire Chinese banquet in this issue - Bird's Nest Consomme, Shark's Fin, Pheasant, Bamboo Shoots, Wined Kinghwa Ham. And yes, there were even a few recipes for tofu. And here they are... I...

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More Vintage Fritos Recipes

Last week's vintage Fritos recipes were such a hit that I went trolling through old issues of Gourmet, looking for more. Here, from the September 1951 issue, are a couple of gems. Tomorrow, a few truly surprising Chinese recipes from that issue. They're remarkable for the time - although I think I'll skip the recipes for bird's nest and shark's...

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