The Professed Cook by MENON, active 18th century.

MENON, active 18th century.

The Professed Cook or the modern art of cookery, pastry, and confectionary, made plain and easy. Consisting of the most approved methods in the French as well as English cookery. In which the French Names of all the different Dishes are given and explained, whereby every Bill of Fare becomes intelligible and familiar. Containing I. Of Soups, Gravy, Cullis and Broths II. Of Sauces III. The different Ways of Dressing Beef, Veal, Mutton, Pork, Lamb, &c. IV. Of First Course Dishes V. Of Dressing Poultry VI. Of Venison Vii. Of Game of all Sorts Viii. Of Ragouts, Collops and Fries IX. Of Dressing all Kinds of Fish X. Of Pastry of different Kinds XI. Of Entremets, or Last Course Dishes XII. Of Omelets XIII. Pastes of different Sorts XIV. Dried Conserves XV. Cakes, Wafers and Biscuits XVI. Of Almonds and Pistachias made in different Ways XVII. Marmalades XVIII. Jellies XIX. Liquid and Dried Sweetmeats XX. Syrups and Brandy Fruits XXI. Ices, Ice Creams and Ice Fruits XXII. Ratafias, and other Cordials, &c. &c. Translated from Les soupers de la cour; with the Addition of the best Receipts which have ever appear’d in the French Language. And adapted to the London markets by the editor, who has been many Years Clerk of the Kitchen in some of the first Families in this Kingdom. The Second Edition. London, R. Davis and T. Caslon, 1769.

Second Edition. 8vo (210 x 125 mm), pp. xvi, [xxiv], 286; [2] blank, [ii], 289-588, some light browning in text, in contemporary calf, single filet gilt to covers, plain spine with raised bands ruled in gilt, spine worn with vertical cracking, restoration to spine and corners, rather a workaday bit of repair work tending to solidity rather than beauty, with the early ownership inscription of M. Findlater on the front endpaper.

First published as Soupers de la cour in 1755, Menon’s work first appeared in English in 1767 in a translation by Bernard Clermont under the title The Art of Modern Cookery Displayed, Consisting of the most approved methods of cookery [&c.], London, printed for the translator, 1767. This is its first appearance under the new title which was to be retained for the third edition of 1776, in which the translator’s name appears on the title-page. With a six-page ‘Translator’s Apology’ in addition to the ‘Author’s Advertisement’. In his fascinating apology, Clermont reveals many of the concerns of the eighteenth century chef, while pointing to some of the key differences between English and French cuisine. He also writes about the challenges of translation: ‘This Book was published in four small Volumes. I thought it too full of Words and of Repetitions, and that the Sense of the Author could be explained, without all the volubility of the French Language, which I have (as much as I was capable) supplied with the Expressiveness of the English’ (p. vi).

‘Menon’s book covers menus, hors d’oeuvres, entrées, and some deserts. An entire chapter is devoted to sherbets or ices and ice cream. Like Marin that other great contemporary of Menon’s, both placed emphasis on their sauces. Menon’s recipes were surprisingly varied, coming not only from France but Italy, Germany, Ceylon and Flanders and used in everything from hors d’oeuvres to deserts’ (Harrison, Une Affaire du Gout, 1983).

See Harrison, Une Affaire du Gout, A Selection of Cookbooks, 1475-1873, 91.

ESTC t90913, at BL and Harvard only.

Keywords: Continental Books
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