Hand-Book of Practical Cookery for Ladies and Professional Cooks

Containing the Whole Science and Art of Preparing Human Food

Published in New York in 1867, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection by one of the most famous chefs of the day, Pierre Blot, provides information about the enigmatic chef, his desire to bring the “good things in life” to his readers, and recipes based on precise and scientific measurements.  

Published in 1867 in New York, Hand-Book of Practical Cookery was authored by the first American celebrity chef, Pierre Blot. An immigrant from France, Blot opened the first French cooking school in America and created this epicurean collection as an extension of his celebrated classes. In Hand-Book of Practical Cookery, Blot emphasizes the “good things in life” and wisely states in the preface, “Food is the most important of our wants; we cannot exist without it.”


Basing recipes on precise and scientific measurements and including clear explanations of techniques and definitions, the Hand-Book of Practical Cookery, for Ladies and Professional Cooks includes recipes such as Beef Tongue with Sauces, Cabinet Pudding, Fried Celery, Duck with Garniture, Roasted Eel, and Candied Pears. After the book’s release in 1867, the New York Times positively reviewed it and ended with the bold statement, “The book ought to be in the hands of every housekeeper in the land”—and its value is still evident to modern-day cooks.  


This edition of Hand-Book of Practical Cookery, for Ladies and Professional Cooks was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the society is a research library documenting the lives of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection comprises approximately 1,100 volumes.     

About the Author

 Born in France in 1818, Pierre Blot immigrated to the United States in the 1850s and became one of the most celebrated American chefs of his day. He opened Professor Blot's Culinary Academy of Design in New York, the first French cooking school in the U.S., and he also authored What to Eat and How to Cook It. Celebrated for his precise and clear directions, Blot aimed for housekeepers to be able to prepare the best dishes in a simple and concise manner. In the 1870s, Blot's popularity declined and he died in obscurity in 1874.

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