ONE OF THE FIRST BLACK TELEVISION CHEFS: RARE FIRST EDITION OF MANDY LEE'S RECIPES FOR GOOD NEW ORLEANS DISHES, CIRCA 1950
(PREVOST, Ruth, under the pseudonym LEE, Mandy) KANE, Harnett T. Mandy Lee's Recipes for Good New Orleans Dishes. [Louisiana]: No publisher, circa 1950. Tall 12mo, comb-bound as issued, original photographic paper wrappers; pp. 68. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $3500.
Rare first edition of this cookbook of New Orleans cuisine by one of the first Black television chefs, Ruth Prevost (a.k.a. Mandy Lee), who hosted a cooking show on WDSU-TV in New Orleans during the early 1950s.
Mandy Lee, whose show began on WDSU in 1950, was one of the first Black television cooks. The first Black television chef, Lena Richardson, had begun her show just a year earlier. Mandy Lee made a name for herself as "Queen New Orleans," presenting authentic local recipes drawing on Creole, Caribbean, and Southern influences. Some of the more intriguing recipes she presents are: Curried Lamb Pie, Creole Grillade, Oyster Loaf, Old Plantation Okra Gumbo, Tipsy Cake, and Wonder Cake with Praline Topping. The real identity of Amanda "Mandy" Lee was something of a poorly kept secret until her untimely death in 1954. JET magazine published Ruth Prevost's obituary and revealed Mandy Lee as her stage name. This cookbook was edited by Harnett T. Kane, a New Orleans native and the author of many books and articles about the South. Kane regarded Lee/Prevost as a great local treasure and an authority on New Orleans cuisine. This cookbook is quite rare. OCLC lists only three institutional holdings.
A rare and lovely copy in fine condition.