You can’t be in the business of communication without at least being aware of Mad Men. And, at The Food Channel, we are definitely in the business of communicating the latest in food trends, recipes, and knowledge. So, when The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men crossed my desk, promising to go “inside the kitchens, bars, and restaurants of Mad Men,” it got my immediate attention.
I started a communication—that word again—with co-author Judy Gelman, who, along with Peter Zheutlin, went through hundreds of cookbooks, magazines and advertisements from the Man Men era. That’s the late 50s and 60s, for those not similarly enthralled with the series.
And, I dug into the book. The authors called it correctly when they said, “…when friends learned we were writing a Mad Men-themed cookbook, many were surprised: there was food? All they seemed to remember was a lot of drinking.” And, I have to admit, The Food Channel’s culinary staff gravitated to the cocktail recipes, as well. But there is, indeed, plenty of food on display throughout the series.
If you have any doubt, just pick up a copy of the book and you’ll find everything from the ubiquitous dip of the 60s, California Dip (made with Lipton’s Onion Soup mix), to Rib Eye in the Pan, to Turkey Tetrazzini, to Pineapple-Upside Down Cake. OK, so the Rib Eye has some cognac in it. Consider the source.
You can see our full cookbook review here, or check out the recipe for Hearts of Palm Salad provided by the publishers. And, they were nice enough to let us create a few videos showing how those cocktails were put together—see them all in our Classic Mixology series, here.
I came into the Mad Men craze a little late, and am still playing catch up—so there is a spoiler alert here. If you haven’t seen the series, yet plan to, the cookbook does give away some of the twists and turns. So either catch up fast, or don’t read the stories between the recipes. Just don’t miss the book—it’s great fun, and a fascinating homage to the era and the advertising profession.
Now, excuse me, and bring on the Mushroom Canapes. I have another episode to watch.
See the full series of our Mad Men reviews and sample recipes: