GRIMOD DE LA REYNIÈRE, Alexandre-Balthazar-Laurent. Manuel des amphitryons; contenant un traité de la dissection des viandes à table, la nomenclature des menus les plus nouveaux pour chaque saison, et des élémens de politesse gourmande. Ouvrage indispensable à tous ceux qui sont jaloux de faire bonne chère, et de la faire faire aux autres.

Capelle et Renand, Paris 1808.


8vo., sometime bound in full dark green polished calf, lettered in gilt on spine, rich gilt turn-ins over green and gilt endpapers with a pattern of fans and birds, aeg; pp.356, boumd with half-title but without, as is sometimes found, pp. 357-384 (alphabetic and analytic table, announcement, and errata page), with engraved frontispiece and 16 other plates. Spine a little sunned and rubbed, repaired tear to half-title and with small paper repair to p.5, a little light browning, otherwise a very good copy in slipcase.

First edition of this seminal guide to the art of entertaining by the great gourmand and father of food writing, Grimod de la Reynière (1758-1837). Manuel des Amphitryons includes sections on carving, menus, and dining etiquette, and is illustrated with a series of 16 plates showing the carving of meat, poultry, and fish. The work is indispensable, according to the author himself, for those wishing to eat well, and to show the world their ability to do so. Grimod sets the tone of his work in its opening sentence: "one can compare the Amphitryon who does not know how to carve nor to serve properly to a great collector of books who does not know how to read." In addition to offering brief but essential instructions for carving, book two describes seasonal menus for gatherings of 15 to 60 guests, while the final section is a veritable conduct manual for both hosts and their guests, offering insights on invitations, table manners, wine, and the protocols of dining and dining out. This volume appeared when Grimod was engaged in publishing the fifth year of his important "Almanach des Gourmands," the world's first food journal, which he edited from 1803-1812.

Cagle 233; Lilly Library, Une Affaire du Goût 133; Vicaire 427; Simon 805; Bitting 203