Frequent comment leaver James Kraus recently told us of his new e-book on bachelor cuisine. Now you’ve got the perfect single-serving recipes to cook up while wearing your heyday-inspired outfits and listening to Miles Davis.
In the following piece, James talks about how the project came about.
Oh, and for those of you who don’t get the headline… — CC
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If you enjoy an occasional foray into the kitchen and happen to own an iPad, you may be interested in checking out “Jet Age Cooking for the Bachelor Gourmet,” a cookbook targeted at the single male with an affinity for 1960s style.
I am a big fan of everything from the mid ’60s — art, architecture, furniture, clothing — and in fact that’s how I stumbled upon Ivy Style several years ago. As an amateur chef, I naturally gravitated to cooking the 1960s classics that I fondly remembered from my youth. Yes, I was actually alive then.
Sometime last year I got the idea of putting together a cookbook of my favorite vintage recipes. My normal routine sees me cooking at home only on weekends, keeping it a pleasure rather than a task. When I decided to go forward with the project, I vowed to keep the same regimen: nothing was cooked specifically for book photography. When weekends came along, I set up a tablescape appropriate to what I was making, cooked the meal while enjoying a tipple, took the photos, struck the set, then finally partook of my repast. As a result, the book took nine months to complete.
Each of the recipes is portioned for the solo diner, but is easily doubled for entertaining à deux. Pour yourself a martini while you create vintage Jet Age entrées such as Steak Diane, Spaghetti Maria Grazia, and Veal Milanese Four Seasons.
Below is Filet of Beef à la TWA. For you accessories aficionados, next to the plate is a pair of vintage Ray-Ban Olympians, while the dish comes via the 1968 menu of Trans World Airlines’ first-class Foreign Accent Service.
And here is the Veal Milanese Four Seasons. This simple sautéed veal cutlet coated in breadcrumbs, lemon zest and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese was a favorite among Manhattan’s movers and shakers at the Grill Room of the Four Seasons restaurant in the early ’60s.
Also included in the book are carefully selected music recommendations for the complete experience of dining with ’60s flair. These include classic standards of the era by Frank Sinatra, Matt Monro, Dave Brubeck, Sérgio Mendez, and others. If the name Matt Monro is unfamiliar, this British vocalist sung the theme from the second James Bond film, “From Russia With Love,” as well as “On Days Like These,” the opening song from the original version of “The Italian Job.”
The book is written for guys with some kitchen experience, but the recipes are easy enough for a beginner to master thanks to a special page at the end with tips and equipment recommendations for those who approach the stove with trepidation. The book is available to download from the Apple iBooks store for a mere $2.99, which, if I may point out, is a lot less than another night of takeout. — JAMES KRAUS
James Kraus grew up outside Chicago, where his parents were active in a gourmet club. He recently retired after 30 years in the entertainment industry, and operates the ’60s-focused car blog Auto Universum.