Dinner For One Please, James: The ’60s Bachelor Cookbook, Updated


JAC Cover - Border


A couple of years ago we featured this post from James Kraus, whose most recent contribution was the write-up on Playboy’s architectural designs from the ’50s and ’60s (which actually ran on Masculine Interiors). Previously Kraus’ bachelor cookbook was only available on iPad, but it recently became available for iPhone thanks to the iOS 8.4 software upgrade. Hey, think about it: phones take up less counter space than tablets. Also, in the past two years Kraus has updated the e-book with new recipes and pictures. 

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.

11 Comments on "Dinner For One Please, James: The ’60s Bachelor Cookbook, Updated"

  1. “Dinner For One Please, James,” one of the few standards to open on a diminished chord.

  2. Well done James…..no pun intended. One must add this to ones background music whilst dining! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MagCoUYvIXE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Chicken Kiev would go nicely with Matt Monroe, yes?

  3. Love it! Just one nitpick from Mr. Language Person Man: the correct word here is “classic,” not “classical.”

    Other than that, it looks great. I, too, share the author’s enthusiasm for, and appreciation of, the pre-Cultural Revolution 1960s (though the rot had already set in by then). My personal experiences with that era, however, are more limited, as I was born in the mid-60s.

  4. I’m headed over to buy my copy now…

    What a unique (and timely) opportunity… bravo!

  5. A big thanks to Ivy Style followers for your support and comments.

    M Arthur:

    Chicken Kiev was indeed a widely popular dish in the 1960s and quite emblematic of the era with its intercontinental pedigree and lush richness. I left it out only due to the fact that its preparation requires quite an involvement of time and effort.


    Thank you, good catch! Your comment regarding Classical vs. Classic is indeed accurate, as is the actual book cover. I inadvertently sent Christian an early mock-up of the cover art which he has since graciously updated.

    Robert (and many others):

    Thank you for purchasing. Hope you enjoy! If you have any comments or suggestions regarding the book, please feel free to contact me via Auto Universum.

  6. “french cooking in 10 minutes’ is another great book – it was written in the 30s for french housewves, and thus, no microwave required!

  7. Bought it. Now I just have to double the recipes for the two of us, not that I don’t already have them in a dozen other cook books. Thing is, these seem a bit simpler, which is fine with me.

  8. Nice selection of dishes even though they lean rather heavy towards Italy. I prefer the sounds of Lester Lanin in the kitchen.

  9. Ward Wickers | August 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm |

    Great article; well-written. I remember some of those dishes. I couldn’t eat any of them now with what I know, though–way too toxic. Trad is great for clothes; for food, not so much. Some things do have to change, and the way we eat is one of them.

  10. WFBjr:

    Thanks for the comment. I never considered the Italian slant, but I just ran the numbers and my recipes are indeed half Italian. To be specific: 53% Italian, 16% American, 11% French, and 5% each Spanish, Hungarian, Russian and Polynesian.

    Speaking of the original WFB; interesting piece in last week’s (July 27) New York magazine.

  11. I did see that; a most splendid piece.

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