The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook

Season six of Mad Men has been back on the air for a couple of weeks now. This dark, witty and fabulous award-winning show is still charming audiences. For those of you who still haven’t seen the show, seasons one through four are available for checkout at the library. I definitely recommend this show! Start with season one and work your way through the series. I have been totally obsessed for a long time and that’s why I was so excited when I saw The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men.

More than just a cookbook, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook gives the history of numerous bars and restaurants popular during the 1960s. Reading the book makes me realize the bars and restaurants chosen as backdrops for some of Mad Men’s best loved scenes are not just random steakhouses and bars. Rather the locations represent examples of restaurants and establishments relevant to 1960s Madison Avenue culture and style. This book includes recipes from many of the restaurants, especially signature dishes and entrees ordered by Mad Men characters in various episodes. The book also includes recipes taken from 1960s cookbooks, the cookbooks Betty Draper Francis would have been using in her kitchen. These vintage recipes are dated but hip in a fun way. This book also provides the history of many classic cocktails. Who invented the martini, the mai tai, the bloody mary? Read this book for a discussion on who really invented these drinks and how they fit into popular culture from the time.
If you haven’t watched the show, the book contains some good recipes and history of 1960s establishments. However, if you are a fan of the show this book goes way beyond a cookbook and gives some background story for many of the episodes you already know and love. Reading the book makes me want to revisit some of my favorite episodes and watch them with a new interest in regards to what they’re eating, what they’re drinking and where they’re doing it.
A couple years ago Mad Men was such a sensation that several books related to the show were published. These books include, The Real Mad Men: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and the Golden Age of Advertising by Andrew Cracknell and The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men by Janie Bryant.
Now is a great time to mention OC Public Libraries has lots of television series available for checkout. We don’t have everything, but we do have a lot. Check our catalog today to see if your favorite show is available. Don’t forget these DVDs are available for free!

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