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The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the…
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The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and…

by Judy Gelman

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If you have ever watched Mad Men and are a fan – this is a great book. It has stories as well as recipes. Every time we watched this show I wanted a martini and my husband wanted an Old fashioned.

We still haven’t seen the final episodes of this series, waiting on Netflicks, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying this book.

There are recipes for so many good drinks: Old Fashions, martinis, Manhattans, Mimosas and more.

Food too! Oysters Rockefeller, crown rib roast, turkey tetrazzini, pineapple upside down cake……..you will love just flipping through the pages of this book.

In addition to the many good recipes are stories about the television show and cultural context about the world in the 1960s. It definitely wasn’t a good era to be a woman in the workplace. But as I watched the show I was amazed at how spot on they got the set designs. Everything from the attire to the decorations – lamps, tables, the smoking and drinking in the office, the bar ware…all of it rang true.

I am dating myself because yes, I grew up in the 60s. Well I was a child in the 1960s but I can’t tell you the number of times my husband and I would watch an episode and say, “Hey look, my grandmother had those tumblers or lamp” or whatever. Blast from the past here.

Time to mix up a couple of Manhattans and listen to the Beatles. ( )
  SquirrelHead | Sep 11, 2015 |
I never read a cookbook cover to cover. My rationale with cookbooks is to flip through – pictures? Good. Lots of pictures? Great. A variety of recipes? Very good. Lots of caviar and truffles and other ingredients I couldn't bring myself to buy even if I could afford them? No thanks. And then if I buy the book it will go on a shelf until I need a recipe from it; if I agree to review a book (as I did with this from Netgalley) I will page through it to form an intelligent opinion of the layout and the clarity, maybe make a couple of the dishes listed, and move on.

But I opened The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, and started reading the forward, and just kept going. It was just that much fun. Each recipe is fronted by a short piece telling why it's in there – like Betty Draper's Around the World dinner, which prompted the inclusion of the gazpacho. There's also a recipe for a roast chicken like the one Pete Campbell threw out the window. It was like watching a recap of the show from its beginning – did I already use "fun"? Well, and I'll probably use it again.

The simple fact that about the first thirty percent of the book is devoted to cocktails is brilliant. I tend to doubt I'll ever be making any of them, but it was just … sorry, can't help it, it was fun wandering through the stories of the authors' search for a martini fit for Roger Sterling and just the right Old Fashioned to suit Don Draper. And thirty percent – that's just about right.

I also enjoy a book – cookbook or otherwise – with a sense of humor. That there is a wonderful sense of fun about this book should be obvious from that massive cocktail section, but it's all through it. That birthday dinner Peggy's boyfriend arranged for her, which she never made it to? There's a recipe for what she might have been served – along with a lovely little synopsis of the restaurant where the boyfriend (et al) waited for her (and waited). And the warning not to wait dinner for Peggy, because she probably won't show.

The authors include very nice little histories of where they obtained each recipe. As often as possible, they went back to the source - the restaurant where the character ate or might have eaten the dish - or drunk the cocktail. It seems they had a wonderful amount of cooperation from the professionals contacted - and why not? It's a perfect marriage, this union of food and Mad Men. (AMC, you really should get in on this.)

This is a good cookbook: there are lots of fine recipes, some of which are – cleverly – given twice, once just as might have been served to the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce folk in the 60's and once as they would be served today. I can see myself cooking from this. But more – this is a good book. The people who put this together, Judy Gelman & Peter Zheutlin, know food, and they know Mad Men, and they love both – and those are (pardon the metaphor) ingredients for an entertaining, enjoyable (fun) book. ( )
  Stewartry | Dec 2, 2012 |
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"UNOFFICIAL AND UNAUTHORIZED The appeal of AMC's award-winning period drama Mad Men, shortly to begin its fifth season, lies as much in its painstaking portrait of 1960s America as in the emotional lives of its characters. In The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin explore the show's culinary backdrop, from the food we see on the table at Sterling Cooper power lunches to the dishes Betty serves at Draper dinner parties. With more than 60 recipes, photos, and other images all drawn from the period in which Mad Men is set, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook is perfect for appreciating the role food and drink play in the hit series or for throwing your own historically accurate Mad Men-inspired cocktail party. * Find out why Betty might have chosen her "Around the World" dinner party theme-plus why Don's Heineken ad campaign would have been so well-received by the public-and try a gazpacho from Spain, using a recipe Betty herself might have. * Learn why Sardi's, the restaurant where Bobbi Barrett and Don celebrate selling her husband's new pilot, was a likely location for post-TV deal celebration, and make Sardi's famous steak tartar for yourself. Includes a color photo insert of 16 dishes, plus additional black and white photos and other images of bars, restaurants, and food advertisements from the 1960s. "--… (more)

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