What a Swell Party It Was! Rediscovering Food & Drink from the Golden Age of the American Nightclub By Michael Turback
Chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud once explained: “The future of cooking is about how we can rewrite the history of it—it’s important to keep the memory and be entertained by it and inspired by it.” What A Swell Party It Was! entertains and inspires with a delicious slice of nearly forgotten culinary history—an era that followed the Great Depression and prohibition’s repeal, where America boomed and the nightclub scene flourished.

Opening this book is like swinging open the doors to another time and place, when big city life was a unique mixture of innocence and sophistication, romance and formality. It spotlights twenty-five legendary clubs that thrived in the 1930s and ’40s, just as Jazz exploded into mainstream popularity and alcohol was no longer illegal to serve. Through these pages and recipes, enter past the proverbial velvet rope into establishments forever-immortalized, such as Chez Paree in Chicago, Café Trocadero in Hollywood, The Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles, The Blue Room in New Orleans, and New York City’s Cotton Club.

In addition to including entrée, appetizer, dessert, and cocktail recipes from their original menus, each featured venue will be introduced with vivid anecdotes and history, narrated in a breezy style and illustrated with reproductions of vintage photos.

An unabashedly joyful journey and a deeply authentic perspective on American culture in a rich, tumultuous age, What a Swell Party It Was! promises a cookbook/cocktail guide with a tip of the hat to history, brimming with details that bring life again to a fascinating American era.
TitleWhat a Swell Party It Was!
SubtitleRediscovering Food & Drink from the Golden Age of the American Nightclub
AuthorBy Michael Turback
PublisherSkyhorse Publishing
ImprintSkyhorse Publishing
Published6 February 2018
Dimensions6.00 x 8.00in.

About the author

Michael Turback not only created and nurtured one of Upstate New York’s first destination restaurants, he built a reputation around his ability to stalk, procure, and support the best of local food and wine. The Los Angeles Times called Turback’s “the first Finger Lakes restaurant to really devote itself to New York’s culinary and enological bounty.” A true culinary pioneer, his efforts sparked trends that are seen throughout the hospitality industry today. He is the author of a culinary trilogy (Hot Chocolate, Mocha, and Coffee Drinks), and has taken on, in print, such topics as the ice cream sundae, the banana split, artisan cocktails, food and cocktail pairings, and the pleasures of Finger Lakes Wine Country. He lives in Ithaca, New York.

“Sip a Monkey Wrench cocktail at Ciro’s. Order a Walter Winchell Burger at the Stork Club. Rub elbows with Joan Crawford or Clark Gable at the Mocambo. Dance the night away at El Morocco. What a Swell Party It Was! is a Polaroid snapshot of the best-of-the-best during the decade of decadence, the 1940s. . . . Welcome to the party!” —Brian Van Flandern, Michelin three-star mixologist, president of Creative Cocktail Consultants, and author of Craft Cocktails

A delightful chronicle of a fascinating, dramatic, and glamorous time in America, an era of sophisticated menus and white-jacketed mixologists in the biggest, boldest, and baddest clubs in the country. Going back to that period gives us that escape fantasy that we all need from time to time. Thank you for this book, Michael." —Nathalie Dupree, celebrity chef and author of Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking

"Daiquiris, cigarette girls, brass horns and big bands, Dietrich and Sinatra, zebra-striped banquettes, booze, Marilyn and Joe, glassed-in aviaries, tuxedos and floor-length gowns, dancin’ till dawn, the Copa and the Mocambo—all wonderful stops on a delightful memory-lane tour of America’s Golden Age of Nightclubs, and all the stars that made it glitter! I love this book, and am jealous I didn’t think of it myself." —Rick Browne, host of Barbecue America on PBS and author of A Century of Restaurants

The book I have been waiting for all my life, What a Swell Party It Was! replaces the standard time machine, transporting the reader back to the glamorous heyday of the ‘40s nightclub, the era coming vividly to life through the optic of swank venues, glamorous people, glossy photos, and even original recipes. If you are anything like me and long for a time when you could swathe yourself in Schiaparelli and dance after dinner, this beautiful book will utterly immerse you in the era we missed out on, yet feel we belong to.” —Professor Amanda Hallay, author of Vintage Cocktails: Retro Recipes for the Home Mixologist and host of YouTube’s Ultimate Fashion History

Open this book and you can almost hear Benny Goodman’s clarinet and Glenn Miller’s trombone.” —John R. Tumpak, jazz journalist and author of When Swing Was the Thing

This carefully researched and conceptualized book, written with utmost care by the talented Michael Turback, unlocks the ghosts of Jazz Age cocktails and their enjoyment of celebratory victuals for fans of food and drink. I give this book my highest praise.” —Warren Bobrow, master mixologist and chef, also known as the Cocktail Whisperer, and author of The Craft Cocktail Compendium

"In this elegant tribute, Michael Turback conjures up not only the names and the famous patrons of such retro hot spots as The Latin Quarter, The Rainbow Room, El Morocco, and so many more, but also offers a series of indelible images of a bygone era of luxury and splendor. Beautifully written, the book is brimming with wit, humor, nostalgia, and pictorial beauty—an exotic, enticing ode to a vanished lifestyle of twentieth century Americana." —Wheeler Winston Dixon, author of Death of the Moguls: The End of Classical Hollywood

"Michael Turback’s well-curated archive of memorabilia and recipes teaches us well about the visual, musical, and culinary opulence enjoyed by both celebrities and average Americans in glamorous nightclubs of the WWII era. Food historians, students of cultural studies, and lovers of over-the-top, mid-century food and drink can imbibe deeply here, and come away satisfied." —Jacqueline Foertsch, professor of English, author of American Culture in the 1940s
ISBNs: 9781510727793 978-1-5107-2779-3 Title: what a swell party it was category:CKB ISBNs: 9781510727786 978-1-5107-2778-6 Title: what a swell party it was category:CKB 
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