When my dad was drafted, he was stationed in Germany where he lived with my mother. They had a nice time, and they would always talk fondly about Germany.
When I was a teenager, I lived in Germany for a year as an exchange student. I found the German people very warm and inviting.
Therefore, when I saw a German cookbook at the thrift store, I had to try it.
Lüchow’s German Cookbook
It is the Lüchow’s German Cookbook by Han Mitchell. “The story and the favorite dishes of America’s most famous German restaurant…the cornerstone of a New York landmark to which personalities prominent in the arts, politics, and society have gravitated ever since” (from cover of book).
I got curious and did some research on the restaurant. It was originally founded in 1882.
It was purchased by a waiter, August Lüchow, who bought the restaurant with a $1,500 loan from a loyal patron of the restaurant.
It was destroyed in 1992, when a suspicious fire gutted the restaurant.
The restaurant was decorated with oil paintings, beer steins, and hunting trophies. It had seven dining rooms, and was frequented by the rich and famous.
Just picturing people ordering the herring in dill sauce in these decedent surroundings, takes me through a lengthy historical journey.
I have been trying, and sharing, recipes from the book with all due respect to the original publication.
The author, Jan Mitchell, died at 96 in 2009. In an interesting article regarding his death, they talk about his role in the cookbook.
“It was in 1950 that Mr. Mitchell came to the rescue of Lüchow’s, a temple of Teutonic cuisine, which had fallen on hard times after the death of its founder, August Lüchow, in 1923.
The restaurant, founded in 1882, had once played host to the musical elite of the German-speaking world, who were delighted to find Würzburger beer and boiled beef with horseradish sauce at 110-112 East 14th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues, only a few steps from Steinway Hall and the Academy of Music”.
A rich history of a restaurant that stood for over a century unfolded as I researched the strange book I found at the thrift store.
I will thoroughly enjoy exploring these authentic German recipes, while keeping their rich history in mind.