Exhibit Opening | Dining Out: Menus, Chefs, Restaurants, Hotels, & Guidebooks

Map on menu from Jefferson Davis Hotel in Alabama

Menu by The Jefferson Davis Hotel (Montgomery, Ala.) 1947. Culinary Menu Box M283. Special Collections Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive. 

The Special Collections Library recently opened a new exhibit in the Clark Library (2nd floor Hatcher), entitled Dining Out: Menus, Chefs, Restaurants, Hotels, & Guidebooks. Curated by Jan Longone, adjunct curator and donor of the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archives (JBLCA), this exhibit celebrates the history of the eating out experience.  It will remain open through January 19, 2016. 

On display are more than 300 food and wine menus, including examples from all fifty states, from Alabama to Wyoming. Menus-on-the-move from trains and ships are also featured, as well as selected international menus. Among these are several illustrated by Salvador Dalí for the El Motel, a Catalan restaurant now famous for its pioneering embrace of local and traditional foodstuffs over the past 50+ years. Guidebooks about historic and contemporary hotels, taverns, tea rooms, roadhouses, and more provide windows into the world of travel and culinary tourism in years gone by.  

The exhibit also highlights the accomplishments of great chefs past and present. From Renaissance chef Bartolomeo Scappi's masterwork Opera dell'Arte del Cucinare with 30 pages illustrating and naming every utensil used in the Renaissance kitchen, to the efforts of London Reform Club chef Alexis Soyer to improve the diet and health of soldiers during the Crimean War, to Rick Bayless' receipt of the Order of the Aztec Eagle for his research and promotion of Mexican Cuisine, Dining Out clearly illustrates the far-reaching impact of gastronomic enjoyment and the chefs whose artistry makes it possible.  

To learn more, mark your calendars to join us for a curator talk with Jan Longone in the Hatcher Library Gallery on November 12 at 4:00 p.m.

Yellow menu with color illustrations
Tuesday menu for a cruise on The Great White Liner North American. Special Collections Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive.