HOGAN, Lou Rand; COSTAIN, David (illustrator)
The Gay Cookbook
/ by Lou Rand Hogan. Campy cartoons by David Costain. Los Angeles : Sherbourne Press, 1965. First edition, first impression. Large octavo, lettered paper boards (slightly bumped at corners, small impression to centre of spine, lightly stained), pp. viii; 280, line illustrations; internally clean. A fine copy of the true first edition, issued in much larger format to the second impression, co-published by Bell later in the same year.
The first cookbook aimed exclusively at a gay audience.
‘On Wednesday, December 1, 1965, the New York Times ran an advertisement for The Gay Cookbook by Chef Lou Rand Hogan, whether “for that very special man in your life or for the jaded hostess whose soufflés no longer stand on their own.” The ad, sponsored by Doubleday Book Shops, filled a quarter of the page and featured an image of a slender man wearing a flowery apron, his hand limply holding a steak over a grill. It did not go unnoticed. In January 1966 Time magazine printed a twenty-five-hundred- word essay, “The Homosexual in America,” its longest article yet on the lives of gay men and lesbians. In the introduction, the author named several signs that homosexuality was “more in evidence” than ever before: the addition of “beefcake” magazines to newsstands, explicit jokes in the most recent Rock Hudson movie, and Doubleday’s “smirking ads” for The Gay Cookbook.
The publication of a “gay cookbook” four years before the Stonewall riots, typically acknowledged as the start of gay liberation, undoubtedly surprises many readers who stumble on a surviving copy today. But Lou Rand Hogan’s book was not entirely unprecedented. As courts struck down obscenity laws in the early 1960s, books and magazines about and targeted to gay men proliferated as never before—and could be produced and purchased with far less fear of legal sanction.’ – Stephen Vidler, “Oh Hell, May, Why Don’t You People Have a Cookbook?”: Camp Humor and Gay Domesticity. American Quarterly, Volume 65, Number 4, December 2013, pp. 877-904. Published by Johns Hopkins University Press, https://doi.org/10.1353/aq.2013.0054
Vidler’s article provides an excellent analysis of The Gay Cookbook’s cultural significance to the LGBT movement.
Chapter 1. Canapés, hors d’oeuvres and aphrodisiacs —
Chapter 2. Soup, that juicy stuff —
Chapter 3. Salads and dressings, including Le French —
Chapter 4. Chili, curries, spaghetti sauces and other blood tinglers —
Chapter 5. The shell game : oysters, lobsters, shrimp and what to do with crabs —
Chapter 6. That tired old fish —
Chapter 7. What to do with a tough piece of meat —
Chapter 8. Chicken queens, chicken à la king and our other feathered friends —
Chapter 9. Sauces, gravies and other brownish delights —
Chapter 10. Vegetables : plain and fancy —
Chapter 11. Loose ends : including potatoes and other weight lifters —
Chapter 12. In your oven! —
Chapter 13. Drunks and drinks.