Food treasures in New York City

Cookbook Heaven at Kitchen Arts & Letters


If Meg Ryan had owned a cookbook store in the movie “You’ve Got Mail,” it would have been Kitchen Arts & Letters. Located for the past 28 years at 1435 Lexington Avenue (at 93rd street), KA&L has 13,000 titles — domestic, imported, contemporary as well as out-of-print books. They’re not just cookbooks but also “books on culinary history, molecular gastronomy, restaurant management, food-themed fiction: from a book on the role of food in the plays of Molière to one on the sociology of New England clambakes,” says owner Nach Waxman.

On a recent visit I bought a beautiful culinary wall calendar for a fellow foodie that I gave with a fun, food themed card.


In the sales bin, I found a book about how recipe writing started and the evolution of the cookbook.

recipe book

If you are interested in vintage cookbooks, or ones from a particular era or part of the world you might want to check out the cookbook collections at the Center for Jewish History.  Anyone can register to access books from the collection but they can only be reviewed in the library’s reading room. Another great resource for food-related books and papers is NYU’s Fales Library Food & Cookery Collection, which has more than 50,000 titles of food-related content. The Fales Library is open to NYU students, faculty and staff, as well as qualified researchers and scholars.

December 17, 2012 - Posted by | books, Food | ,


  1. Wow! interesting. Best part are the worn pages of the old recipes.
    I find the old recipes simpler with less ingredients and they come out
    Something to look into.

    Comment by Shirley Friedman | December 17, 2012 | Reply

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