Friends, the other day while working at the arcade, I was contacted by one of my co-workers – asking if I had heard of Vincent Price. Obviously my friend is not a fan of horror films or even the Saturday Frights podcast but I let her know I was quite aware of the work of the legendary Vincent Price. The reason she asked was that while strolling through a local thrift shop she had found a cookbook entitled A Treasury of Great Recipes that had been written by Mary and Vincent Price. As you might expect my very next question was where it was located and how much the shop might be asking for the cookbook. Turns out that A Treasury of Great Recipes had already sold – because my friend had purchased it for a mere two dollars… oh, and it happens to have been a copy signed by both Mary and Vincent Price!
From the likes of The Last Man on Earth, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, and Thriller among 204 other roles – Price was best known for playing villainous characters. Although by all accounts in books and interviews, Price was was an incredibly charming and sweet individual – he also had a lot of fun playing off his horror movie heritage. Like when he was a guest on the popular Hollywood Squares game show or even when he was the guest star on The Muppet Show. A humorous skit featuring Gonzo the Great (Dave Goelz), Fozzie Bear (Frank Oz), Uncle Deadly (Jerry Nelson), as well as Price.
Vincent Price besides being an amazing actor, was also well known for being not just an admirer of art but a collector and historian. In addition he managed to become a gourmet cook and with his second Wife, Mary – they penned four cookbooks. Vincent was given a cooking show for British Television which aired for six episodes in 1971 and was entitled Cooking Price-Wise. In fact in this VERY memorable episode The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson – he demonstrates how to steam salmon… courtesy of a dishwasher!
My co-worker last night was kind enough to bring A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price to the arcade so I could take a look at it. It turns out this is a first printing – the 1965 edition – and features recipes collected from around the World by the then married couple. One of the rather amazing aspects of this gourmet book is it is about as far as snobbish as you could get – with the Price’s having collected menus from their World travels – sharing them in the book along with notes I suppose while they were having dinner. Many of these locations are no longer in operation so you can even look at this cookbook as being something of a culinary history book – and throughout the tome are plenty of wonderful photographs of Vincent and Mary entertaining friends.
All in all an exceptional cookbook to say the very least – I’m not sure if my friend is interested in trying the recipes within A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price. I do know though that those of us that work at the arcade wouldn’t mind an after hours dinner to try a few of them out!