Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin are the co-authors of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men. Knowing how much I love the show (at least in its early seasons — get back to me when this season is over…) my wife gave me a copy of the book for Christmas, and I was surprised at how thorough and accurate the authors’ research of Mad Men, and early ’60s drinking and dining in general was. If you’re planning a Mad Men-themed party, or simply want to make the same kind of Old Fashioned that Don drinks, Roger’s favorite Oysters Rockefeller recipe, or heck, Pat Nixon’s Date Nut Bread, this is your book.
Among the topics we discussed are:
- While aesthetics in general may have arguably gone downhill since the swank suit and skinny ties of the early 1960s, food has actually gotten much more varied. How basic were the dining and drinking choices in Don Draper’s days? The answer may surprise you.
- How did the authors compile a list of all of the food and drink shown on the show?
- How cooperative were the restaurants that are still around, and mentioned in the show in working with the authors?
- Have they met any of the cast members since writing the book?
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