Food and Restaurants

Preserving the unique heritage of Louisiana's cooking, dining, and restaurant traditions is a special mission of the Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC).


  • Among LaRC's extensive holdings about the Louisiana food and restaurant industries are important collections of Louisiana cookbooks, guidebooks, and publications of Louisiana food processors; publications and reports of food, dining, and agricultural trade organizations; and publications of food and wine clubs. It is also a major research source for food professional organizations, clubs, and food service industries in Louisiana, preserving such titles as Dough Boy (Published in the Interest of the Southern Bakery Industry), Louisiana Grocer,  and The Mixer,  official organ of the Master Bakers' Association of New Orleans.
  • LaRC's ephemera collection (vertical files) preserves significant holdings of menus and advertising flyers, cards, and other ephemera for more than 150 restaurants and coffee houses in the city. It is an especially important resource for French Quarter establishments. LaRC's vertical files also preserve brochures and flyers for over sixty New Orleans hotels. Many of these brochures describe hotel restaurants and coffee shops. The vertical files also preserve brochures, pamphlets, flyers, and programs for cooking organizations and clubs, food businesses, and grocery stores. Examples include brochures and programs for the Ancient Order of Creole Gourmets, the New Orleans School of Cooking, and the Co-Operative Truck Farmers' Commercial Company. A printed index to the vertical files is available in the Special Collections reading room.
LaRC also preserves extensive archival holdings pertaining to food and foodways in Louisiana.

 

  • Port of Call MenuManuscripts Collection 645, Domestic Recipes, 55 pieces. This is an early 19th-century housewife’s personal book of household recipes. One item is dated 1817 and the rest is consistent with that time period. Mainly food recipes, but also recipes for household concoctions such as furniture polish and bootblack.
  • Manuscripts Collection 174, Adeline Sugar Factory Company records, 1883-1961, 4 linear feet.
  • Manuscripts Collection 513, Keep, Clara J. (1850-1928), 1 volume. Mainly recipes collected by Keep with some family history.
  • Manuscripts Collection 659, Bres Family papers, 1821-1980, 799 pieces. Discusses the unreliability of having champagne delivered by river (1845), includes a 1929 menu for the American Association of University Women dinner, and some discussions of social life in New Orleans.
  • Manuscripts Collection 404, Christopher Blake papers. Playwright, novelist, bon vivant, French Quarter restaurateur, and gourmet cook. Blake has published several cookbooks, including 52 Recipes: No Week's Complete Without a New Orleans Meal (1975), Easy Elegance Cookbook (1978), and Christopher Blake’s Cooking With and for Alcoholics (1997). RESTRICTED. May not be accessed without the donor’s permission.

Gourmet's guide to New Orleans, by Natalie Scott [and] Caroline Merrick Jones. [Foreword written by Dorothy Dix], [New Orleans, Peerless Printing Co., c1933], 1 p. l., v-x, 11-96 p., 3 l. 24 cm. JONES HALL Louisiana Collection. 976.3 (641) S428g

  • Angela Gregory papers (roughly 100 linear feet, of which about 1 linear foot pertains to food and culinary traditions). Noted sculptor Angela Gregory (1903-1990) studied in Paris and enjoyed returning to Europe whenever she could. Her papers preserve her collection of menus acquired on her travels, especially menus from the ships on which she sailed overseas. It also includes her grandmother’s 1890 “receipt book” and the recipe book of her mother, Newcomb artist Selina Bres Gregory. RESTRICTED. Because processing of this collection is not complete, access is currently by appointment.
  • Manuscripts Collection 933, Blaise C. D'Antoni (1934-1989)  papers (1857-1989, bulk 1950s-1960s), 33 linear feet. Research files containing mainly photocopies. Includes files on "Baudier, Roger - Donuts" (box 4 file 32); "Coffee Shops, etc. 1842 Directory Second Municipality" (box 6 folder 12); "Cookbook - Richard, Lena" (box 6 folder 19); "Recipes" (box 6 folder 50); and "Recipes - Mme. Begue's" (box 6 folder 51).
  • Manuscripts Collection 446, Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) papers, 1878-1901, 50 pieces. Includes Creole recipes, proverbs and remedies loaned to Hearn by Dr. Rudolph Matas. Attached are two explanatory notes by Matas. Hearn probably used these notes for Gombo Zhebes.
  • Manuscripts Collection 265, Jackson Brewing Company records, 1890-1970, 20 linear feet. Cashbooks, general ledgers, reports, and other records of a New Orleans brewery.
  • Manuscripts Collection 654, Robert R. Barrow Family Papers. Scattered records of the family's sugar holdings (including the plantations Roberta Grove, Locust Grove, Myrtle Grove, Caillou Grove, and Deville), and brief references to pecan and fruit tree growing in Texas and orange groves in south Louisiana.

  • Manuscripts Collection 419, Charles Cassedy Bass (1875-1975) papers, 1889-1975. 456 items. Dean of the Tulane Medical School and Professor of Experimental Medicine who conducted significant research in nutritional diseases and dental health. Perhaps best known for the "Bass method" of preventive dental health care.
  • Manuscripts Collection 461, Benedict Family papers, 1804-1974, 59 pieces. Ada Benedict's composition book from 1875 includes recipes for medicines, cosmetics, foods, and liquors; also household hints.

 

  • Manuscripts Collection 388, Mrs. Frank M. Besthoff Collection of Louisiana Commercial Papers, 238 pieces. Section three of this collection contains various recipes for making liquors, c. 1850.
  • Manuscripts Collection 123, Natalie Vivian Scott (1890 – 1957) papers. Decorated war hero, celebrated newspaperwoman, award winning playwright, historic preservationist, and more, Natalie Scott wrote several cookbooks and guidebooks devoted to New Orleans cuisine, including Mirations and Miracles of Mandy: Some Favorite Louisiana Recipes (1929), 200 Years of New Orleans Cooking (1931), and Gourmet's Guide to New Orleans (with Caroline Merrick Jones), which was updated and republished regularly from the 1930s through the 1960s. Scott also ventured into Mexican cuisine. In 1935 G.P. Putnam's Sons published Mexican Kitchen. That was followed by Cocina to You: Mexican Dishes for American Kitchens, in 1946, published in Mexico City by Gráficos Mexicanos.
  • Manuscripts Collection 842, Frances Parkinson Keyes (1885-1970), Papers (1898-1970), 36 linear feet. Biographical information, family and business correspondence, galley proofs, manuscripts, and articles (mainly after 1958) of the New Hampshire-born author who became a New Orleans resident. Author of Dinner at Antoine’s.
  • Manuscripts Collection 662, Thomas Bayne Denegre (1893-1967) papers (1911-1965), 486 pieces. Contains the “Dinner Book” of Denegre’s aunt, Edith Bayne Denegre, of New Orleans, 1920-1923, with thorough entries about debutante parties, sewing class lunches, holiday dinners, DAR receptions, and more. Every planned meal includes a menu with expense lists. Decorations are also often listed.

  • Manuscripts Collection 407, Scoggin, Madeleine Villere, Papers, 1922-23 and ca. 1970s. Reminiscences written by Scoggin’s in the 1970s of her New Orleans childhood in the 1910s. Mentions dancing school, Miss Finey’s School for Young Ladies, World War I in New Orleans, adolescent amusements, food, and Creole customs. Also includes Scoggin’s debutante book, 1922-23.
  • Manuscripts Collection M 103, Household Account notebook (1843-54). Contains various household information, recipes for cooking, making starch, curing hydrophobia, etc.
  • Manuscripts Collection M 128, Recipes, ca. 1880s, one leaf. One hand-written page containing recipes for that mysterious but seemingly ever-present late nineteenth-century drink, “ginger beer,” and various kinds of pickles.
  • Charles L. "Pie" Dufour papers. Box 23, folder 23, contains Antoine's wine list, 1840-1940; Box 24, folder 21, contains information on Les Escargots Orleanais;
  •  Manuscripts Collection 130, Deutsch, Hermann B. (1889-1970), Papers, ca. 1827-1970 [1920's-1970], 30 linear feet (28 storage boxes, 25 scrapbooks, and oversized materials). Hermann Bacher Deutsch was a journalist with the New Orleans Item for over four decades. He also wrote for the Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Collier's, Literary Digest, and Gourmet, and wrote several books, including The Incredible Yanqui (1931) and The Wedge (1935), the Biography of Dr. Rudolph Matas (with Isidore Cohn), and The Huey Long Murder Case. His newspaper column often concerned Louisiana food and in 1964 he wrote Brennan's New Orleans Cookbook (1964). He also did ghost writing work for Frances Parkinson Keyes on Dinner at Antoine’s. He lectured on New Orleans and Louisiana cooking and box 4 contains his cooking lectures. Box 6 contains recipes and cookbook notes. Box 14 contains Deutsch's file on the Confrérie des chevaliers du Tastevin.
  • Manuscripts Collection 918, Cross Keys Plantation, family papers and agricultural records, 1819-1983 (bulk 1819-1948), 6 linear feet. Correspondence, diaries, financial records, scrapbooks, and other papers documenting the Cross Keys Plantation of Tensas Parish, Louisiana, and the Watson, McCall, and Cook families. The plantation was run by women during most of its existence. Topics documented include soldiers' views of the Civil War and World Wars I and II, plantation life, the role of women in the South, southern agriculture, social life in the rural South, the homefront during World Wars I and II, and other topics. In the 1930s Lucille Watson worked for the Employment Relief Committee and her case records lists potential clients, expense statements, client grocery lists, client weekly budgets, and more. During World War II, Lucille Watson organized soirees in St. Joseph for soldiers stationed at nearby military bases and the correspondence documents those events. Ledgers include nineteenth-century general store personal accounts ledgers, house accounts, records of weekly meat and meal purchases, and more.
  • Manuscripts Collection 168, Lemann Family papers, 1801-1968, 721 volumes. The Lemann family owned general stores in Donaldsonville and these volumes record their store records. Include "Liquor Records, 1885-1919)," 29 plantation store books, 2 merchandise order books (1879-1889), 15 invoice books (1862-1919), and more.
  • Manuscripts Collection 653, Standard Fruit and Steamship Company papers, 1901-1963, 12,560 pieces and 8 volumes.  Composed of the files of Salvador D'Antoni and research material Thomas L. Karnes used in writing Tropical Enterprises: The Standard Fruit and Steamship Company in Latin American (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1978). 
  • Manuscripts Collection 538, Sugar industry series. Miscellaneous documents regarding the Louisiana sugar industry.

Madame Begue's Restaurant, 1903

And, of course,

  • Snacks From the Stacks (1973),
  • More Snacks from the Stacks (1974), and
  • Even More Snacks From the Stacks (1982): Recipes from the Staff of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.