Here is the best of Bemelmans on the subject he loved most: la bonne table. The entrancing memories and charming pictures assembled here transport the reader behind the scenes of the great hotels of Europe and Americaincluding the immortal "Hotel Splendide"and such restaurants as the Tour d'Argent in Paris and Le Pavillon in New York. Memorable dishes, the eccentric geniuses of the kitchens who created them, the opulent and often astonishing patrons who ordered them, the legendary wines and the occasions they toasted, are all evoked in rich and piquant flavor.
The gifted and exuberant Ludwig Bemelmans was trained as a boy for a career as a restauranteur, and La Bonne Table is in effect his gastonomical autobiography. The highand sometimes riotous lowpoints of his life with food, from Austrian cafes to the late, lamented Ritz of New York, are narrated with delight and zest as he celebrates beer and sausages, pressed duck and caviar, and the chefs who cooked for him. He remembers with decidedly mixed emotions the ways of the busboy and the waiter, and the qualities that make up the perfect maitre d'. He muses over great menus and great eatersand soon makes the reader very hungry. Here, truly, is a feast of reading, as a lost world of luxury and elegance is brilliantly evoked and savored. Bemelmans' extraordinary charm captivated all who met him; it glows through the pages of La Bonne Table.
About the Author
Ludwig Bemelmans was an essayist, humorist, novelist, artist and an author of books for children. Hansi was the first of Bemelmans' fifteen children's books. It was very well received by most reviewers, but it was Madeline, which brought Bemelmans his greatest success.
Although Bemelmans became famous for his Madeline books, he always considered himself more an artist illustrator than a writer, and later in life he became a serious painter with works now on display in the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Museé National d'Art of Paris.
Besides children's books, Bemelmans wrote adult books and was a contributor of many magazines, including Vogue and The New Yorker. Bemelmans also did many cover illustrations for The New Yorker.