Ghosts of Gourmet: Ann Seranne

Ann SeranneAbout three days ago, caught in the throes of egg cookery, I realized that Ann Seranne’s name doesn’t ring a whole lot of bells these days in food circles.


Even Alice Arndt’s celebrated Culinary Biographies fails to mention Seranne.

We shouldn’t ignore this lady and her place in the pantheon of culinarians contributing to the world of food. After all, not only did Seranne serve as executive editor of now-defunct Gourmet magazine, she worked as food editor of the New York Post, food consultant to NBC and other institutions, and contributed articles to Family Circle and other magazines, in addition to her pedestal at Gourmet.

Yet she wrote over two dozen cookbooks, edited scads more,* and counted among her friends American food icon James Beard.  She wrote The Art of Egg Cookery and The Complete Book of Egg Cookery. Of eggs, she said, so truthfully:

Eggs play a most important role in all our cooking. First, they are essential in the construction of sauce, soufflés, custards, and mousses. Second, eggs leaven our cakes, meringues and frostings. Third, eggs emulsify our salad dressings and mayonnaise. Fourth, eggs bind our meat loaves and croquettes. Fifth, eggs clarify our consommés and bouillons. Sixth, eggs prevent crystallization in our ice creams, and, seventh, aggs are responsible for the crisp crusts achieved on fried foods and the golden crusts on pastry. In sum, eggs are indispensable to any cook.

Here’s a list of her books:

1,001 Ideas for Parties, Fairs and Suppers
All About Small Dogs in the Big City
America Cooks: The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Cook Book (Ed.)
Ann Seranne’s Good Food & How to Cook It
Ann Seranne’s Good Food with a Blender
Ann Seranne’s Good Food without Meat
The Art of Egg Cookery
The Best of Near Eastern Cookery
The Blender Cookbook
The Church and Club Woman’s Companion
The Complete Book of Desserts
The Complete Book of Egg Cookery
The Complete Book of Freezer Cookery
The Complete Book of Home Baking
The Complete Book of Home Freezing
The Complete Book of Home Preserving
Creative Cooking Made Easy: The Golden Fluffo Cookbook
Delectable Desserts
Eastern Junior League Cookbook (Ed.)
The Epicure’s Companion
The Four Star Kitchen
The Home Canning and Preserving Book
The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog
The Joy of Giving Homemade Food: Unique Homemade Recipes
The Joy of Owning a Shih Tzu
Midwestern Junior League Cookbook (Ed.)
The Pots and Pans Cookbook
The Sandwich Book; the Modern Art of Sandwich Making for All Occasions
Southern Junior League Cookbook (Ed.)
Western Junior League Cookbook
Your Home Freezer
*One of her passions, breeding and raising small show dogs, resulted in other books as well.

6 thoughts on “Ghosts of Gourmet: Ann Seranne

  1. Wow!I found your website because my mom has the Ann Seranne cookbook America Cooks that is very rare and expensive and we recently bought her a better copy off ebay for $65. I found the Blender Cookbook and have been making stuff from it. Love your blog. And now I know all about Pieter Aertsen and his work. thanks for the education!

  2. Another long forgotten food writer that I enjoy is Nell B. Nichols. She edited all the Farm Journal cookbooks, which are really lovely.

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