Food historian and St. Louis author Suzanne Corbett takes readers on culinary trip back in time via The Gilded Table, Recipes and Table History from the Campbell House, a new, four-color book filled with menus, recipes and dining customs from the Campbell House Museum, St. Louis’ best-preserved Gilded Age mansion.
This 224-page, hard-cover publication spotlights the food, culinary traditions and social decorum of 19th century America through the private home and social life of Robert and Virginia Campbell, who were at the time, one of St. Louis’ and Missouri’s wealthiest couples. Their luxurious parlor and dining table welcomed the likes of President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant; William Tecumseh Sherman; Chief Red Cloud of the Oglala Lakota and engineer James B. Eads.
The book provides an intimate glimpse at how the wealth created by Robert Campbell’s rugged wilderness life as a pioneering fur trader transformed into a wealthy lifestyle of sumptuous dinners and high society events during the 1860s and 70s, a pivotal period in St. Louis and American history.
Featured are 178 recipes from Virginia Campbell’s original handwritten collection which dates to 1840, along with dishes from the Campbell-owned Southern Hotel, considered one of the finest lodging establishments of its time.
Lavishly photographed and illustrated (page samples below), The Gilded Table features more than 130 food and artifact images, including Mrs. Campbell’s ornate dining furniture, Old Paris china collection, Waterford crystal and elaborate sterling serving pieces. The book’s culinary focus is enhanced by Corbett’s telling of the Campbell family’s glittering dinner parties and extensive philanthropic efforts.
Click below to order your copy of this special publication—available for shipping to your home or held will-call in the Campbell House Museum Store. Books are usually shipped within 2 days of the order.
Reviews of The Gilded Table
“If those lavish table scenes at Downton Abbey make you want to trip back in time, wait until you read Suzanne Corbett. She practically pulls out a chair for you at the nineteenth-century banquets of the Campbells. Lavish only begins to describe what you’d experience. Robert and Virginia Campbell ruled the St. Louis social scene through the Gilded Age. This is social history at its best — the table as the canvas of a pivotal American city coming into its own.”
- Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of public radio’s “The Splendid Table” from American Public Media
“Campbell House is a special place — it’s a St. Louis original. There’s so much history surrounding the Campbell family … and so many memories, especially those historic dinners when the table was always impeccably set with all the silver service. It was a time of elegance and a time when people dined. It’s impressive and something worth seeing and preserving and “The Gilded Table” captures that time.”
- Vincent Bommarito, Sr., legendary St. Louis five-star restaurateur, owner of Tony’s
Sample Book Pages
Click on the links or pages below to view sample pages from the book in PDF format.
Table of Contents — 2 pages (PDF, 1.9mb)
Preface — 2 pages (PDF, 676kb)
Chapter 1, Preserving House and Table (selection) — 6 pages (PDF, 2.7 mb)
Recipe Introduction — 1 pages (PDF, 1mb)
Brown Fricassee Chicken — 1 page (PDF, 2.1mb)
Roman Punch — 2 pages (PDF, 2.3mb)
Washington Cake — 2 pages (PDF, 1.1mb)