Bess Gant's Cook Book
Over 600 original recipes from Bess Gant, plus those of famous friends and contributors
Culver City, 1947
Bess ("Bessie") Gant was the national food editor and well-known columnist for the Pittsburgh Courier. After moving with her husband to Los Angeles, she also ran a catering business serving MGM and Fox Studios, as well as the city’s black, social elite.
While this cookbook primarily contains recipes from Gant herself, it has a section of recipes contributed by “famous personalities,” many of whom were Los Angeles friends of Gant, such as Lena Horn, Louise Beavers, and Lionel Hamptom. Walt Disney contributed a recipe for “Make Mine Music Salad” and “Mickey Mouse Dressing”
I have made Los Angeles Architect Paul R. William’s “Chicken a la Jerusalem” recipe from this book.
Historic images included in this entry:
photo 1: Pittsburgh Courier page showing Gant’s column as well as an article covering Gant’s trip to Los Angeles in 1941, before she moved to the city.
photo 2: “Rocky” Washington, Jazz musician Lionel Hampton and his wife and business manager Gladys, dancer turned Los Angeles Tribune columnist Alyce Keys, and Bessie Gant in Los Angeles in the 1940s. Photo courtesy of the UCLA Digital Archives
photo 3: Bess Gant and Lena Horn in Los Angeles, via The Pittsburgh Courier
photo 4: Party at photographer George Cutler’s House (possibly 2710 Griffith Avenue) in the 1940s. Bess Gant, center, and other friends in LA, including Herman Hill. Hill was the West Coast Editor for the Pittsburgh Courier. He was also the first African American to play varsity basketball at USC.
"Chicken Ala Jerusalem" by LA Architect Paul R. Williams