So now on to the late Lee Bailey. I'm not old enough to remember Bailey during his heyday in the 1970s and 80s. (It's been a while since I could honestly say I wasn't old enough for something!) It seems to me, though, that Bailey was unique in that the food, the practical side of cooking and hosting, and the look of the table all got equal billing- no easy feat, but one that Bailey seems to have pulled off with aplomb. It's like there was Bailey the cook, Bailey the instructor and hand-holder to nervous hosts and hostesses, and Bailey the aesthete. In fact, china, flatware, and crystal were so important to Bailey that he used to have a legendary shop that specialized in cooking and table accessories.
I have two favorite Lee Bailey cookbooks- Lee Bailey's City Food: Recipes for Good Food and Easy Living and Lee Bailey's Good Parties. The images here are from City Food. Perhaps a few of these images might seem a bit dated, but if you pull back and look at the atmosphere and mood, I think you might be inspired to host a dinner or throw a good party. At the very least, you might get a few ideas about setting your own stylish table or sideboard.
(If you have any suggestions for similar cookbooks from the 1980s, by all means do tell.)
A cozy setting, and I love that burlwood table.
OK, I'm going to throw this out there...I love a black kitchen, without the purple neon of course. Black kitchens are sexy.
(All images from Lee Bailey's City Food: Recipes for Good Food and Easy Living, Joshua Greene photographer.)