New Obsession: The Vincent Price Cookbook

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I spent the morning keeping cool inside the Harvey’s Guss Meat Co and picking master butcher Harvey Gussman’s brain for an upcoming issue. Far more than a mere meat cutter, Harvey can give you a foolproof recipe for cooking pretty much any cut of meat. Culinary credit goes to his wife, however. “A gourmet chef,” he calls her. Her specialty: Osso Bucco. “The recipe comes from the Vincent Price Cookbook,” he says.

Um, what?

“Don’t laugh!” he reprimands. I’m smirking. On the way over I heard Vincent’s Thriller monologue on the radio. Blood curdling? Sure. Veal braising? I’m skeptical. “Vincent and his wife traveled all over the world,” says Harvey, “and whenever they found an amazing dish they would get the recipe from it. Honestly, it’s our favorite cookbook.”

Man, forget Julia Child. Work your way through horror legend Vincent Price’s recipes and you’ll be risking a helluva lot more than burnt boeuf bourguignon! The book, which came out in 1965, is actually titled A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price. It’s quite the cult classic, it turns out—used copies retail for around $100 and the web is filled with testaments similar to Harvey’s. But really, his is the only endorsement I need. I’m now on a quest to add this to my collection—and soon.

The book was a wedding present to Harvey and his wife, “and we’ve been married 40 years” he says. A great cookbook and a good marriage: two things that stand the test of time.