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Rare print of campy pre-Stonewall ‘The Gay Cookbook’ went up for sale in NYC

Rare print of campy pre-Stonewall ‘The Gay Cookbook’ on sale this weekend in NYC

The hilarious but authentic collection of international recipes by former Advocate food columnist Lou Rand Hogan was available at the ABBA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair.

A rare first edition print copy of The Gay Cookbook, the seminal campy cookbook for gay men that predates Stonewall was on sale earlier this momth at the ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair.

First published in 1965, The Gay Cookbook is a collection of sophisticated international recipes presented in an unabashedly campy style by Lou Rand Hogan, author of The Gay Detective, a former food columnist for The Advocate in the 1970s, and once described as the gay Julia Child.

The book was being offered by exhibitor Type Punch Matrix. Bryan Cassidy of Type Punch tells Out Traveler the book was such a surprising success that it had a second printing with a dust cover. The first edition books, like the one on sale, only had a printed hardcover.


He also explained how the book accurately represents Hogan’s fiercely out and proud approach to living as a gay man, as well as one with a tremendous sense of humor.

During free-flowing cooking instructions for Cantonese Chicken, for example, Hogan suggests cracking open a beer between chopping vegetables and waiting for the oil to heat up in the pan because “you deserve it!”

He was also a master of the double entendre.

“Another thing to do would be to beat it,” Rand suggests in a chapter on dealing with tough meat.

He also advised burgeoning chefs to befriend their butchers with the hope of being steered toward more quality choices of meat.

“Smile at the S.O.B. as you gayly ask, ‘How’s ya meat today, Butch?’”


Born in Bakersfield in 1910, Hogan bounced from performing in drag in San Francisco shortly after graduating high school before he signed on to work in the kitchen on a luxury liner at sea. He later established himself as a successful author of gay-themed works like The Gay Detective at a time when homosexuality was considered a disease and same-sex sexual relations were illegal. Hogan even penned the cheeky Auntie Lou Cooks food column that appeared in The Advocate in the early 1970s before his death in 1974.

The first edition print of The Gay Cookbook by Lou Rand Hogan was at the Type Punch Matrix booth at the 64th Annual ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair (NYIABF) at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC.

You can learn more about The Gay Cookbook and browse a complete list of Type Punch Matrix titles online at You can learn more about the 64th Annual ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair online at

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