University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries

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A pinch of history: the Carson Gulley Cookbook Collection

Gulley, Carson. Seasoning secrets : herbs and spices (1949)

Fans of beautiful books, libraries, and bookstores will be smitten with this website, A Pretty Book. A post from July 25th, “Cooking the Books,” inspired us to explore our own digital collections to find out what we have in the way of cookbooks.

From the introduction to the School of Human Ecology’s Carson Gulley Cookbook Collection:

Carson Gulley (1897-1962) gained such legendary status as a chef on the UW-Madison campus that both a building and a pie were named for him.

Carson Gulley Commons, located at 1515 Tripp Circle, was named for the man who had served as head chef there from 1927 until 1954. Carson Gulley was the first person of color for whom a UW-Madison campus building was named. It was also the first time in the long practice of naming campus buildings that the name of a civil service employee rather than a faculty member or administrator had been so honored.

In 1949 Carson Gulley published some of his recipes, including fudge-bottom pie, in a book called Seasoning Secrets: Herbs and Spices. The book was later revised and republished under the name Seasoning Secrets and Favorite Recipes of Carson Gulley. While working for the University, several Extension bulletins were published, putting in print the recipes and cooking instructions he had presented on the WHA-WLBL Homemakers’ Program. Carson Gulley’s publications are presented here in the Carson Gulley Cookbooks digital collection.

Dig into the Carson Gulley Cookbook Collection.

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