To think, long before Nigella Lawson became a culinary meteorologist, the epicurean among us relied on WWD for entertaining guidance. Luckily, nary a cultural niche escaped Fairchild and Co.’s editorial gaze, as evidenced by this September 1973 story, “The Ins and Outs of Fall Food.”
“Out with clichés,” decried writer Dorias Tobias in the introduction. “In with imagination, simplicity, style. Use touches that make your menus and meals alive with drama.” According to Tobias, this meant dispatching with party standbys like “pimientos out of a jar, wed to the inevitable anchovy,” beef Wellington and the how-could-you “mélange of cold shellfish on a tired lettuce leaf.” In other words, serve your guests a seemingly innocuous dessert such as peach Melba, chocolate mousse or Napoleons post-Labor Day and you might as well wear white while you’re doing it.
However, fall 1973 would be a good season for most cheeses, at least according to our reporter, who OK’ed Brie, Camembert, “the chèvres,” fontina and even “American Muenster” for autumn cocktail parties. And for drinks, why not “have guests sip preprandial wines as they watch you prepare sauce for the duckling,” whose recipe accompanied the article? How very Food Network.