The Root has published an interview with Don Lindgren, co-owner of Rabelais.
What is the root of your selection criteria for books?
Well, we have many different types of cookbooks and other food and drink books, so the selection criteria vary. There are tens of thousands of cookbooks in print, and hundreds of thousands of titles printed throughout history, so even the largest store can’t handle it all, but the bottom line for us is that a book needs to treat its subject with respect, and be written by someone who brings knowledge and some skill to the task. In terms of rare books, it’s all about what we find, whether it’s an individual item or a whole collection. I love buying collections formed by chefs and food historians because they often contain obscure books on really specific subjects, like Papaya Culture in Hawaii, or a 19th century Goan cookbook, published in Bombay.