“Searching for Amelia: A Quest for the Author of the First American Cookbook” by Pamela Cooley
In 1796 Amelia Simmons wrote what is widely regarded as the first American cookbook, American Cookery. Other than this bare fact, very little is known about her. Through historical and genealogical research, Pamela Cooley has sought to solve the mystery surrounding Simmons. She reveals her results, analyzes some often-cited theories, and poses a theory of her own.
Pamela Cooley’s interest in culinary history led her to research Amelia Simmons. Cooley has presented on Simmons in the U.S. and Canada and was awarded Honorary Mention for her work in the Sophie Coe Prize competition. She is a retired archivist and also an avid historic cook who teaches open hearth, bake oven, and wood cookstove cookery at living history museums in New York state.