Galloping Gourmet explores an unfamiliar side of a familiar character in American history, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. In this entertaining narrative Steve Friesen explores the evolving role of eating and drinking in Buffalo Bill’s life (1846–1917). Friesen starts with Buffalo Bill’s culinary roots on the American Plains, eating simple foods such as cornbread, fried “yellow-legged” chicken, and hardtack. Buffalo Bill discovered gourmet dining while leading buffalo-hunting expeditions and scouting. As his fame increased, so did his desire and opportunities for fine dining: his early show business career allowed him to dine at some of the best restaurants in the country.
Friesen examines the creation of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1883, in which Cody introduced his diverse cast of employees to dining that equaled America’s best restaurants. One newspaper reporter observed that “Colonel Cody displays no more care about anything than the proper feeding of horse and man.” Cody opened the first Mexican restaurant east of the Mississippi and introduced American foodways to Europe. Equally comfortable eating around a campfire on the plains or at Delmonico’s in New York City, he also dined with leading celebrities of his day. In the final section Friesen addresses the controversies surrounding Cody’s drinking, his death, and his ongoing culinary legacy. Galloping Gourmet includes an appendix of more than thirty annotated period recipes.
About the Author
Steve Friesen is the retired director of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden, Colorado, and contributing editor of True West magazine. He is the author of Lakota Performers in Europe: Their Culture and the Artifacts They Left Behind and Buffalo Bill: Scout, Showman, Visionary.
"One of the most innovative and creative looks at the great showman ever published."—Stuart Rosebrook, True West
“After reading Steve Friesen’s deliciously written Galloping Gourmet, I wish I could go back in time to travel, tour, and dine with the West’s greatest promoter, Buffalo Bill Cody—and you will, too.”—Stuart Rosebrook, editor of True West magazine
“Buffalo Bill Cody nurtured his zest for life and that included good food and good drink. Steve Friesen brings to life Cody’s exuberance for providing the best food and conversation for his companions, whether sitting around a prairie campfire with scouts and Indians or dining in Eastern and European capitals with the rich and famous. Every fan of Buffalo Bill will love this book, chock-full of information such as Buffalo Bill’s introducing popcorn to Paris. Galloping Gourmet is a delicious delight.”—Bill Markley, author of Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody: Plainsmen of the Legendary West
“I love tasting history as well as reading about it. . . . Steve Friesen has amassed a collection of William F. ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody’s passions for food. The details are a wonderful piece of history that Friesen has documented for all to see and taste.”—Sherry Monahan, culinary historian and author of Shaken in 2020, but Not Stirred: Cocktails, Connections, and Humor
“Steve Friesen takes his readers behind the scenes, where readers encounter Wild West performers from around the globe, prominent journalists, royal visitors, and an international array of spectators, all of whom appreciated not only Buffalo Bill’s dramatic performances but also the exceptional meals he provided, ranging from grand banquets to various treats from concession stands.”—Jeremy M. Johnston, Ernest J. Goppert Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum