There was a moment in time when hotels and restaurants had tried and true signature dishes that became part of the world’s food vernacular. This doesn’t really happen much any more*, but during the early to mid twentieth century the world saw this become the norm. The Waldorf Salad, the Caesar, the Cobb Salad were all creations of this era.
What makes the Cobb Salad a bit different was that it came to encompass a style of cuisine that has become so prominent in North America. It is a truly Californian creation, a great balance between fresh and hearty. It’s salty, sour, creamy and savoury all while being a reasonably simple salad. Born at Los Angeles’s world famous Brown Derby restaurant the Cobb Salad was invented by Robert Cobb who as legend has it was hungry late and night and began to forage his kitchen for different leftovers**.
The Original Cobb Salad is comprised of :
Roquefort Blue Cheese
Hard Boiled Eggs
And Dressing which is made out of….Red Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, Lemon, Sugar, Worcestershire Sauce, Mustard, Minced Garlic, salt and pepper.
That right there is not a light salad. It’s a feast in salad form.
Over the next few years the Cobb Salad grew in popularity with Hollywood studio owners, actors, and other big wigs and the legend grew as did the number of different variations on the salad. Replacing chicken and Bacon with Salmon and shrimp, Avocado with different fruits. The everything but the kitchen sink salad concept became the basis for California Cuisine. Find the freshest things you can get, put them together in a visually stunning and flavourful way and you can create an infinite number of fresh, light, healthy dishes.
So here is to you Bob Cobb***, one of the great innovators of American Cuisine.
*Beyond Thomas Keller’s Oysters and Pearls and Martin Picard’s Duck in A Can
**This may be the greatest defence of the legalization of marijuana ever because Bob Cobb was clearly high when he just made a crazy “everything salad”.
***If you have not seen the Cobb Salad episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm you really are missing out. It’s truly brilliant.