Born a slave in 1857, Rufus Estes worked his way up from a Pullman Private Car attendant to a job preparing meals for the top brass at one of the country's largest steel corporations. This cookbook, the first to be written and published by a black chef, includes a number of dishes from Estes' vast culinary collection. Commenting briefly on his Southern childhood and early years as a railway attendant, Estes goes on to offer simple instructions for preparing such standard fare as fried chicken, beef roast, and glazed carrots. But the heart of the book lies in mouth-watering recipes for dishes rarely found in contemporary cookbooks -- among them Creole-style chicken gumbo, chestnut stuffing with truffles, cherry dumplings, and southern-style waffles. Nearly 600 recipes -- from haute cuisine to family-style meals -- are included. Sure to intrigue food enthusiasts and collectors of old cookbooks, Rufus Estes' Good Things to Eat will also appeal to anyone interested in the African-American experience.