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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 601: T-335: MP-43: Vt-138

Papers of Dione Lucas, ca.1930-1995


Papers of French chef, cookbook author, and television personality Dione Lucas and co-author Marion Gorman include address books, biographical material, cooking demonstration menus and programs, notebooks, correspondence, recipes, clippings, drafts, photographs, audiotapes, motion picture films, and videotapes.


  • Creation: 1930-1995

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual materials.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Dione Lucas is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library, however during donor Marion Gorman’s lifetime the library will authorize the publication of quotations from the collection only with her prior written permission. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


3.34 linear feet ((8 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 2 folio+ folders, 5 photograph folders, 1 folio+ photograph folder, 3 audiotapes, 2 motion picture films, and 5 videotapes.)

The Dione Lucas Papers consist of drafts, recipes, demonstration menus, publicity materials, correspondence, clippings, audiotapes, and motion pictures. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Lucas worked with co-author Marion Gorman on their cookbook, The Dione Lucas Book of French Cooking. Lucas died of breast cancer in 1971, leaving the book unfinished, but willed her papers to Gorman who continued the work; it was published in 1973. A later cookbook, The Dione Lucas Book of Natural French Cooking, co-authored by Marion Gorman and Felipe de Alba, used variations of Lucas' recipes. These papers are an amalgam of Dione Lucas' and Marion Gorman's papers and are arranged accordingly. Most folder headings were created by the processor. Those appearing in quotes were created by the donor.

Series I, Dione Lucas, ca.1930-1995 (#1.1-6.7), includes address books, clippings, cooking demonstration programs and menus, cooking school pamphlets, drafts and published articles, interviews, radio and television materials, and recipes. The bulk of this series consists of recipes (#3.4-6.2) arranged by category by Lucas. These recipes were used in a variety of Lucas' activities, including her cooking show, To the Queen's Taste (and several subsequent cooking shows), a number of cooking demonstrations for women's clubs throughout the country and in Australia, and in several abbreviated cookbooks published in Town & Country and House & Garden magazines. Additional recipes can be found in her recipe notebooks (#2.12-3.3) and her draft manuscript, "Treasury of French Cooking" (#6.3-6.7), which is likely to have been an early version of The Dione Lucas Book of French Cooking. Also included are interviews and transcripts of interviews: one an interview of Lucas by Martha Deane of New York City radio station WOR in 1970, and the remainder interviews of her by author William Perry (labeled as having been for The Cordon Bleu Cookbook, although these may have been for an early version of The Dione Lucas Book of French Cooking). Radio and television materials consist of several scripts, a prospectus for Dollars and Sense Cooking, notes on viewing statistics, and publicity material for the Gourmet Club cooking show sponsored by Brooklyn Union Gas and the Caloric Appliance Corporation. A Dione Lucas Hour recipe booklet was added to folder #2.11 in February 2015.

Series II, Marion Gorman, 1967-1994 (#6.8-8.14), includes published articles, clippings, correspondence, publicity material, précis for various cookbooks, financial documents, and a draft cookbook. The bulk of this series consists of correspondence, much of which pertains to the publication of The Dione Lucas Book of French Cooking and The Dione Lucas Book of Natural French Cooking, the settlement of Lucas' financial problems, and the settlement of the Lucas estate. Clippings, publicity materials, and financial documents all pertain to The Dione Lucas Book of French Cooking and The Dione Lucas Book of Natural French Cooking. A number of précis for cookbooks and the draft of Cuisine Sante are works by Gorman mainly based on variations of Lucas' recipes.

Series III, Photographs, Audiovisual, and Oversized, ca.1948-1970 (#PD.1 - PD.3f+, T-335.1 - T-335.3, MP-43.1 - MP-43.2, Vt-138.1 - Vt-138.5, FD.1, F+D.1 - F+D.2), consists of photographs, two motion picture films, three audiotapes, one videotape, and oversized material removed from other series. Photographs consist of stills of Lucas with various guests from several of her cooking shows, Lucas demonstrating cooking techniques, and Lucas teaching cooking classes, as well as photographs of finished recipes and her shop Maison Michel. All of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. There are two motion picture films: one of Lucas demonstrating the classic omelette technique, probably for the television show Gourmet Club, and one of Lucas and her sons. Audiotapes consist of an interview of Lucas by Martha Deane of New York City radio station WOR and two audiotapes of interviews of Lucas by William Perry (see description of transcripts above). Several videotapes contain recordings of episodes of The Dione Lucas Cooking Show. Oversized documents consist of House & Garden cookbooks, a scrapbook of clippings kept by Lucas, and oversized material removed from other series.


Dione Lucas was born in London, England, in 1909, daughter of architect Henry Wilson. She studied at the Cordon Bleu in Paris under Henri-Paul Pellaprat and apprenticed at the Drouant Restaurant in Paris before becoming the first woman to receive a diploma from the Cordon Bleu. In the early 1930s, she returned to London, where she and friend Rosemary Hume opened Le Petit Cordon Bleu Restaurant and Cooking School, having been authorized to issue diplomas by the Cordon Bleu. During this time she married architect Colin Lucas. The couple had two children, Mark and Peter. They later divorced.

In 1940, Lucas moved with her two children to New York City, first working at Longchamp's Restaurant. She opened the Cordon Bleu Cooking School and Restaurant in New York City in 1942. In 1946, she became the first woman to host her own television cooking show, To the Queen's Taste, which appeared on ABC stations. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s Lucas hosted several other cooking shows, including The Dione Lucas Cooking Show, the Dione Lucas Hour, Gourmet Club, and Dollars and Sense Cooking, and also gave cooking demonstrations across the United States and Australia. Lucas was involved in several restaurants in addition to the Cordon Bleu, including the Egg Basket and The Ginger Man in New York City, the Brasserie Restaurant in Bennington, Vermont, and the Heritage Village Restaurant in Southbury, Connecticut. In addition to teaching at the Cordon Bleu, Lucas also taught cooking classes at the Gourmet Cooking School and The Ginger Man, all in New York City, and opened several culinary equipment stores, including the Dione Lucas Gourmet Center and Maison Michel.

Lucas published several cookbooks as well; her first, Au Petit Cordon Bleu; An Array of Recipes from the École du Petit Cordon Bleu, 29 Sloane Street, London, was co-authored with Rosemary Hume, in 1936. Other titles include The Cordon Bleu Cook Book, The Gourmet Cooking School Cook Book (co-authored with Darlene Geis), The Dione Lucas Meat and Poultry Cook Book (co-authored with Ann Roe Robbins), French Cookery, and The Dione Lucas Book of French Cooking (co-authored with Marion Gorman), which was published two years after her death in 1971 of breast cancer. The Dione Lucas Book of Natural French Cooking, by Marion Gorman and Felipe deAlba, is largely based on variations of Lucas' recipes and was published in 1977.

Marion Gorman was a friend to whom Lucas willed her papers. Gorman used them to complete work on The Dione Lucas Book of French Cooking in 1973. It appears that the two had also collaborated on producing a book of health-conscious French recipes before Lucas' death that was likely published as The Dione Lucas Book of Natural French Cooking, co-authored by Gorman and Felipe deAlba.

In the early 1970s, Gorman worked for the advertising agency Norman, Craig, and Kummel, but by 1973 she had become vice-president and director of advertising for Penthouse magazine, assisting in the launch of Viva, an erotic magazine for women. It was around this time that she married Lionel Braun, who for a time had managed Lucas' financial affairs. By the early 1990s she began her own company, Albamar, Inc., a food and beverage public relations service. Gorman also published several other food-related books including Cooking with Fruit, The Drink Directory: 1,025 Recipes for the Home and Professional Bartender (co-authored with husband Lionel Braun), and The Tequila Book, (co-authored with Felipe deAlba).


The collection is arranged in three series:

  1. Series I. Dione Lucas, ca.1930-1995 (#1.1-6.7)
  2. Series II. Marion Gorman, 1967-1994 (#6.8-8.14)
  3. Series III. Photographs, Audiovisual, and Oversized, ca.1948-1970 (#PD.1 - PD.3f+, T-335.1 - T-335.3, MP-43.1 - MP-43.2, Vt-138.1 - Vt-138.5, FD.1, F+D.1 - F+D.2)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 98-M125, 2005-M169, 2011-M18. Accession number 2015-M17 was added in February 2015.

The papers of Dione Lucas were given to the Schlesinger Library by Marion Gorman between 1998 and 2005. Additional videotapes were given to the Schlesinger Library by Jeanne Schinto (by way of family). A Dione Lucas Hour recipe booklet was given to the Schlesinger Library by Bruce Konowalow in 2015.

Processing Information

Processed: June 2009

By: Mark Vassar

Lucas, Dione, 1909-1971. Papers of Dione Lucas, ca.1930-1995: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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