In Food News

Waldorf Salad – A Legend Lives On

The Legendary Waldorf Salad may have received that classic sprinkling of walnuts from a winning recipe in a Los Angeles Times Recipe Contest in 1905

Sadly, last week the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City shuttered indefinitely for renovations. All three restaurants within the hotel, including the legendary Peacock Alley, along with their bustling kitchens turned the lights off as well.

But thankfully, one of the hotels greatest legacies, the Waldorf salad will carry on – business as usual, at restaurants, hotels, and diners everywhere.

The original salad was made with three simple ingredients; apples, celery and the best quality mayonnaise. Oscar Tschirky, better known as “Oscar of the Waldorf”, invented it. He was not the chef, but the maître d’hôtel of the hotel from the day it opened in 1893 until he retired in 1943, and according to hotel lore, he had a great interest in the menu and recipes created at the luxurious hotel. It is rumored that he made up the recipe off-the-cuff for a society dinner and it was an instant sensation. He even published his own cookbook called “The Cook Book” in 1896 and included his recipe for the Waldorf salad in the book.

Which brings us to some interesting news. Not surprisingly, hotel and restaurant chefs across the country clamored to get the recipe and add it to their menus, including right here in Los Angeles. Well-heeled patrons of these hotels and upscale restaurants were sampling the Waldorf salad and the word spread. It was at this moment in time that it is believed that the addition of walnuts to the classic happened here in Los Angeles, thanks to a winning recipe from Miss K Hamin of 353 South Alvarado Street, in a recipe contest held by the Los Angeles Times 1905.

The Waldorf salad has become an iconic salad in its own right, and now almost seems vintage or dated, although it still remains extremely popular. Over the years, different ingredients have been added to the classic or twists to the original have been tried in vein to shake up it. In the end, the classic always seems to live on.

The following restaurants here in Los Angeles still have the Waldorf salad on the menu:
Union Station
800 Alameda St #122
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Joan’s on Third
8350 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Tres By Jose Andres
SLS Hotel
465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Redwood Bar & Grill
316 W 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Circa 55
The Beverly Hilton
9876 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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