Soon to be retiring chef Fritz Blank, owner of Deux Cheminees Restaurant in Philadelphia, is turning over his impressive culinary collection of about 15,000 volumes to the University of Pennsylvania.
Being known as a collector, Blank said he receives many volumes without asking. But he's also done a lot of treasure hunting himself, especially in used book barns. Among the titles that the Penn library will acquire are An Illustrated Guide to Shrimp of the World, The All-American Cookie and Country Scrapple: An American Tradition (for which Blank wrote the introduction).
"Some of the most astounding pieces that I found were just laying there in a cardboard box for 50 cents," Blank said.
Penn librarian Lynne Farrington is still taking inventory.
"At this point, I just know it's huge," said Farrington, curator of printed books for the university's Rare Book and Manuscript Library. More from the AP.