The Ballet Cook Book: Robert Joffrey & Gerald Arpino's Recipes

We couldn't share Robert Joffrey's recipes from "The Ballet Cook Book" without sharing Gerald Arpino's side-by-side.

One funny story from Joffrey's chapter shares that on one particular tour, the company was supposed to perform in Greensboro, North Carolina but arrived in Greensboro, South Carolina! The "show" did go on after they course corrected and after the performance was complete and upon boarding the bus for their next destination they filled the water cooler with champagne!

Robert Joffrey's father was an Afghan restaurateur and his mother was Italian and the book states that "his personal favorite [food] is rice, and rice is what he likes to serve with his recipe for Stuffed Eggplant." Find this recipe below:


Robert Joffrey's Stuffed Eggplant Recipe

1 eggplant

1/2 C chopped onion

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed

3/4 lb. ground meat

1 t parsley flakes

1 C bread crumbs

2 eggs

3 T olive oil

Grated cheese

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

Cook eggplant in boiling water 15 minutes or until tender. Cut in half lengthwise; remove pulp leaving a thin shell. Chop pulp and combine with onion, salt, pepper, garlic, meat, parsley flakes, bread crumbs, and eggs. Fry in olive oil until mixture is golden brown. Pile mixture high in eggplant shells, sprinkle with grated cheese, pour tomato sauce over eggplant and bake at 375* F for 20 minutes. Serve with rice and a tossed green salad. Serve 2.


Robert Joffrey's Cucumber Sauce Recipe

2 large cucumbers

1/2 t salt

pinch of pepper

2 T cider vinegar

Peel, chop and drain cucumbers. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Chill before serving.


Gerald Arpino referred to this as a "sheer delight": "a piece of parmesean cheese, with a slice of apple, fresh Italian bread, and a light red wine." Sounds pretty great to us! Here is the sole recipe of Gerald Arpino that was included in "The Ballet Cook Book":


Gerald Arpino's Neapolitan Potato Omelet

1/4 C butter

1/4 C oil

6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

4 eggs

salt and pepper, to taste

Heat butter and oil in a heavy skillet. Fry potatoes until tender inside and crisp outside, about 20 minutes. Beat eggs, season, and pour over potatoes. Cover and cook until eggs are set and omelet is golden on underside. Turn and brown omelet on the other side. Serve very hot. Serves 2-3.


Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for a new chapter every Friday.



Le Clercq, Tanaquil. “George Balanchine.” The Ballet Cook Book,

Stein and Day, 1966, pp. 45-69.

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