Chateau Ste. Michelle, the pioneer winery of Washington state, pledged $5 million in 1983 to become a founding sponsor of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. It then spent $750,000 producing a cookbook to help raise the money.
What matters now, as Lady Liberty is readied for her gala, is that the cookbook has gone into its third printing (70,000 copies in all), with a companion volume comfortably into the planning stages.
"America's love of food and wine was spawned by its immigrants, whether they brought osso buco or baklava," said Bob Betz, the book's editor and vice president of Chateau Ste. Michelle.
"In some form or another, they helped determine the food and wine habits we have today. After we made the commitment to become founding sponsors, we looked for the most reasonable link between ourselves and this process."
The Flavors of Ellis Island
"Tastes of Liberty," offered free by the winery to anyone contributing $20 or more to the Liberty fund, is a color-illustrated collection of historical information and ethnic recipes from the nine groups that were the major "residents" of Ellis Island.
The heritage sections--focusing on Italian, German, Greek, British, Eastern European, Iberian, Jewish, Scandinavian and French immigrants--trace the reasons these new citizens left their homelands, what they found in America and what they contributed.
These priceless gifts to a young nation are detailed in 140 recipes, ranging from time-honored favorites like cannelloni, Wiener schnitzel and Black Forest cherry cake to less common delicacies like garlic shrimp from Spain and paprika chicken from Hungary.
Betz said the companion volume will be available on the same basis in about a year, with contributions going to the 10-year restoration of Ellis Island. The book itself will examine how American cuisine was influenced by the flavors of diverse regions and different immigrant groups.
To receive "Tastes of Liberty," send a check or money order for at least $20 to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Liberty Centennial Fund, Box 4115, New York, N.Y. 10163.