Atholene Peyton was the author of the earliest Kentucky cookbook written by an African American. Her book, ‘Peytonia Cook Book,’ was published in Louisville in 1906.
Peyton was born in 1880 and had deep roots in Louisville, Kentucky. She was a graduate of Louisville’s Central Colored High School and later attended the Colored Normal School. On one of her applications on file at the Jefferson County Public School’s archives noted under “honors”: Wrote the first Negro Cook Book in Kentucky.”
The recipes in Peyton’s Peytonia Cook Book are presented in the format that was introduced by the famous Boston Cooking School cookbooks. As is typical of domestic science-oriented cookbooks, the recipes are described as thoroughly tested and presented with standard, precise measures.
Peyton also served on the domestic science faculty of the segregated Central Colored High School and was the faculty sponsor of the Girls’ Cooking Club. Her career at Central Colored High School lasted from 1904 until her death in April 1951.