Rob & his Cobb
In 1937, Brown Derby owner Robert H. Cobb went into the restaurant’s kitchen to fix a late-night snack for Sid Grauman, operator of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. He browsed the refrigerator for ingredients, and chopped them up finely. Thus, the Cobb salad was born. From then on, Grauman often requested that a Cobb salad be prepared for him. Word soon spread about this creation throughout Hollywood, quickly increasing its popularity. It became such a hit that film stars started requesting “Cobb’s salad”, and it was eventually added to the menu of the Drake Hotel.
Another story that helps to explain why the items are chopped up, states that Sid Grauman had to have dental surgery one morning and wasn’t allowed to eat all day, so was particularly hungry. Since the pain in his jaw would not allow him to open his mouth very wide, Robert Cobb fixed him a salad and cut up each item into small bits. The original recipe is lost to the ages; the chef remembers collecting items that were available in the refrigerator at the time. One thing he does remember is that he chose items that would not require heavy chewing. Of them are: chopped egg, iceburg lettuce, avocado, blue cheese, bacon, tomato. If you tour Los Angeles, it is hard not to find a Cobb Salad on the menu. Today items vary but the proper presentation is all items are chopped and mounded separately.