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Historical cooking

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have an idea to combine what I do (historical performance of baroque music) with a historical cooking event. I haven't thought this idea out completely yet but wanted input from chefs about this. I am thinking of approaching a culinary school or restaurant chef about doing a historical event which would include a coursed meal in conjunction with a musical performance. I would want this process to be collaborative but would still need to go in prepared with a solid idea of how this would work.

There would be a theme - German tafelmusik, or King Louis XIV's dinner table, or Dinner with the Medicis or something like that. I can easily arrange an evening of music from those periods and countries, but I don't know much about the food from those time periods. If anyone know where to point so I can do some research I would be grateful.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 10

I would look in to the book collections at JWU in Providence RI, CIA in Hyde Park, NY, Kansas State in Manhattan Kansas(150,000 plus volume cookbook collection). One of the NYC based schools has a department that could help you. I think it's Columbia but not sure. 

Edit -just checked the website. 15,000, not 150,000.  Still a lot of cookbooks. 


Edited by chefwriter - 6/10/16 at 4:29pm
post #3 of 10

There used to be a place for tourists in northern Germany where the guests were served what they say was food the way it was eaten many years ago when salt was too expensive for the average citizen.

Everything was boiled without any salt. Boiled chicken. boiled ducks, boiled geese, boiled pork, boiled beef, boiled venison, an assortment of boiled whole fish.

 All was served on wooden plates without any utensils and had to be eaten with your bare hands. For seasoning they used mustard and vinegars with an lot of different hot peppers. The waiters sliced a chunk of meat of a larger piece meat for every guest  using  their hands only. and placed it on the wooden plates. After the persons finished with one kind of meat they started to serve another boiled meat. After all various  meats and fishes were served the gusts were asked to hold their hands over the plated and the waiters poured schnapps over them to wash the now greasy fingers. The schnapps in the plates left from the washing was then drunk from the plates and more schnapps was offered  to all guests.

I do not know if there was any music played during the meal. My sister was there and copied this idea for a birthday party at her home once and all had lots of fun

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

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Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

Reply
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefwriter View Post
 

I would look in to the book collections at JWU in Providence RI, CIA in Hyde Park, NY, Kansas State in Manhattan Kansas(150,000 plus volume cookbook collection). One of the NYC based schools has a department that could help you. I think it's Columbia but not sure. 

 

I'll check with the NYC based schools before I go buying flights to other states haha.  Presumably this research would fall to the culinary experts involved in the project.  I would simply like to have a general idea of the possibilities of foods from specific periods and regions.  I wonder what food was like when the Medicis ruled in the 1600s.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by berndy View Post
 

There used to be a place for tourists in northern Germany where the guests were served what they say was food the way it was eaten many years ago when salt was too expensive for the average citizen.

Everything was boiled without any salt. Boiled chicken. boiled ducks, boiled geese, boiled pork, boiled beef, boiled venison, an assortment of boiled whole fish.

 All was served on wooden plates without any utensils and had to be eaten with your bare hands. For seasoning they used mustard and vinegars with an lot of different hot peppers. The waiters sliced a chunk of meat of a larger piece meat for every guest  using  their hands only. and placed it on the wooden plates. After the persons finished with one kind of meat they started to serve another boiled meat. After all various  meats and fishes were served the gusts were asked to hold their hands over the plated and the waiters poured schnapps over them to wash the now greasy fingers. The schnapps in the plates left from the washing was then drunk from the plates and more schnapps was offered  to all guests.

I do not know if there was any music played during the meal. My sister was there and copied this idea for a birthday party at her home once and all had lots of fun

 

Ok so we'll steer clear of Germany then haha.  But seriously, I am curious as to what time period this would be.  I don't deal with music before the late 1500's so would like to keep it centered between the late renaissance up to the late 1700's, possibly early 1800's but not any earlier nor later than that.  Another point you bring up is that this dinner must approach being palatable for a modern crowd.  I like a good old boiled fish myself once in a while but drinking schnapps out of a dirty plate might not be the type of thing one would like to do at an expensive dinner event lol. 

 

Thanks for the feedback all!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 10
You can do a "in the style of" and go completely opposite with the table scapes and place settings...maybe going formal and a bit opulent.
Then have the basic dishes with a few tweaks here and there with seasonings.
IMO you have a great idea and I would be totally willing to attend one of your dinners (even if the price tag was a bit high) if for no other reason than to hear the performance.

mimi
post #6 of 10

I don't have the links handy at the moment but I have visited JWU and more importantly Kansas State. The special collections department, specifically the cookbook collection is run by some very helpful people. I can't remember the name of the guy who runs it but I'm sure they can be emailed and would be very happy to answer your questions. The last time I was there, I was looking at cookbooks from the 15, 16 and 17th centuries. Their collection goes way back so they know or can find the info you seek pretty quickly. 

JWU and CIA can also be contacted through email and will be happy to help. 

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

@chefwriter that's awesome info thanks!!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 10
post #9 of 10
Consider calling Chef Walter Staib and his team at City Tavern in Philadelphia. I'm sure he can do historical American and German, possibly others too. Google his web site too!
post #10 of 10

New York University is the NYC one I was thinking of. Fales Library Food and Cookery Collection. Mostly centered around the 20th century. 

The NY Public Library also has an extensive collection of cookbooks and menus. Kansas State is the one I would use for deep historical research but 

if I were closer to NYC I'd be visiting the other two as well just because. 

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