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Banqueting hall

Pièces montées

Levee

Banquettes

Menu course format

Hors d’oeuvre

Trencher

Potlatch

Foodways

Soteltes

Nouvelle cuisine

2

Chapter One

Historical Banqueting

. Key Terms ,

. What You Will Learn in This Chapter ,

The history of the foodways of the ancient Greeks and Romans provide rich traditions on which European and North American societies have developed their food preparation and service styles. In this chapter, we discuss the devel- opment of the banquet menu using illustrations from the three-course medieval menu of 25 menu items served at the banqueting tables of England’s Richard II in A.D. 1387 to the elaborate menu featuring oranges served by the Archbishop of Milan in 1529. The transformation of the menu to the nine- course format that is the basis of contemporary menus occurred in 1867 in Paris, followed closely by 8 + 7 course adoptions. European banqueting tradi- tions are reflected in American banqueting customs from pre-revolutionary dinners to presidential banquets served at the White House in Washington, D.C. The history of banqueting reflects the cultural changes in American ban- queting practices and the contributions of Thomas Jefferson to the evolution of the White House banquet menu from the medieval format to the early- nineteenth-century French format of nine courses. Presidential menus show the influence of personal style culminating in the contributions of Jacqueline Kennedy, who brought the influence of the 1960s nouvelle-cuisine revolution to the White House, reducing the menus to four or five courses.

., Introduction—Banqueting: Civilized Customs in Ancient Civilizations

The catering profession as we know it in the twenty-first century has a long and intriguing history, the beginnings of which are found in the ancient civilizations. The Egyptian nobility filled their tombs with foodstuffs and cookware to supply them in the next world, simultaneously covering the walls with murals designed to record food preparation styles and table settings. From the records and art of the Greeks and Romans come depictions of banqueting scenes filled with food presentations, table customs, decorative arts, and recipes detailing a range of foodstuffs startling in its variety.

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