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The history of American banqueting begins with the feasts of the Native Americans. The menu formats of early colonial American banquets were prima- rily influenced by England. French cuisine and menu formats initially threaded their way to the colonies via English recipes and customs. The emigration of French royalists during the French Revolution accelerated the assimilation of both French cuisine and menus with American banqueting customs. Thomas Jefferson greatly aided the development of American banqueting during his years in the White House. His simplification of the menu and emphasis on wines were major elements in the development of a style of banqueting that prevailed over the next 165 years of White House functions. During the presidency of John Kennedy, banquets were enhanced by the contributions of Jacqueline Kennedy. Like Jefferson, Mrs. Kennedy preferred menus of simple elegance that concen- trated on a high quality of food and service.

The records tracing the development of the banquet menu throughout the centuries provide a rich and exciting chronicle of food items, recipes, and tradi- tions. Many of these food items and recipes endure in our contemporary food customs.

. Endnotes ,

    • 1.

      Apicius, Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome. Edited by Joseph Dommers Vehling, New York: Dover, 1977, p. 6

    • 2.

      Brillat-Savarin, Jean Anthelme. The Physiology of Taste. Edited by M. F. K. Fisher. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1986, pp. 287–290.

    • 3.

      Sass, Lorna J. To The King’s Taste. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975, pp. 29–30.

    • 4.

      Sass, Lorna J. To The King’s Taste. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975, p. 31.

    • 5.

      Root, Waverly and Richard de Rouchemont. Eating in America. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1976, p. 36.

    • 6.

      Root, Waverly and Richard de Rouchemont. Eating in America. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1976, p. 37.

    • 7.

      Showman, Richard K. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene, 1983,

      • p.

        223.

    • 8.

      Root, Waverly and Richard de Rouchemont. Eating in America. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1976, p. 95.

    • 9.

      Cannon, Poppy and Patricia Brooks. The President’s Cookbook., 1968,

      • p.

        112.

  • 10.

    Kimball, Marie. Thomas Jefferson’s Cookbook, 1972, p. 184.

  • 11.

    McLaughlin, Jack. Jefferson and Monticello, 1988, p. 230.

  • 12.

    Cannon, Poppy and Patricia Brooks. The President’s Cookbook., 1968,

      • p.

        112.

  • 13.

    Cannon, Poppy and Patricia Brooks. The President’s Cookbook., 1968,

      • p.

        170.

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