Cityscape talks with Jonathan Cristaldi about Saturday's "Dine Titanic" Event
Saturday night here in New York City the last first class meal served on Titanic will be recreated in an event called Dine Titanic. Jonathan Cristaldi is the co-collaborator in chief and joined us on the phone. You can listen to the interview below.
Q: Why recreate Titanic’s last meal?
A: There’s a lot of noise going around in the media, certainly, it’s the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the ship. A group of us have been thinking about this for quite a while. A couple chefs: Chef Rob McCue and Chef Adam Banks…the two of them are on a couple television shows Chef Roble and Co. on Bravo and Rob was on season 8 of Hell’s Kitchen. The two of them like to put on these fun events. They came to me and they said you know we really should do something interesting, what can we do, it’s the 100th anniversary. And so we talked about it and we thought it would be appropriate to recreate this menu as sort of an homage to the ship. We know it was a tragedy, a lot of people lost their lives, but there was also an incredibly wonderful experience that people did have before the tragedy happened. There were moments of incredible excitement. People were thrilled they thought they were going to be getting to New York early; it was just this maiden voyage that the entire world was watching and listening to. So, what we wanted to do was pay homage to that, to those exciting moments, by recreating this meal, this menu, as it might happen if it were happening today
Q: How did you research the menu?
A: There’s quite a bit of literature about it. There’s a great book The Last Meal Aboard the Titanic that has all sorts of great photographs of the place settings, menus, dining rooms, china, the whole nine yards. So that book was a big inspiration. And then certainly just seeing what enthusiasts have surfaced over the years, there’s a lot of content online. There’s some great photographs from the library of congress. Essentially we sourced from all over the place. And there is one surviving menu of this first class meal that was served. And it’s extensive. It’s ten or eleven courses, depending who you’re talking to what account you’re listening to. And we grabbed from that, that was our inspiration.
Q: What are some of the things people ate that night?
A: Some of courses we’re so used to, there’s a filet mignon course. There’s a consommé that was made from a very rare ingredient, rare my today’s standards, it may not have been then, but it was made from the bone marrow of sturgeon. So we’re sort of working on trying to recreate that particular course. But another course was asparagus. Asparagus back in 1912, certainly coming from Ireland was hard to come by, it was a delicacy, so it had its own place on the menu.
For more from Cristaldi, listen below…