Context Celebrates Spring in Paris With a Gastronomic Rite
Paris. – Context, the network of scholars who lead critically-acclaimed walking tours in several European cities, will host a "Rite of Spring Banquet" at historic restaurant Le Pharamond annotated by docent and dining historian Carolin C. Young. The event will take place on May 7. 2008 and will be an exploration of Parisian cuisine and the seasons through history.
"Carolin Young is probably one of the most knowledgeable and engaging speakers in the world on the history of how and what we eat," says Context founder Paul Bennett. "She is able to walk into an historic Parisian restaurant like Le Pharamond and transport you back 100 years–500 years perhaps–and tell you what was on the table, what people wore, how they ate, why they ate, and all the wonderful political and social intrigue around some of the greatest meals in history. An event or walking tour with Carolin is simply extraordinary for anyone who loves food and culture."
This event, held as part of Context's "Out of Context" series of special lectures and site visits, begins with a short walking tour of some of the most important places in the history of food and dining in Paris, including the Palais Royal (where sparkling Champagne was popularized in one era; Revolutionary ideals, in another) and Les Halles, until 1970 Paris's central market, at the core of Ãƒâ€°mile Zola's novel, The Belly of Paris. The walk will loosely follow the imaginary itinerary set forth by Alexandre-Balthazar-Laurent Grimod de la ReyniÃƒÂ¨re, the world's first food journalist, in the earliest edition of his Almanach des gourmands (1803), and will introduce the group to some of the central themes of Parisian cuisine and gastronomy.
The group will then retire to Le Pharamond, founded in 1832 and now owned by Sylvain Le Barbier, formerly the renowned sommelier of L'Ami Louis. Participants will take a behind-the-scenes tour of this historically landmarked restaurant, meeting Sylvain and his chef StÃƒÂ©phane, before sitting down to a sumptuous four-course lunch prepared especially for the occasion. The menu, designed in conjunction with Carolin, draws from French traditions and history and is intended to celebrate the springtime season. Carolin and Sylvain will annotate the entire experience, elucidating the design and composition of each dish and enlivening the conversation with anecdotes about famous diners from Madame Pompadour to Salvador DalÃƒÂ.
The menu will be as follows:
ApÃƒÂ©ritif: Kir blanc
White asparagus, Aspic, Poirreaux vinaigrette, Escargots
Served with ChÃƒÂ¢teauneuf du Pape, ChÃƒÂ¢teau Mont-Redon, blanc, 2004
Roast Leg of Lamb, CÃƒÂ´te de Boeuf
all accompanied by a selection of spring vegetables and sides
Served with Savigny-les-Beaune, 1er cru, Les Fourneaux, Nicolas Rossignol, rouge, 2005
Salad and a selection of French cheeses
Served with SavenniÃƒÂ¨res, La Croix Picot, Jo Pithon, blanc 2005
Tarte Tatin, CrÃƒÂ¨me BrÃƒÂ»lÃƒÂ©e, Fresh Seasonal Fruit
This Rite of Spring Banquet happens on May 7, 2008 at 11 am and lasts approximately four hours. The cost is 278.75 Euros per person, which includes the cost of a four-course meal at Le Pharamond and wine.
Carolin C. Young is a noted dining historian and Chair of the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery Trust. She is the author of the celebrated Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver (Simon and Schuster, 2002), which details some of the greatest meals in history. When she's not writing or lecturing, she leads Context's "Belly of Paris," "Le Restaurant," and other thematic explorations of Paris and dining.
Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and designer Lani Bevacqua, Context is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals–including art historians, writers, architects, and gastronomes–who organize and lead didactic walking seminars in seven cities: Paris, New York, London, Rome, Naples, Florence, and Venice. In May 2006, Travel + Leisure named Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs.
To learn more about Context visit its website at: www.contexttravel.com