Dining in the Gilded Age: Edith Wharton and America’s Passion for European Taste

During America’s Gilded Age, everything was opulent and heavily decorated, and above all, meant to impress. From the early 1870s to the beginning of World War I, rich and ambitious families looked to England and France to define their sense of culture and taste. Sumptuous design also influenced the dinner tables of the newly wealthy. While contemporary novelist Edith Wharton was not a food writer, she describes food and table settings, along with fashion and architecture, to highlight significant traits about her fictional characters.

In this illustrated talk, food historian Carl Raymond will delve into the rich culinary history of Gilded Age New York using examples from Wharton’s life and writings, as well as from historical descriptions and menus. From grand dining in hotels such as, the Astor House and the Fifth Avenue Hotel, to the legendary restaurants Delmonico’s and Sherry’s, his lecture will cover the chefs and stories, the dishes and the drama.

He will provide a glimpse of Mrs. Astor’s famous ballroom—with opera suppers for the famous 400—and explore, using rarely seen archival material, what was served at Stanford White and J.P. Morgan’s grand salons. He will capture the Gilded Age’s obsession with the most extravagant food money could buy. From the meals served at lavish tables, to those given to the servants who performed pivotal roles at the grandest social events, Carl will describe the essence and elegance of a vanished era.

Thank you to our co-sponsor: The Union League Legacy Foundation

Thank you to our cultural co-sponsors: The Colonial Dames of America; St. George’s Society of New York; Washington Decorative Arts Forum; American Friends of Attingham; The Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society

Edith Newbold Jones Wharton

Carl Raymond

Food historian, Writer and Lecturer

Carl Raymond is a food historian, writer and museum educator. He has worked at the Merchant’s House Museum as well as King Manor Museum in education and programming. Carl trained at French Culinary Institute as well as the Institute for Culinary Education and holds a diploma in Culinary Arts.

He has taught recreational cooking classes throughout New York City and has lectured on food history for the Merchant’s House Museum, the National Arts Club, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, St. George’s Society, Historic Royal Palaces and the English Speaking Union. He was a contributing writer on SAVORING GOTHAM: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City (Oxford University Press) and is at work on his own book, a culinary history of the Gilded Age.

LIVE

Thursday, November 12th at 6:00 pm (eastern)

Online via Zoom Webinar

$15, members*; $20 non-members

Free to Heritage Circle members

Register for Live

After registering, you will receive an email with a link to the webinar.
 
*You must be signed into the website to register as a member. Click the sign in button at the top right of the shopping cart. Add the standard ticket to the cart and the membership discount will apply at check out.

RENT

Rent the recorded lecture to watch at your leisure between Friday, November 13th and Tuesday, November 17th

$15 members*, $20 non-members

Free to Heritage Circle members

Register to Rent

The Zoom video link will be sent to you on Friday, November 13th at 12:00 p.m. (eastern).
Please check your spam or junk folder if you do not receive the link in your inbox. If it is not there by 12:15 p.m. (eastern), contact us right away at zoom@royal-oak.org
 
The rental video will be hosted on the Zoom website and only available for streaming until Tuesday, November 17th at 11:59 p.m. (eastern).  The video will not be available after that date and time. It cannot be downloaded.
 
*You must be signed into the website to register as a member. Click the sign in button at the top right of the shopping cart. Add the standard ticket to the cart and the membership discount will apply at check out.