Last meal served on Titanic to be re-created
The Titanic struck an iceberg on April 14 and sank early the next morning, killing more than 1,500 people. (QMI AGENCY Files)
Are you adventuresome when it comes to dining? Does poached salmon with mousseline sauce sound inviting? How about roasted squab on wilted cress?
These dishes and much more are being offered to diners who attend a special function in Chatham on April 14. The Chatham-Kent Museum is inviting people to eat like they did 100 years ago, in honour of those who perished in the sinking of the Titanic one hundred years ago.
"Part of the museum's mandate is to educate people," museum education co-ordinator Deanna Bullard told The Chatham Daily News. Dinner guests will dine on the same food prepared on the famous liner before it sank in the Atlantic Ocean after hitting an iceberg, Bullard said. The museum is working with Four Diamond Catering and its two executive chefs Brian Machado and Matt Harlick to pull it off.
"It's been lots of weeks and days of research going into finding out what they ate 100 years ago," Machado told The Daily News. He's had his food suppliers scratching their heads, too.
The challenge - making sure they mimic the menu identically, he said. Some help is coming from the museum collection itself, in the form of an original Titanic menu card.
"It was donated to the museum in the '70s. The Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa authenticated it for us," Bullard said.
The rare specimen is a Third Class menu, a four-course re-creation of which will be offered at the gala for $60. A First Class meal, at a cost of $100, will provide diners with a seven-course meal consisting of consomme olga, poached salmon with mousseline sauce, chicken lyonnaise with vegetable marrow farci, punch romaine, roasted squab on wilted cress, asparagus salad with champagne saffron vinaigrette, and peaches and chartreuse for dessert.
"This seven-course meal probably hasn't been eaten around this area in 80 years," Machado said.
Harlick said the most challenging course will be the poached salmon which they will create using a wood-burning method.
"I've worked in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the world and some of the items we prepared don't even come close to this because the technique isn't used anymore," Machado said.
The old Chatham Armouries will be decked out in period decor on the exact date of the 100th anniversary. Each table grouping will have someone representing a passenger on board the Titanic to teach something about their life. Centre pieces will be clocks, set to different times indicating moments of its voyage such as the time the liner left port, when it was due to arrive, or when it struck the iceberg.
"To be part of something this important to history is great. Even better, is to be in a building that was around when the Titanic was around," Machado said.
A guest speaker will help diners with Edwardian protocols about appropriate dress and eating, right down to how to hold the silverware, Bullard said.
Tickets are available until April 4 at Theculturalcentre.com or the Cultural Centre Box Office at 519-354-8338.