Author & Chef

Jay Reifel

I have a background in fine dining and classical pastry, as well as a deep love of history, especially as it relates to food and culture. I have baked bread with schizophrenics, and written everything from one-liners to questionable science fiction.

In my culinary career, I trained at 1 and 2 Michelin-starred restaurants, including the legendary WD-50, presented dinners for the James Beard House, and have competed on such shows as CHOPPED and Beat Bobby Flay.

As the Executive Chef of Edible History, I have worked with food scientists, historians, and translators, and have eaten everything from pig’s brains to live insects. I have learned from all of them (and think you should too).

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200 Years • 100 Recipes

A History of the World in 10 Dinners

Jay Reifel & Victoria Flexner
Forward by Jessica B. Harris

Rizzoli books New York

This scrupulously researched and accessible cookbook presents one-of-a-kind dinner parties inspired by seminal moments in culinary history.

In ten chapters—each an important moment in food history—the authors pair menus with immersive retellings of historic culinary breakthroughs, and present the ingredients and modern techniques adapted for today’s kitchens to allow cooks of all abilities to entertain with dishes that were created and enjoyed hundreds of years ago but remain relevant to today’s food tastes and values.

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History of the World in 10 Dinners cookbook


Chapter One

Ancient Rome, First Century

Chapter Two

Baghdad, Eighth to Tenth Centuries

Chapter Three

The Silk Road, Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries

Chapter Four

Renaissance Italy, Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries

Chapter Five

Tudor England, Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries

Chapter Six

Al-Andalus, Eighth to Fifteenth Centuries

Chapter Seven

The Great Circulation, Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries

Chapter Eight

Ethiopia, Thirteenth to Nineteenth Centuries

Chapter Nine

Versailles, Seventeenth to Eighteenth Centuries

Chapter Ten

New York City, Nineteenth Century


This stuffed fish—roasted, braised, and fried—is emblematic of 10th-century Baghdad’s extraordinary sophistication in science, philosophy, and culture.

Tudor England

A favorite dish of Henry VIII, this Cockenthrice represents a mythical creature and demonstrated wealth and power of those able to dine upon it.


This elaborate squab and veal pie could be garnished with everything from asparagus and whole truffles to “tidbits” like sweetbreads and cockscombs.

All food images © 2023 Lucy Schaeffer Photography, Inc.

Upcoming Events

Signings with Jay & Victoria!

Nov 28, 7:00 PM

Platform by The James Beard Foundation • 25 11th Avenue, New York

Join us for French Haute Cuisine: An Elaborate Historical Meal Set in Louis XIV Versailles, an elaborate feast set in Louis’ XIV’s Versailles, inspired by A History of The World in Ten Dinners. Guests will enjoy a five-course feast of dishes straight from the pages of La Varenne’s seminal 1651 French cookbook, Le Cuisinier François, which ushered in a new era of French cuisine.


From the simple to the head-spinningly complex, all of the recipes beckon the reader to examine and explore, try and taste. The work is sure to incite many a dinner table discussion and to fill and satisfy hearts, minds, and stomachs.

– Jessica B. Harris –

Latest Press

[Article] Cherry Tart with Rose Petals

[Article] Cherry Tart with Rose Petals

Article: Lanyap Cookery Cherry Tart with Rose Petals (Torta de Cerase) from “A History of the World in 10 Dinners: 2,000 Years, 100 Recipes” September 29, 2023"There is a real elegance to this recipe. It is not too sweet, which is somewhat surprising for the dishes...

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