Author & Chef
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).
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.
Ancient Rome, First Century
Baghdad, Eighth to Tenth Centuries
The Silk Road, Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries
Renaissance Italy, Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries
Tudor England, Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries
Al-Andalus, Eighth to Fifteenth Centuries
The Great Circulation, Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries
Ethiopia, Thirteenth to Nineteenth Centuries
Versailles, Seventeenth to Eighteenth Centuries
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.
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.
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 –
Podcast Interview: Performance Anxiety Talking Music and Food with Jay Reifel and Marc Broussard October 28, 2023Today’s guests make me happy and hungry. Marc Broussard and Jay Reifel join me to talk about the connection between music and food. Each guy has dipped a...
Rizzoli Book Signing Jay Reifel and Victoria Flexner in Conversation with Chef Alexander Smalls October 18, 2023Victoria Flexner and I celebrate the launch of A History of the World in 10 Dinners, which presents one-of-a-kind dinner parties inspired by seminal moments...
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...