Food service at the papal conclave (detail), 1570. From Bartolomeo Scappi, Opera . . . (Venice, 1570). pl. 21. Getty Research Institute, 86-B27679

Playing the Scalco: Serving Meals Directly from Renaissance Banquet Literature


Museum Lecture Hall

Ken Albala, professor of history at the University of the Pacific and author of over 20 books on food, discusses the large body of cookbooks, banquet guides, and carving manuals of early modern Europe, while sharing his personal experience of organizing and serving meals from them. These books were clearly meant to be used by culinary professionals, but how good was their advice?

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