‘Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.’ – C.S. Lewis
The Bookish Banquet is a unique dining experience that brings your favourite books to culinary life. A novel’s story, ambience and characters are translated into a dinner party unlike any you’ve enjoyed before. Each Bookish Banquet includes inspired dishes, drinks, and table decorations, all combined to create a truly memorable banquet for booklovers and foodies alike.
‘The Bookish Banquet was brilliant. I should read the book now but I’m worried I’ll end up saying the dinner was better than the book.’ – Emil, banqueter at The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Dinner, May 2013
Reading is a solitary act and when I started my literary dinners, I set out to turn my favourite solo activity into the ultimate social occasion. Seeing booklovers come together at my Amsterdam-based Bookish Banquets to celebrate great literature in a fun, entertaining and tasty way gives me immense pleasure. Now I want you, too to gather your friends around your dining table to talk about your favourite books whilst enjoying your very own literary feast.
The Bookish Banquet Book will dish up recipes and decorating ideas for seven literary dinner parties for you to host at home.
This cookbook is going to be a visual feast and leafing through it, you will find yourself delving into some of the most well-known novels of our time. The book will take you on a journey to a vivid Wonderland where the Cheshire Cat’s grin is as delectable as the Queen’s flamingo mallet. Turn the page and you’ll find yourself hitchhiking through space, narrowly avoiding a pot of petunias only to be lost for words when the Bablefish soup is being dished up. And so the literary adventures continue, leading to encounters with a prickly Mr Darcy, a piquant speckled band and the charming Mr Gatsby who’ll be sure to have a bottle of his finest champagne on ice for the occasion.
Every chapter details recipes for a five course dinner party, including an original cocktail, plus decorating ideas, music suggestions as well as intriguing stories about the novel and its creator.
‘Thank you! Thank you! I loved the idea of the Bookish Banquet but the reality is even better. The excellent food matched the mood and the story. It was a real event where strangers became friends over five courses.’ – Mel, banqueter at The Momo Dinner, September 2013
In medieval times, food was an event. A theatrical production. A talking point. And so it is at The Bookish Banquet. When I started my literary dinners, I wanted to bring back the idea that something as simple as food could be turned into something spectacular. I want to give my banqueters the feeling that they have stepped into their favourite novel. For that to happen, I carefully select every detail at my dinners; from the napkins to the candlesticks, from the menu to the music. I then narrate the evening, weaving together the tale of the book and the dishes. So when in Amsterdam, why not step into the wondrous world of literary dining?
‘It was a fantastic evening. The food was phenomenal and the attention to detail amazing. And the storytelling really brought the evening together.’ – Emma, banqueter at The Sherlock Holmes Dinner, November 2013
‘What’s the price of this inkle?’ ‘One penny.’ – Shakespeare
With the funds raised through this Kickstarter campaign, I plan to finish The Bookish Banquet Book which, right now, sits at the 60% completion mark. The text, recipes, styling and photography are all done by me and I aim to complete the book by April 2016. I am currently on the look-out for a publisher who would like to work with me and aim to get the book to your favourite retailers by the end of 2016.
The funds of this campaign will be used solely to purchase ingredients for recipe testing, to work on the book production fulltime and to acquire props for the styling of the photographs. Furthermore, I’m looking to run a new series of Bookish Banquet events for you to enjoy in 2016 and a portion (I expect about 20%) of the funds will go towards the setting up of these.