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Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner Hardcover – April 2, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It is impossible to read this book, which is as sumptuously appointed as the great ship itself, and not want to plan a Titanic dinner party immediately. Fortunately, the book provides--besides beautiful photos, delectable factoids, and fascinating quotes from the rich and vanished famous--clear, easy-to-follow instructions on how to plan such a party. You can use recipes for first-, second-, or third-class meals.

Remember, style is all. Try to equal the class evinced by Titanic survivor Renee Harris, who sued the steamship line for her husband's death in the sinking, put the $50,000 settlement into the first play by Moss Hart (who gives her credit in his popular autobiography, Act One), and lost all her cash in the 1929 crash. When Walter Lord, the dean of Titanic lore who wrote the introduction to this book, interviews the aged, broke Ms. Harris in her welfare hotel, he writes, "She had lost neither her sunny disposition nor her theatrical poise. One day I brought her a little jar of caviar in an attempt to give this gallant lady a taste of the good old days. She sampled it once, then pushed the jar politely aside. 'You call that caviar?' she asked." As Lord observes, "Reproducing the Titanic's marvelous food is surely one of the best ways to experience a bygone age of luxury and leisure."

Don't forget to set the mood with music: either Titanic: Music as Heard on the Fateful Voyage or Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture will do, depending on whether you're a classicist or a romantic. --Tim Appelo

From Library Journal

According to Walter Lord (A Night To Remember, LJ 10/15/55), April 14 finds many "sentimentalists" re-creating the Titanic's last meals. Now, with the help of research chef McCauley, Archbold (coauthor of The Discovery of the Titanic, LJ 1/88) reveals these menus to the population at large. A handsome gift book filled with photos, graphics, and Edwardian motifs, this work will appeal to foodies, Titanic buffs, and trend seekers. The recipes, taken from all five dining room menus, include delicacies like Quail Eggs and Caviar, Lobster Thermidor, and Oysters a la Russe; even the steerage "saloon" fare is formidable by present standards. There's also advice on how to host a Titanic dinner party complete with wardrobe and table-setting ideas, helping diners to feel like an Astor at the captain's table. With renewed interest and marketing of things Titanic in anticipation of the much-publicized film and Broadway musical (this year marks the 85th anniversary of the disaster), this book is surely the tip of the iceberg.?David Nudo, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1 edition (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078686303X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786863037
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One of the key surprises in this book is the fact that third-class passengers on the Titanic ate better than we do. A large color photograph on page 114 shows a water stained menu recovered from the body of a third-class passenger.
It says that the third-class breakfast on the morning of April 12, 1912 was oatmeal porridge and milk, smoked herrings, jacket potatoes, tripe and onions, fresh something something (seawater has eaten away the print) and butter, marmalade and (illegible again) bread. Beverages were tea and coffee.
Who eats a more nutritious breakfast now?
Dinner in the third-class dining saloon was vegetable soup (made from scratch), roasted pork with sage and onions, green peas, boiled potatoes, plum pudding with sweet sauce, cabin biscuits and (a real delicacy for the time) oranges. When was the last time you had a plum pudding with sweet sauce or vegetable soup made from scratch? If it's been too long, you can make these and other things on the third-class dinner or tea menu, using recipes in this book.
Titanic's third-class accommodations were clean and comfortable and its two dining saloons were white and well lit. They had to be. The Titanic expected to compete with many other ships for the trade of millions of immigrants bound for America. And that's where the White Star steamship line hoped to make its money, not from the flashier passengers in first- and second-class.
Food in second-class was pretty grand, rather like a middle-class family's Sunday dinner when somebody important was expected to visit. A second-class menu for April 14, 1912 says that the first course was consomme with tapioca. Second course offered a choice from among baked haddock with sharp sauce, curried chicken and rice, lamb with mint sauce or roast turkey with savory cranberry sauce.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books I have ever bought! As a long time fan of the TITANIC and an amateur cook I could not resist this book; despite the tragic fact that the LAST DINNER ON THE TITANIC was literally the LAST meal of over 1,500 men women, and children.
Despite that chilling touch, this is a wonderful book, and the food is fantastic! The book is lavishly illustrated, and I was a bit reluctant to take such a lovely book into the kitchen and risk a spill, although I'm very glad I did! The binding is such that it lies flat on my counter, and the pages don't turn themselves or snap shut 1/2 way through a recipie, (This is a VERY important feature in a cookbook!). Its type is a bit smaller than I like in a cookbook, but is still large and clear enough that I can read the recipies while cooking.
The recipies themselves are some of the easiest to follow and most clearly written I have encountered. I really enjoyed cooking the Chicken Lyonnaise and the Lamb with Mint Sauce; and they came out sucessfuly the first time too! (If you knew my cooking ability that is quite a tribute to the recipie!) Most of the dishes also seem to be relatively "idiot proof" (perhaps because the White Star Chefs had to turn out several hundred servings of each during the course of the evening??) though there is plenty to challenge the more experienced chef's as well, such as Lobster Thermidor, and Minted Green Pea Timbales. I have been very happy with everything I have cooked from the book so far.
Menus for Third, Second, and First Class (as well as the First Class Ala Carte Resturant) are all included, as are tips for hosting a TITANIC themed dinner party.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Congratulations! You're on your way to purchasing one of the best cookbooks around, a truly gourmet mix of history and culinary art second to none.

First and foremost, "Last Dinner on the Titanic" is a cookbook, and an amazing one at that. The recipes recreated here are indeed taken straight from that fateful Atlantic crossing in April 1912. The recipies are (for the most part) thoughtfully and interestingly grouped by menu from the area of the ship in which they were served, e.g., the First Class Dining Room, the Parisian Cafe, the Third Class Dining Room, etc. Thus, you get a broad spectrum of foods of the time, or at least the Chef d' Cusine's interpretation of foods of the time. And what a spectrum it is. You can pick and choose from Tripe Stew to Filet Mignon Lili to Lobster Thermidor with Duchesse Potatoes to "American Ice Cream". Or, if you're up to it, try and take on the entire First Class Menu from the night the Titanic went down, with all 11 courses in all of their glory.

I have now made several of the recipes from the book and they are (a) not too terribly difficult; and (b) extremely good. Don't get me wrong -- I'm sure making all of this on a ship in 1912 was extremely challenging; but for those of us at home in 2004, the modern conveniences (food processors especially) make these recipes a little easier to tackle. That's the great think about this book -- you can actually use it, although you will also be fascinated by the historical aspect as well. The Canapes L'Amiral and the Roast Sirloin Forestiere are partiuclarly good dishes.

Second, and almost as good as the food itself, the authors do a tremendous job of weaving history into this cookbook. When I got this book, I almost read it cover to cover just because it is so darn interesting.
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