A cookbook designed to recreate the atmosphere of dining on the famous, doomed luxury liner serves up such recipes as Lobster Thermidor, Quail's Eggs in Aspic with Caviar, and Poached Salmon with Dilled Mousseline Sauce and Cucumber.
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
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. The authors discuss the flowers and fruit baskets that seem to have been omnipresent (at least in first and second class), suggest wines to be served with each course, and even provide tips on what music to play at the party! (Suprisingly though the authors failed to mention the new RHINO CD from Ian Whitcomb and The White Star Orchestra "TITANIC: Music As Heard on the Fateful Voyage.")
One of the best features of the book is the Make Ahead Chart for the 1st Class Menu. Thanks to this chart, a reasonably competent chef can bring virtually all of the dishes to an almost compleat state well before the dinner is due to start. This means you can cook most of the dinner in the morning and afternoon, take your lady friend to the movie in the early evening, and still be able to serve her an authentic (and reasonably compleat) TITANIC dinner for a late supper. (How's THAT for a romantic evening?)
If there is a 2nd edition I would hope that the authors would include some of the other recipies that are mentioned on the surviving TITANIC menus (especially the "Swedish Bread" and other items from the breakfast menu). I would urge everyone interested in Cooking, the TITANIC, or romance to BUY THIS BOOK!