Recreating Babette’s Feast NYC

I am putting together a major tasting in the fall, and thought it might be fun to redo Babette’s Feast. I have no idea who could do it, any suggestions?

you want to hire a chef or do it at a restaurant?

We have 16 people, so likely a restaurant

I was looking at the actual menu and I think the only Pomerol friendly dish was the quail in sarcophagus, so I may have jumped the gun.

this would be a very heavy lift and priced accordingly for a restaurant. i’d say almost impossible and not worth pursuing.

for 16 people hiring a chef would be by far the most economical. i actually have someone in mind that has his own space here in the city and he’d be perfect for this. but no doubt will be expensive.

edit: were you inspired by this? Who Else But Tao to Create an Over-the-Top ‘Babette’s Feast’? - Eater NY


Why Pomerol? I do not believe any Bordeaux was served at that dinner. In any case, surely you would be matching wines with each dish as they did in the film?

I don’t think recreating the menu (apart from vintages) would be impossible but it would be expensive. Just as it was supposed to be in the film–that was the point! Babette spent all of her lottery winnings on the dinner.

Sea turtles of any species are illegal to kill/consume, of course. Snapping turtle is legal to catch in most states as long as you have a permit (fishing license), and if you can’t be bothered to catch your own, you can buy it from exotic meat specialists.

If you have not read the original story, I’d strongly recommend it. Wonderful writing, great film–one of my all-time favourite films.


It’s a VCC tasting going back to 1943 , so yes it needs to be Pomerol.

As I mentioned I decided recreating every dish was not really feasible and apart from quail made little sense as neither turtle soup nor blinis with caviar, would work with the wines. So the quail in sarcophagus makes sense as a single dish, and I will add other ones as I continue planning.

As I researched further, the quail does not look very difficult at all, in fact, I could pull it off fairly easily. I imagine most chefs could pull it off.

So you’re not going to do Babette’s feast, instead you’re going to do a tasting and have one dish inspired by the feast? Why bother at that point? Just serve whatever will go best with your Pomerol.

1 Like

Some friends and I decided to recreate the dinner many years ago. It took A LOT of research and sourcing.

The blini and salad are straightforward.

The Turtle Soup (more of a consomme) meant ordering turtle meat from a wild game purveyor in Louisiana.

The Cailles en Sarcophage had many components, but now D’Artagnan offers semi-boneless quail. After deboning a dozen of those, I became very proficient at it. Getting the sauce right is the key as is cooking the quai to the right temperature without all of the foie melting away.

The Savarin is not hard for the experienced baker.

At one point, I had a folder on a previous computer (this was before the cloud) that had all the recipes and even the extrapolated ages of the Amontillado, Veuve Cliqot, Clos Vougeot and Cognac. We bought the best wines we could that matched the ages.

That was one of the most fun and wonderful dinners I’ve ever had – which was the whole point of the movie. How I wish I still had that folder. Sigh.

All of that said, it’s a big undertaking. However, as @ybarselah mentioned, a good private chef should be able to pull it off. Good luck and post pics!


I jumped into this thread only because there was a rare post by Christine Huang in it!!!

1 Like

Ha! So true

That sounds amazing.

:laughing: Thanks guys! Our kitchen remodel is almost done. I hope to post more soon!