The Meal: A Conversation with Gilbert & George
On the Table VI

Gilbert & George never cook and always eat out. Back in 1969, however, the artist duo hosted The Meal, an elaborate dinner party that included thirteen guests, Princess Margaret’s butler, a chef who prepared a meal from a Victorian cookery manual, and the guest of honor, artist David Hockney. Charlotte Birnbaum took a trip to London’s East End to visit the immaculately dressed pair to discuss The Meal and other curious projects from their fifty-year collaboration.




Charlotte BirnbaumBon! Bon!
On the Charms of Sweet Cuisine
On the Table V


People have used honey, dates, and fruits to sweeten their dishes since time immemorial, but with the introduction of sugar—“white gold”—into cooking and baking, a whole array of delightful flavors and culinary possibilities was unearthed. Sugar was the building block for edible sculptures and model palaces made for festivals and celebrations thousands of years ago, and the main ingredient in lavish creations for Rococo and Baroque banquets. In Bon! Bon!, Charlotte Birnbaum uncovers the wonderful world of all things sugary through surprising anecdotes and historical accounts, each accompanied by delectable recipes that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.



F. T. Marinetti and Fillìa The Futurist Cookbook
On the Table IV


In 1932, F. T. Marinetti and his collaborator Fillìa published The Futurist Cookbook, a manifesto-as-culinary-innovation. Replete with experimental recipes (the founder of Futurism, Marinetti, is known to have ranted about the social dangers of pasta eating), the book is a multilayered exploration of cultural metabolisms, with the dining table as its centerpiece, of course!



Charlotte BirnbaumPies, Pâtés, and Pastries
Secrets Old and New of the Art of Cooking
On the Table III


Pies, pâtés, and pastries are the noblest of foods. Their inner life is always a secret; their outer form, a sculpture. No other dishes are so well suited to surprises and culinary amusements.



Charlotte Birnbaum (Ed.)The Beauty of the Fold
A Conversation with Joan Sallas
On the Table II


Joan Sallas, a virtuoso of the fold, has meticulously researched and mastered the history and techniques of the art of the fold. With the banquet table as setting, his expertise and philosophy pour forth in the form of splendid, folded linen.



Charlotte Birnbaum (Ed.)Three Banquets for a Queen
On the Table I


In 1668, Queen Christina of Sweden was greeted in Rome with three spectacular banquets that surpass all historical precedents and successors in the register of extravagant gastronomy. As the first publication of her series, On the Table, Charlotte Birnbaum presents Antonio degli Effetti’s newly translated seventeenth-century text, which elaborately describes the three feasts in all their sumptuous and performative glory.