The last meal served to first class passengers aboard the Titanic has been recreated in Galway – and served to a sell-out audience.
Over 70 guests enjoyed the lavish $130-a-head dinner, a charity event organised by local catering school lecturer Noel Loughnane.
The menu, prepared by students at Galway’s Hotel school after months of extensive research, was as close as possible to the last meal served aboard the doomed liner.
The 11 course banquet featured a different wine with each course and required 840 wine glasses to recreate the 1912 experience.
“This is about commemorating the sinking of the Titanic, but it is not a celebration,” Loughnane told the Irish Times.
“It’s a learning experience for over 100 of our students, and it’s a fundraiser for the RNLI lifeboats, who risk their lives every time they get into a boat.”
The paper reports that among the 11 courses were consommé, cream of barley soup, a fish course, two meat courses, foie gras, three desserts, and a cheese board. Some courses, such as the salad, were served in a different order to the 1912 dinner.
Loughnane added: “The size of the 1912 menu is the biggest difference from today.
“It’s just not done today. It was all about showing your wealth – using expensive ingredients and serving lots of meat.”
The Galway dinner took four hours, in keeping with the Titanic schedule.
“Dinner was such a big part of the day on ships in those days,” he said. “There was a string quartet, but no entertainment of the kind you’d get on cruise ships today.”
“Some courses had Russian references, such as Oysters a la Russe and Consommé Olga. The tsars were still in power in 1912, of course.”
“It was a very, very rich menu. Was cholesterol even known about that time?”
Second-year student Jason Mullen from Sligo told the Irish Times: “We’ve been talking about nothing else except preparing for this dinner for the last six months.”
Wine lecturer Elizabeth Fox explained that the wine glasses of 1912 were much smaller than modern glasses.
“They may have had 11 courses and wine with each course, and Irish people often only have two courses when they eat out in restaurants today, but we almost certainly drink more in volume than they did,” said.
As part of their project, the Galway students gathered 1,513 small pebbles from all around Ireland; one for each life lost in the sinking.
Each guest was given a bag of pebbles at the end of the evening and invited to return the stones to the sea as an act of commemoration.
At the end of the night a four-foot reproduction of the Titanic, complete with 20 lifeboats and constructed of icing sugar and pastillage, was wheeled in by Mary Reid, a lecturer in advanced pastry.
The icing-sugar ship is inedible and will go on show in the hotel school.
Reception on arrival with Oysters and Champagne
Hors d’oeuvre Asparagus Salad with Champagne-Saffron Vinaigrette
Soups Duet of Consommé Olga/Cream of Barley
Fish Salmon with mousseline sauce
Entrées Filet mignon of beef Lili
Sorbet Punch Romaine
Removes Calvados-glazed Duckling
Lamb with mint jelly
Sirloin of Beef Forestière
Served with a selection of vegetables and potatoes
Cold Dish Pâté de foie gras
Sweet Peaches in Chartreuse jelly, Waldorf pudding, Chocolate Éclairs, Vanilla Ice cream
Dessert Assorted fresh fruit and cheeses
Coffee with Port