Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6¼ x 9⅜
978-1-4422-5713-9 • Hardback • April 2017 • $45.00 • (£35.00)
978-1-4422-5714-6 • eBook • April 2017 • $42.50 • (£30.00)
Claire Stewart is Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management at CUNY at NYC College of Technology, City University of New York. She was executive chef at the Continental Club in New York City and executive sous chef at the Yale Club of New York City. She worked as chef tournant at Gee's Brassiere in Oxford, England and chef poissonier at Rainbow Room. Stewart was banquet chef at Highlawn Pavilion and a chef at Gracie Mansion in New York City. In her native California she worked as chef tournant at Delta King in Sacramento, and a chef garde manger at the Hyatt Regency. In addition to being chef owner of C to C Caterers, she worked as a server at Capriccio, and at Koya's, both in Rancho Cordova, California. Chef Stewart has been the resident beekeeper for the Durand-Hedden Historical House in Maplewood, NJ.
Introduction to the Menu
Chapter 1: A Brief History of Wedding Feasts
Chapter 2: Famous and Infamous Feasts
Chapter 3: The Last Hooray
Chapter 4: Showers of Food, Showers of Gifts
Chapter 5: Table Manners Matter
Chapter 6: Chicken or Beef? Religion and Wedding Food
Chapter 7: Jumping the Broom
Chapter 8: What Are You? Regional Cuisine
Chapter 9: Dating and Dining
Chapter 10: Champagne Anyone? The Toast
Chapter 11: Let Them Have Wedding Cake
Chapter 12: Do Me a Favor and Get me Some Rice
Chapter 13: Honeymoons and Food
Chapter 14: The Business of Love
Chapter 15: What’s Cooking Now?
Conclusion: You May Kiss the Cook
Of all the feasts that people eat, one of the most important, socially, is the wedding banquet. It’s a time for unabashed celebration of the happy couple, as family and friends gather to honor and cherish the duo’s commencement of their new life. Having herself cooked for hundreds of weddings, Stewart has witnessed all sorts of nuptial revelries. Many wedding feasts are shaped by religious and secular folkways and customs. American weddings have evolved over the past 200 years from simple postceremony breakfasts to today’s elaborate culinary productions. Stewart notes that during wartime, brides had to cut back and heed rationing strictures. She inventories myriad religious customs worldwide, ranging from Jewish dietary laws to Mormon, Sikh, and Buddhist customs. A chapter on African American practices moves across time from slavery through the present. Full of history and sociology, Stewart’s book will intrigue even those not tying the knot.
Sprinkled throughout with examples of wedding feasts and other food-related matrimonial traditions, this volume is filled with details about historical and contemporary customs. There are anecdotes about strange bachelor parties and excessive banquets. The wide sampling provides a diverse view of wedding practices across the globe, making it an entertaining book to read….
Summing Up: Recommended. General collections, public libraries.
— Choice Reviews
A fascinating read full of delicious detail. Stewart explores the diversity of American wedding food and wedding feast traditions.
— Vicki Howard, Visiting Fellow, University of Essex; author of Brides, Inc.: American Weddings and the Business of Tradition