"The book was originally published in 1885, and Degas was here right at this time. What he was eating here in this house, at that time, was the same Creole cuisine. It's wonderful and inspiring to really honor that."
Visiting chef Jacob Cureton interprets the cuisine rather than truly resurrecting it. For Cureton — who has cooked alongside New Orleans chefs such as Scott Boswell, Isaac Toups and Ryan Hughes — it's also a way of connecting with the city's past. "The Dinner With Degas has become a great way for me to get more involved with New Orleans history," Cureton says. "It's a creative outlet for talented, ambitious chefs looking for a little bit of a challenge. Each chef has a chance to showcase his or hers own unique background. I'm from Southern Alabama and it is reflected subtly in my cooking. This dinner is a great way to experience history and community in an interactive environment."
Dishes include "Queen Victoria's Favorite Green Pea Soup" made with peas, charred celery, mint, and spiced citrus-cured bacon, as well as "Mutton That Will Taste Like Venison," featuring braised leg of lamb with a potato cream puff, huckleberry-mushroom jus and pureed mustard greens. Dinner and absinthe cocktail is $78 per person. Guests may bring their own wine, and there is no corkage fee.