In 2011, local chef Richard Witting founded the Isole Dinner Club. For a couple of years, he hosted themed meals in Burlington and Winooski exploring old cookbooks and global cuisines. Then the chef got busy with other projects — namely, pursuing an anthropology degree at the University of Vermont, running Firefly Catering and collaborating with Agricola Farm owner Alessandra Rellini on her dinner series. The supper club went into hibernation.
This fall, Witting is reviving the club with five soirées examining English literature from a culinary perspective. Scheduled monthly through spring, meals will address works by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Beatrix Potter. "Each dinner will focus on the time period in which [the work] was written," Witting says. Meals will be prepared with epoch-appropriate ingredients and techniques, and served in the same fashion.
The series begins on Sunday, October 2, with a deep dive into the mead-hall fare described in Beowulf. Local drink historian Adam Krakowski will select beverage pairings (i.e., meads and honey wines) for each course, while a UVM English expert will give a brief lecture and read from the book in Old English. Get info and tickets at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The original print version of this article was headlined "A Readable Feast"