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UCI Illuminations to Host “Shakespeare’s Kitchen”

UCI Illuminations will hold a live event that will cover the foods and dining customs of the Shakespearean era on Jan. 26. 

The event, hosted by UCI Illuminations director Julia Lupton, will feature the author of “Shakespeare’s Kitchen,” Francine Segan. 

“Francine Segan’s book takes authentic recipes from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and updates them for the modern kitchen. She illustrates the book with quotations from Shakespeare. She also includes original menu and party ideas,” Lupton said. 

Segan will discuss food and feasting in the English renaissance, which will be followed by a demonstration on how to make an entree and dessert by the director of culinary education, Jessica VanRoo. 

“I’m most excited about sharing the fascinating factoids of dining in the Elizabethan era alternating with a cooking demo so viewers can get a real taste of some of the delicious, unusual and creative dishes served back then,” Segan said. 

Lupton spoke on how this event came about. 

“I have always wanted to do a food event around Shakespeare and when I found Francine Segan’s book, I decided I wanted to meet her and have her talk to us about her research,” Lupton said. “I am super-excited to learn more about Renaissance “pasties” or pies. They put everything into pie crust back then —  including live blackbirds, like the nursery rhyme.”

Lupton conducted an interview with Segan about how the author began her journey to write “Shakespeare Kitchen.” 

“I hope —  just like the hosts of Elizabethan feasts hoped — that guests will laugh and make merry throughout the event and leave filled with thoughts of great food, fond memories and few good jokes and stories to tell their friends tomorrow!” Segan said.

“Come for an evening of fun facts, true stories and real recipes. You don’t need to know anything about Shakespeare to enjoy the evening; just bring an appetite for new ideas,” Lupton said.

Students can register for the event here

Ashley Shah is Staff Writer. She can be reached at akshah2@uci.edu