A first-class ticket on the Titanic would have cost the equivalent of about $124,000 today.
So it seems like a steal, then, to be able to eat what those high-society folks did on April 14, 1912, for $500 — and wake up in a dry bed the next morning.
The Fox Theatre will present "The Last Dinner on the Titanic," a grand 11-course meal with wine pairings, period costumes, and polished service and silverware, on April 14 on the theater's stage. Chefs and servers from the Fox and L'Ecole Culinaire have been preparing for the meal since last year. The event benefits the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation.
"I've done re-creations of three other Titanic dinners, and I believe this is the most authentic one yet," says Thom Johnson, the Fox's director of food and beverage. "We're going to take you back to fine dining as it was 100 years ago."
The event will start with cocktails, oysters on the half shell and other Edwardian-era hors d'oeuvres served in the theater's lobby before diners move to the stage for 10 courses presented over a leisurely three-plus hours.
Johnson says he and his team have gone to great lengths to keep the authenticity of the original, Auguste Escoffier-inspired menu while incorporating locally available ingredients and modern wines.
The meal will progress from soup and fish courses to proteins including roasted lamb, duck, beef and squab. A cold asparagus salad with champagne-saffron vinaigrette will lead into a dish of foie gras paté, followed by sweet desserts, then fruits and cheeses.
Other Titanic dinner re-creations frequently include "three, six or eight courses, but St. Louis is going to get all 11," says Mary Strauss, the Fox's co-owner and a Titanic enthusiast.
"The Titanic was not just a ship, but a symbol of an era. Doing something like this for the Titanic's centennial has been on my mind since 1998," Strauss says, adding that it makes sense for the Fox to put on such an event.
"Stepping back in time like this to get the mood, the ambiance and the food just right — that's an act of theater."
"The Last Dinner on the Titanic"
When 6 p.m. April 14 • Where Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard • How much $500; proceeds benefit the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation • More info MetroTix; 314-534-1111
First-Class Titanic Brunch
When Seatings at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. April 15 • Where Piper Palm House, 4256 Magnolia Avenue, Tower Grove Park • How much $45 • More info MetroTix; 314-534-1111
Cocktail reception, Titanic artifacts display and screening of "A Night to Remember"
When 6 p.m. (cocktails) and 7:30 p.m. (movie) April 13 • Where Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Boulevard • How much $50 for reception and film; $10 for film only • More info titanic2012stl.com; 314-746-4599