Babette's Feast

Leah Zeldes Smith lazs at
Thu Jul 30 00:58:09 EST 1998

Elizabeth Pruyn wrote:

> This was posted last year.
> >
> From: mprats at OCF.Berkeley.EDU (Mario Prats)
> Well, I did some research and found an article from the New York Times
> (the advantage of working in a library :)) that includes some recipes from
> "Babette's feast". Here is an excerpt from the article, which appeared on
> Wednesday March 2, 1988, by Florence Fabricant:
> "...The meal consists of limpid turtle soup laced with Madeira, blinis
> Demidoff with caviar, quails en sarcophage (stuffed with foie gras and
> truffles in puff-pastry cases), a salad, cheeses, tropical fruits and a
> glistening baba au rhum, all accompanied by Champagne and fine wine.
> ..."I felt as though I was transcending the ingredients and performing
> a sacred act," said Stephane Audran, who plays Babette.
> The actress loves to cook. "It may not have been absolutely necessary for
> the part, but it made it esier to do the cooking on the screen with
> authority," she said. "More important was that the director, Gabriel Axel,
> is a lover of fine food and could translate the passion to the screen."
> Except for the finishing touches that Miss Audran tackled on screen, the
> food for the film was prepared by La Cocotte, a restaurant in Copenhagen.
> Jan Pedersen, the chef, and two assistants spent two weeks on the set.
> Because of reshooting, they had to prepare 148 quails for the dinner to
> serve 12. The film makers spent $8,000 on the food.

It's interesting to see these recipes.  Because, of
course, there are no classic French recipes for "Blinis
Demidof" or "Cailles en Sarcophage."  Isak Dinesen,
author of the original story, "Babette's Feast," made
them up.

A Chicago theater company, Theater Oobleck, put on an
absolutely stunning adaptation of the original story
last year, putting it on for 25 patrons at a time and
serving them the feast as part of the show.  They did a
lot of research, but had a limited budget. So their
interpretations of the recipes were quite different.
Still, the food was exemplary.   The show was even

I wrote about this in the Lerner newspapers at the time,
if anyone is interested in more details.

To read about Oobleck's show, see

For Oobleck's "Babette" recipes, see

Leah Zeldes

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