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The Course of History

Food & Drink, History
Publication Date
24 October 2017
Not Yet Published
Birlinn Ltd
16pp colour plates

The Course of History

Ten Meals that Changed the World
Recipes by Tony Singh MBE
by Struan Stevenson - Find out more about the author

'Stevenson masterfully connects political moments to their culinary backdrops . . . [and] entertains as he shows how food and wine served on momentous occasions shaped history. . . . Recipes created by Scottish chef Tony Singh accompany each historic fete' – Publishers Weekly

'Sheer originality ... my stand out book of the year' – Cate Devine, Herald

'This uniquely engaging read is perfect for those who combine a love for history with a passion for food. Stevenson’s characteristic writing, nicely seasoned with Singh’s mouth-watering meals make a delicious combination' – Scottish Field

Many decisions which have had enormous historical consequences have been made over the dinner table, and have been accompanied (and perhaps influenced) by copious amounts of food and wine. In this book Struan Stevenson brings to life ten such moments, exploring the personalities, the issues and of course the food which helped shape the course of history. Accompanying Struan's analysis are the actual recipes, researched and recreated by acclaimed chef Tony Singh. The meals included are:

16 April 1746, the Eve of the Battle of Culloden, which destroyed Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hope of a Stuart restoration forever. 

14 April 1755, Alexandria, Pennsylvania, young George Washington attended a dinner which sowed the seeds of the American Revolution.

20 June 1790, New York, when Thomas Jefferson threw a dinner party at which it was decided Washington DC would become the capital of a new federal republic – the USA. 

2 October 1814, The Congress of Vienna, when Napoleon’s victors met to divide up the spoils of war and re-draw the boundaries of Europe. 

27 June 1914, Sarajevo, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand attended a banquet in his honour the day before his assassination plunged Europe into total war.

28 August 1928, Achnacarry, when executives from the world’s four major oil companies came to a remote Scottish estate to create an oil cartel that would become the model for OPEC. 

12, February 1938, Hitler’s Berghof in the Bavarian Alps, when the Austrian Chancellor signed away his country’s independence and Austria was absorbed into Hitler’s Third Reich. 

21 February 1972, Beijing, when a meeting between Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong signaled China’s opening up after decades of isolation. 

26 March 1979, Washington DC, when, against all odds, President Jimmy Carter brokered a peace deal between Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli PM Menachem Begin .

30 November 1943, Teheran, when Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt met to thrash out a strategy to defeat Hitler.

Struan Stevenson served three terms as a Member of the European Parliament for Scotland from 1999 to 2014. He is an award-winning author, lecturer, newspaper feature writer and broadcaster.

Tony Singh MBE is an acclaimed chef and restaurateur. He is the author of several recipe books and has featured on many cookery television shows.