Potage créme de gibier aux quenelles
Cream of game soup with game quenelles
Consommé printanier garni de volaille
Spring vegetable consommé garnished with shredded poached chicken.
Darnes de saumon au vin du Rhin
Salmon steaks baked in white wine
Filet de soles à la cardinal
Filets of sole poaches in white whine and topped with lobster medallions before being dressed in a cardinal sauce made from lobster, truffles, cream and fish stock
Noix de veau à la Médicis
Sautéed veal cutlets coated in Béarnaise sauce, bordered with Madeira sauce and garnished with potato noisettes, artichoke hearts, peas and small spheres of carrot and turnips
Pièce de boeuf aux légumes varies
Braised filets of beef with vegetables
Foies-gras de Strasbourg an bordues
Seared foie-gras medallions served inside a crouton border and drizzled with the port reduction sauce
Salades de poissons à l'Italienne
A salad of shelfish mixed with macaroni and bound in in Italian sauce made from mushrooms, shallots and tomatoes
Dindes et poulardes rötis, salade
Roast turkeys and poulardes (spayed young hens)
Bécasses et cocqs de bois au cresson
Woodcock and Black Grouse with watercress
Pains de framboises garnis de meringues
Cold raspberry puddings topped with meringues
Gelée aux champignons garnie d'oranges
Sweetened mushroom jelly topped with a compote of orange segments in rum
Fromage, Glaces, Compotes
Cheese, Ice Creams and Fruit Compotes
Menu dated 23rd March 1871
Dinner at the Royal Palace, Berlin, hosted by His Imperial and Royal Majesty Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm I of Germany and Prussia following the inaugural sitting of the German Imperial Parliament (Reichstag).
Germany, as we know it, had only existed for 64 days when the inaugural German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm I, hosted this elaborate banquet at his Berlin Palace in 1871.
Two months earlier, with Prussia on the cusp of victory in the Franco-Prussian War, the twenty-six separate German states united and proclaimed King Wilhelm of Prussia as the new German Emperor – their first Kaiser.
With a new country came a new Parliament; and just one day prior to this dinner the Reichstag sat for the first time ever.
Nothing could be left to chance at this dinner. It was vital that it be a diplomatic success – and an exercise in imperial charm. 382 members had been elected to the fledgling country’s fledgling parliament, and the fledgling Emperor needed all the newly-sworn politicians to return to their constituencies full of hope about the new empire and its supreme leader.
And so it was then, that the Emperor’s head chef, Monsieur Urbain Dubois, put his kitchen team to work to plan this elaborate palace feast. Foie-gras medallions drizzled in a port reduction; salmon filets poached in Rhine wine; and woodcock and black grouse dressed in watercress cream, were served ahead of the desserts that consisted, quite curiously, of a sweetened mushroom jelly topped with a compote of orange segments in rum.
This dinner represented the peak of German nationhood and the peak of German military dominance over France. Yet the menu was written in French and prepared by a French master chef.
During the Franco-Prussian War, Chef Dubois had returned to his homeland and only ventured back to Berlin in March 1871 – just in time for this dinner - after a peace treaty had been signed with France.
Dubois, who had started as the Kaiser’s head chef in 1860, was credited with spearheading the introduction of Service à la Russe to both France and Germany.
Commonplace today, Service à la Russe is the routine of preparing and plating-up meals before they are served in sequence to guests. This menu from 1871 is unique in that it bunches the dishes in pairs (with a bracket placed to the left) which possibly indicates guests were given a choice of two dishes; or it was the imperial equivalent of the modern ‘alternate drop’ menu commonly adopted for large catered functions.
Dubois was a convert to the Russian style of serving meals from his time heading up the kitchens of Prince Alexey Orlov in Saint Petersburg where he created and dedicated the famous dish, Veal Orlov.
Later in 1871, Dubois would assist aspiring chefs trying emulate his culinary skills, with the publication of "The household cookery-book, practical and elementary methods".
The Royal Palace, Berlin
Dinner invitation from the German Emperor to Rittergutsbesitzer (Manor owner) Hermann Jüngken who served in the inaugural Reichstag from 1871 to 1877.
Auf Allerhöchsten Befehl Ihrer Kaiserlichen und Königlichen Majestäten ladet der unterzeichnete Ober Hof und Haus-Marschall Herrn Rittergutsbesitzer Jüngken
zum Diner am 23 März 1871 um 4 Uhr
im Königl. Schloss
By supreme command of Their Imperial and Royal Majesties the undersigned Grand Marshall of the Court invites Manor owner Mr [Hermann] Jüngken
to dinner at 4pm on 23 March 1871
at the Royal Palace