'Intelligent story of lost innocence… Convincingly in the traditions of Patrick Süskind's Perfume & Andrew Millar's Pure.' TLS
'An astonishing, sensual feast…' The Independent
'A true feast for the senses... Such is the richness of the story telling that the reader is persuaded that it could be fact.' The Scotsman
‘Opulent, sensuous, sumptuous.’ BBC Radio 2 Arts Show
'Sweeps with enviable confidence from the era of aristocratic hubris to revolutionary dissolution.' The Telegraph
One man’s search for the perfect taste set between the death of the Sun King and the start of the French Revolution, against a backdrop of the rise of Enlightenment and the collapse of the ancien régime. It is a story of obsession, revolution and recipes.
Spanning eighteenth century France, The Last Banquet is the memoir of Jean-Marie d’Aumout, orphan, military cadet, aristocrat, gastronome and owner of the finest menagerie in France outside of Versailles. We follow his fortunes from beetle-eating poverty to the courtship of his best friend’s sister and his rise to fame.
It deals with his friendship with American revolutionary Ben Franklin, his correspondence with Voltaire and de Sade, and his part in the fall of the republic of Corsica, where he goes in search of a feted but highly unusual cheese. As France begins to fall under the grip of revolution, Jean-Marie seeks refuge in undiscovered dishes and wayward recipes, half welcoming, half fearful of the coming destruction, and the rebirth for society that he hopes will lie beyond.
UK publication - Canongate
US publication - Europa
French publication - City Editions
Dutch publication - Xander Books
Spanish publication - Alevosia/Siruela
Italian publication - Newton & Compton
Russian publication - Mainstream/AST
Turkish publication - Kolektif