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Gala Dinner: MONTBLANC

In the heart of the fashion triangle, the exclusive Bagatti-Valsecchi museum opens its doors to MONTBLANC, the prestigious brand known worldwide for its fountain pens. Attentive to employee incentive policies, MONTBLANC wanted to dedicate an evening to its managers, organizing a “murder mystery dinner set in the 1930s” at the museum.

MAX&KITCHEN Catering, a regular partner and supporter of the museum, took care of every detail, developing the theme with a thorough study of the dishes offered on the menu and the accessories used. The setting featured cutlery designed by the famous architect and designer Gio Ponti, plates with “black and white” decorations, a menu card designed by our graphic designers reflecting details of the 1930s, and original vases and statues in rationalist style. The menu was inspired by the dinners offered by the Savini restaurant in Galleria at that time, with dishes such as Pumpkin Parmigiana with Modica cocoa, ancient barley and legume soup, and warm chocolate cake. Even the waiters were selected for their appearance and dressed in line with the fashion of the time.

NOTES ON THE 1930s MENU From a study of the magazine “La Cucina Italiana” from 1929 to 1935, I report an excerpt from the menu. It is interesting to note the eating habits and food consumption of that period:

Simple Consumed Duck with Lentils Soft Cake Small Soup in Broth Meatballs Italian Sailor’s Soup Veal Tonnato Spelt Soup Beef Steaks with Fennel Tomato Jam Pig’s Heart in Soup Potatoes with Meat Spaghettini with Butter and Parmesan Veal Steaks with Tomato Bean Puree with Cabbage

From these dishes, the almost absence of pasta is noted, which only achieved its current success after 1950. Dry pasta dishes, called “dry soups” at the time, were not suggested, as pasta was only widespread in a few geographical areas. Prevalence was given to soups, consumed almost every day, sometimes both for lunch and dinner. Meat was very present, indicating the desire of the Italian of the time. While the wealthier could afford game, roasts, and fillets, dishes from the “fifth quarter” such as liver, spleen, heart, and pig’s blood were also suggested. Finally, desserts were based on seasonal fruits, such as grapes, figs, and chestnuts, with a typical cake for Sunday lunch.