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Unique food experience slated

Lightner food experience

SAINT AUGUSTINE –  Craving unique food experiences this December?

The Lightner Museum welcomes world-renowned food historian and James Beard-nominated author, Francine Segan, to St. Augustine for a series of lectures, tastings, and a Gilded Age dining experience that is sure to be memorable.

Don’t worry, the cold tongue entrée and meat gelatins will be left off the menu.

Ms. Segan will host three unique events during her visit to St. Augustine. They s are part of Lightner Museum’s fall programming schedule, which seeks to highlight the Dressing Downton™exhibition.

Dec. 13 at 10:30 a.m., Ms. Segan will present The Art of Dining:  “The Table at Downton Abbey”, at the Casa Monica Hotel Ballroom. Discover the elaborate etiquette, enchanting entertainments, and dishes Ms. Patmore would have been proud to send to the table. Vivid descriptions of Lord Grantham-esque dinner parties, cotillions and elegant picnics will transport you back in time, while you learn all the popular toasts of the era and when it’s proper to remove your gloves or tip your hat. The event includes a trivia contest on the uses for now-obsolete objects that Mr. Carson would be shocked to find you couldn’t use properly.   This event is sponsored in part by the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council, Casa Monica Hotel, and Visit Florida.
Dec. 13 at 6p.m., Ms. Segan will present a special dinner, “Gilded Age Dining at the Alcazar Hotel”, in the Historic Pool Area of the Lightner Museum.  Join the Lightner Museum for an evening of gilded elegance and sophisticated sipping as Ms. Francine Segan and Sommelier, Mr. Anthony Porcellini, of Carrera Wine Cellar, guide guests through a 19thcentury-inspired menu and wine pairing. The four-course menu has been specially designed by the chefs of Culinary Outfitters and drawn from archived Alcazar Hotel menus dating from the 1890s through the 1920s.  Each course will be accompanied by a specially selected wine to enhance the dining experience.
Ms. Segan will give an introduction to the dining trends and expectations of the Gilded Age and will be assisted by Mr. Porcellini in explaining how the wine is meant to bring out the inherent flavors of each dish. As French wines were a common theme in the 19th century, so will Mr. Porcellini carefully choose wines derived from this period. This event is sponsored in part by Bank of America/U.S. Trust/Merrill Lynch, Publix Super Markets Charities, Carrera Wine Cellar, and Visit Florida.
Dec. 14 at 10:30 a.m., Ms. Segan will present “Munch, Mingle, and Matriculate”, in the Casa Monica Hotel Ballroom.  Discover chocolate’s history, starting with its New World origins. Journey to Europe and learn how it evolved from a grainy bitter brew into the treat we know and love today. Learn how chocolate goes from bean to bar as you are guided through a tasting of various types of fine chocolates. Discover the roles Christopher Columbus and Casanova played; how decadent 17th century European high society experienced chocolate; and how candy is made today.  This event is sponsored in part by the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council, Casa Monica Hotel, and Visit Florida.
Francine Segan programs are open to the public.  Tickets to the lectures and gilded age dinner can be purchased at   Special member discounts are available.  To become a member of the Lightner Museum visit

Proceeds from Francine Segan’s events allow the Lightner Museum to continue expanding our program schedule and increase audience engagement.

Francine Segan, one of America’s foremost experts on Italian cuisine, is an engaging public speaker, author and TV personality. A noted food historian and James Beard-nominated author of six books including Dolci: Italy’s Sweets and Pasta Modern.  She is the host on NYC’s popular weekly TV series “Americans who Love Italy” and appears on many other TV programs, including Today Show and Early Show. Francine has been featured on numerous specials for PBS, Food Network History, Sundance and Discovery channels.

The events are part of a program companion series to Lightner Museum’s exhibition:  Dressing Downton: Changing Fashions for Changing Times™, a thirteen-week display of 36 authentic Edwardian Era costumes and accessories from PBS’s most popular television drama in history, Dressing Downton™, which is currently displayed elegantly in the Museum’s Grand Ballroom Gallery.  For tickets to the exhibition, visit
Proceeds from the events benefit the Lightner Museum.  The Lightner Museum is a non-profit cultural institution sustained by the generous support of individuals, businesses, and sponsors.

Exhibition produced by Exhibits Development Group in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London. Downton™ and Downton Abbey®. ©2016 Carnival Film & Television Limited. A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production. Carnival logo ©2005 Carnival Film & Television Limited. Masterpiece is a trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

About PluggedInto (1066 Articles)
PluggedInto is an ePublication covering news, history, local events and more in the Putnam/Flagler/St. Johns tricounty area.

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