Famous Feasts in History A French Wild Beast Feast

About the famous French wild beast feast, history, menu, and description.


The Occasion: A wild beast feast, Paris, 1870.

The Host: Monsieur Bonvalet, mayor of the third arrondissement, who gave a New Year's Eve dinner for 20 at the famous Noel Peter's restaurant.

The Menu: Using his connections with zoo officials, Bonvalet had a wild game meal served. It included such dishes as Escalope d'elephant with shallot sauce and roast bear a la sauce Toussenel.

Table Talk: The mayor told guests he had had the meal prepared to prove his theory that people confined in hospitals and old people in almshouses could be fed by killing animals in the zoo (food being scarce at the time due to the 1870-1871 siege of Paris).

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