A Decadent Eight Course Vegan Tasting Menu for The Illuminati Ball

For the last few months three years, I have been creating and perfecting the menu for the immersive excursion “The Illuminati Ball”  created by artist, protectress of animals and all around bad ass Cynthia Von Buhler.

The Illuminati Ball is a surrealist soirée that includes intricate cocktails, mouth-watering delicacies, inspiring music, devilish dances and esoteric rituals. The guests are picked up in Manhattan and taken by limousine to a secret lakeside estate.   Depending on how the guests choose to participate, the guests may be involved in power struggles, morality tests, and anthropomorphic escapades.  The experience is inspired by the famed “Illuminati Ball” thrown by the Baroness and Baron de Rothschild in 1972.  68Kr7EtrMy goal was to create a decadent meal worthy of the sumptuous atmosphere of the ball, but also to ultimately leave the guests feeling like they had eaten real, nourishing food.   I don’t want to give too much away about the piece but, for reasons both solidly dramaturgical and subtly subversive, the menu needed to be entirely vegan.  Additionally, the menu is totally gluten-free, because it’s important that the chef (me) be able to taste the food!  This project has been an exciting challenge and I’m very proud of the menu.

You can click on the hyperlinks to find the recipes.  Many thanks to Claire Matern of A Cheesemonger’s Daughter for coming to help cook early in season one and for taking some of the very beautiful photos of the plated food on the grounds of the estate.


For the table…

First course- 

Second Course…

photo by Claire Matern

Third Course…

Curried Lentil Salad

Fourth Course…

Fifth Course…

Sixth Course…

Seventh Course…


Eighth Course…

37 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow this looks so great, very impressive!

  2. Beverly says:

    That all looks soooo good. Lucky people. Good work!

    1. Thank you! I am proud of it.

  3. Wish I had been there – amazing work

    1. If you find your self on the East Coast of the USA between now and August 20th you should come! We are doing it twice a month.

  4. Thank you for making me the cold pea soup. The menu is fantastic. Each dish is a work of art.

    1. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to create this!

  5. Stephanie says:

    The food was fabulous, thank you for sharing the recipes! And I’m so excited to see recipes from events earlier in the season! They all look delicious!

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed the food at the Illuminati Ball Stephanie. Thanks for dropping by on Big Sis Little Dish as well!

  6. S. says:

    I was at the ball on Saturday night. The food was PHENOMENAL. I was so blown away, each course was better than the last, and everything was so intriguing and exciting. You are incredible! Thank you so much for such a beautiful experience.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write me a note! It makes me so happy that you enjoyed the meal. I’m very proud of the recipes and the menu!

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