The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Whistler 2003 - Centenary Journal

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1st July 2003 - Plat du Jour

In April 1867 Whistler wrote a letter to Lucas Ionides suggesting that if they meet up in Paris they may "dine at the Baron Brisse" (LCMS PWC 11/1032-33).

Whistler was referring to the restaurant of the popular food-writer Baron Léon Brisse; for fuller details on Baron Brisse see the Whistler Journal entry for 15 June 2003.

In 1868 Brisse's daily menus were collected in an edition Les Trois Cent Soixante Six Menus du baron Brisse (The 366 Menus of Baron Brisse). The menu for today's date includes a mouth-watering recipe for Calf's brains à la provençale, reproduced below:

"Wash and blanch the brains, boil in stock, add three table-spoonsful of olive oil, a tumblerful of white wine, salt, pepper, lemon-juice, chopped parsley, chervil leaves, and a head of garlic, the three latter must be previously blanched; when done remove the brains, reduce the sauce, and pour over them. Another way of serving this dish is to sprinkle it with bread-crumbs, and brown in the oven, or to cover the brains with piquante [sic] sauce."

(The Classic Cookery of Baron Brisse, London, Eng. trans. 1905, p. 183)