The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Whistler 2003 - Centenary Journal

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11th September 2003 - Plat du Jour (3)

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 Soixant Six Menus du baron Brisse (The 366 Menus of Baron Brisse). The menu for today's date includes a delicious recipe for Lark Pie, reproduced below:

"Pluck, singe, and flatten the backs of two or three dozen larks, draw them, throw away the gizzards, and pound the trail in a mortar with scraped bacon and mixed herbs; fill the larks with this, and wrap each one in a slice of bacon. Line a plain mould with paste, fill it with the larks, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, spread a thick layer of butter over them, add two or three laurel leaves, and a pinch of mixed spice; cover with paste, and bake for two hours and a half. Turn out of the mould, and serve cold."

(The Classic Cookery of Baron Brisse, London, Eng. trans. 1905, p. 167)