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Video Still from Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles.

“Deborah is my guru when it comes to the history of Versailles from a food perspective. She was my teacher.”

That’s what Yotam Ottolenghi, master chef, restaurateur, food writer for The New York Times and The Guardian, and best-selling cookbook author said about Bard Graduate Center Associate Professor and Chair of Academic Programs Deborah Krohn in the recently released and highly praised film, Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles.

According to Ottolenghi, the Metropolitan Museum of Art introduced him to Krohn as soon as he began working on the 2018 Met event, Feast of Versailles with Yotam Ottolenghi. She participated in the event in a live discussion with the chef, and she has a significant role in the film alongside Ottolenghi and the five pastry chefs from all over the world he tapped to create innovative, technologically advanced desserts for the feast.

According to Krohn, “Through my research of period cookbooks and etiquette manuals, I was able to help Yotam and the other chefs involved in the event understand the role that food played at the French court as a demonstration of power and innovation. It’s related to the research that will be on display in my spring 2023 Focus Project exhibition at Bard Graduate Center Gallery, Staging the Table in Europe, 1500–1800.”

Film critic Katie Walsh writes in the Los Angeles Times, “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles sits at a tantalizing intersection of food, art and history. It’s the story of a remarkable event at the Met that inadvertently becomes shockingly prescient. … Cutting-edge international chefs and artists … produce cakes celebrating the artistic and technical patisserie innovations developed at Versailles. … There is much talk of Versailles as the epicenter of European politics, art, design, fashion, food, culture and trends in the 18th century, thanks , of course, to money, and lots of it. The art produced there was intended to display that wealth and power. This is well articulated by Bard professor Deborah Krohn, who becomes Ottolenghi’s academic guide. … For such a sweet film, Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles evolves into a complex exploration of the symbiotic relationship between money and art, and questions what the visibility of that conspicuous consumption could portend.”

The film is currently streaming on Amazon Video, Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube, and several other platforms.