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28 courses and six hours at the French Laundry. Loved every moment.

28 courses and six hours at the French Laundry. Loved every moment.

Ditto

28 courses and six hours at the French Laundry. Loved every moment.

Me too, me three. As my husband describes it, "French Laundry is Fabby's Pebble Beach."

How did you all manage to have 28-course meals at TFL? Inquiring minds (who have not yet been to TFL) want to know. :wink:

Sorry my post was a bit misleading. Actually the 28 coarses were between my wife and I. We were each served a different course.

Edited by robert40 (log)

Robert R

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Robert, the topic's the longest MEAL, not the longest string of quotes :laugh: !

BTW, do home-cooked meals count when it comes to the sit down & eat part, or is this just about taking time in restaurants that indulge patrons instead of trying to turn the table quickly?

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I'd like to change my entry to this:

First meal at my future in-laws' house.  Seventy-two hours and two courses.  Interminable.

You owe my firm a new keyboard. The bill for smoke damage will come later. Who knew you could short a keyboard out that completely by spitting a little tea on it.

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When my family lived in China, we frequently attended banquets that lasted round the five hour mark. You didn't really notice the time slipping by because so much food was brought out continuously, and there was generally some form of entertainment.

Most of those were pretty fun. There were a couple of them (the more formal events) that got tedious. Sometimes, my mother would have me politely excuse myself so that I could take my little sister for a walk. It kept her from getting cranky.

Now days, my own dinner parties tend to last anywhere from four to seven hours. But that's with gathering and drinks before-hand, dinner, dessert, and more drinks and conversation after.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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I'm reminded of the story "A Really Big Lunch," in the 2004 New Yorker food issue, wherein Jim Harrison recounts a 37-course meal (with 13 wines) taken in one sitting. Designed as a birthday meal for twelve, the menu was composed of dishes made from recipes drawn from cookbooks dating from the late 1600s to the early 1800s. I don't recall how long the meal lasted, but there were, I believe, certainly considerable pauses during the seating.

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With some friends we decided to smoke a briskett, which took about 11 hours to be done. Of course we started off with out favorite breakefast (duck rillette spread on rye toasts). This was at 10 in the morning, right before we placed the meat in the smoker. We followed with some cheese salads (we had some morbier, a little camembert and cabrales). By noon we started frying the chicken and making the cole slaw. Around two (when there was no more chicken) we made some al pastor tacos (with fresh tortillas and all). Then we had a friend make some greek specialties (I'm not even gonna try to spell them). By 5 we were grilling our homemade burgers, and having our first dessert (ice cream with different toppings). It must have been 6 o´clock that we made the pasta and baked the potatos (the pasta with tossed veggies and olive oil... the potatoes as a snack, to go with butter and truffle butter). Then came the BLT's (no meal is complete without bacon). After that we fried the left over tortillas and made some dips (guacamole, pico de gallo, etc). We also fried some figs, to go with whatever cheese we had leftover. It was dark already and we had our second dessert: smores.

The next couple of hours we spent eating whatever meat somebody decided to grill (some sausages, chicken, pork loin) and then, finally the briskett was done. We ate that and finished off the meal with some muffins somebody baked.

A grand total of about 13 hours.

Follow me @chefcgarcia

Fábula, my restaurant in Santiago, Chile

My Blog, en Español

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I suppose the longest for me was a meal in 1990 when passing a single night in Miami. Because I decided to make an article out of that visit (before joining a Carribean cruise), I made my way in the same evening to 12 different restaurants, at each dining on a single course. The "meal" started at six in the evening and concluded at eight the following morning when finally it was time to board my ship. I am not at all embarassed to admit that once aboard and in my cabin that I made my way immediately to the buffet brunch that was being offered, there to down a dozen raw oysters and two lobsters stuffed with crabmeat.

Only then, finally, to sleep.....

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Mr. Rogov, that is seriously impressive.

I like party/meals that start early in the day, that way everyone stays energetic. I had a get together similar to godito's -- though not nearly as fancy -- that started at noon and when we finally looked at the clock at midnight we were like, "Hey, it's still pretty early -- wait a minute, we've been drinking and eating for twelve hours straight!"

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I am not at all embarassed to admit that once aboard and in my cabin...

On reading this, I was absolutely sure I knew what was coming next, and that it would involve a serious technicolour yawn, but no:

...I made my way immediately to the buffet brunch that was being offered, there to down a dozen raw oysters and two lobsters stuffed with crabmeat.

You, sir, are my hero.

Si

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Including family dinners which begin at 3 in the afternoon, move on to dessert and (due to staggered eating times,) immediately onto seconds, leftovers, and sandwiches, five or six hours seated would not be farfetched by any means.

At a restaurant, I think only three and a half.

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Our longest meal was during a work-related trip to Las Vegas. A friend had helped design the then newly-opened Bellagio, so we met her there at the buffet. Various other friends and relatives drifted in and out over the course of several hours. It was more a social occasion than a meal, albeit an all-you-can-eat social occasion.

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Our annual Danish lunch is a 4-5 hour extravaganza - the more people who attend, the longer we stay at the table catching up on old times and quaffing the schnapps and beer and sampling the table.  Some leave early, some stay late - we just stay!  :biggrin:

One reason for such a long meal is a Danish thing. When we celebrated Christmas in Denmark, we ate and drank one meal at the table for seven hours, and then moved our bodies to the living room only to eat and drink some more.

It is usual for our weekend multicourse meals at home to last for four hours or more, but for them, we don't sit as long as we did in Denmark. We call them cook-eat-cook-eat dinners; we cook a course, eat it, clean up, cook the next course, eat it, clean up, and so on... But often admittingly that last clean-up at the end of it all is the next morning.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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If BBQ contests count, I think our record would be about 24 hours (if you count "pre-dinner drinks").......

Arrive to the competition approx. 11am, set up, start smokers, prep and start cooking......first drinks are consumed around 1pm, chicken and ribs are done around 4 or 5pm. Eating and drinking continues throughout early and late evening, with various meats, sides and appetizers coming off the cookers at different times.......this generally continues until around 2am with a brief intermission before the cookers have to be stoked at approx. 4am. Snacking continues throughout the morning and crests as the competition sides and meats come off the smokers and are thoroughly taste tested until approx. 2:30pm during last turn-in.

Since the eating and drinking never really stops, I GUESS that could count as my longest meal (invitational cookers can tack on another 12 or 24 hours I'm sure).

And if it doesn't count, I'll have to say Manresa...just under 5 hours as I recall.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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Our annual Danish lunch is a 4-5 hour extravaganza - the more people who attend, the longer we stay at the table catching up on old times and quaffing the schnapps and beer and sampling the table.  Some leave early, some stay late - we just stay!   :biggrin:

One reason for such a long meal is a Danish thing.

...

But often admittingly that last clean-up at the end of it all is the next morning.

By the time we are done there is NO cleanup. All the heirloom dishes are out and I don't trust myself to handle them with care after that much beer and schnapps. They have to wait until I am in a fit condition to wash, dry and re-pack them for the next year. :biggrin: Cleanup might happen the following day or ........ :shock:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 3 weeks later...

Four hours, 20+ course tasting menu, at La Terazza in Madrid. For anyone who is looking for a decent El Bulli substitute, try La Terazza. Ferran Adria designed the menu, down to the melon "roe" and parmesan "ice cream sandwiches" Tony Bourdain experienced at El Bulli in his television special "Decoding Ferran Adria." Since I'll probably never score reservations at El Bulli, that will probably live as the best meal I'll ever have.

Until I hit French Laundry...

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I'm from Montreal but live in Tallahassee now. I wonder if my dinner party guests here in Florida find it strange that I make them sit at a table for 5 hours while I serve them course after course. I guess I never thought about it!

My longest restaurant meal is probably about 4 or 5 hours for the tasting menu at Lumiere in Vancouver.

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The partner of a friend of mine in Seattle was famous for putting out an entire Russian Christmas dinner each year. It was truly amazing, I don't even remember how many courses. We were warned to pace ourselves, and it lasted 4-5 hours. It started with "zakuski," a variety of appetizers. Two or three different soups followed - a beef pickle soup, and a duck borscht, which was eaten with an almost cookie with a mildly sweet custard-like filling. There was a dish of shredded salmon and rice flavored with dill, inside a crust that was shaped and decorated to resemble a salmon itself. There is a lot I'm forgetting... I remember Jovan coming out of the kitchen with an evil look on his face, asking "who's ready for the next course??" The dessert was a very light junket-like pudding made out of cloud berries.

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I think it was 3 1/2 - 4 hours. Last year in Las Vegas at Emeril's New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand. 10 of us at the chef's "Kitchen Table". I think it was 7 courses. Really great.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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