It's not every night out at the bar that you meet a fellow food enthusiast who happens to be five years into working on a food-focused, historic oeuvre.
I will always distinctly remember one particular visit to the Bar at Clio in the good old days - when the bar program was run by Todd Maul and each concoction was more interesting than the last. This is where I first met Crystal King, now proud author of Feast of Sorrow - A Novel of Ancient Rome.
All those years ago, and over a couple of fantastic cocktails, she told me of her ongoing project: writing a fictional tale rooted in historical fact and laborious research. The end product, which now sits triumphantly in many local bookstores, is a journey through Ancient Roman culture, the slave trade and of course, edible delights of that omnipotent era.
Crystal has been impressively employing her knack for marketing by partnering up with local star chefs and presenting themed dinners inspired by her writings. One such dinner was held at Benedetto in partnership with Chef Michael Pagliarini.
Held in the new space which formerly held Rialto, the evening was buzzing with a joint excitement over the much anticipated writing as well as a menu of sumptuous dishes. From anchovy and wild mushroom frittata with spiced honey and lovage; to pork belly with salsa di sapori forti, boiled leeks, cabbage and dill, it was an inspired collaboration between dishes long forgotten and Michael's creative twists seen on menus at both Benedetto and the beloved Giulia over in Porter Square.
For ten long years, Crystal worked on this novel, and now, it is for the taking. Sign up for Crystal's newsletter and get the most up to date information including access to a digital cookbook with Roman dishes as well as her upcoming events and collaborations. It is all so well worth the read !