Francine Segan
Book Speaker
Print Friendly

Francine Segan

Fee Range: $4000 - $6000

Food Historian


Arts/Culture/MusicAuthorConsumer TrendsFoodHistoryLifestyleSpouse ProgramsTravel


New York


Francine Segan

Francine SeganFood Historian

Noted lecturer, food historian and writer, Francine Segan regularly appears on radio and TV.

Her many TV appearances include Today Show, Early Show, and Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. In addition she has been featured on many specials for the History, Sundance and Discovery channels as well as the Food Network and PBS.  Ms. Segan is a frequent radio guest and a regular on Martha Stewart Living radio.

Both the James Beard Foundation and IACP nominated Ms. Segan’s latest book, Opera Lover’s Cookbook, for awards. She writes a monthly feature for the Tribune Media Syndicates, which has included interviews of such noted chefs as: Jacques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich, and Mario Batali.

Ms. Segan’s lively and informative lectures range in topic from Dining Customs of Ancient Greece to How to Taste Chocolate. She addresses audiences across the country for organizations including The Smithsonian Museum, Virginia Fine Arts Museum, New York Times Travel Show, 92nd Street Y, Museum of Natural History, Princeton Club, New York Chocolate Show, and Newport Historical Association.

 “Francine feeds her readers well—stomach and soul. She has a way of making me want to sing for my supper!
                               Rachael Ray



Chocolate 101: History and Tasting

Discover chocolate’s history, starting with its New World origins, journey to Europe, and transformation over the years that turned it from a grainy bitter brew into the treat we know and love today.

Learn how chocolate goes from bean to bar as you are guided through a tasting of various types of fine chocolates.

Discover the roles Christopher Columbus and Casanova played; how decadent 17th century European high society experienced chocolate; and how candy is made today.


Downton Abbey:   Foods, Feasting & Entertainments

Downton Abbey, one of the world’s most widely watched television shows, is set in the post-Edwardian era. A time of calling cards, horse drawn coaches, high tea, cotillions, lawn parties, formal dinners… a time when even picnics were served on fine china.

Join noted food historian Francine Segan, for an amusing talk on the wonderful foods, elaborate etiquette, and enchanting entertainments enjoyed back then.  Francine’s vivid descriptions of formal dinner parties, cotillions, and elegant picnics will transport you back in time.

Learn the turn of the century meanings of giving a lady a tulip instead a rose; discover the most popular toasts of the 1900s; and when it was proper to remove your gloves or tip your hat.

Highlights of the talk include:

•           Trivia contest on the uses for dozens of unique but now-obsolete objects from the era

•           Handouts of unique recipes of the era

•           Demonstrations on creating 19th century garnishes


America’s Food Fads — Roaring ’20 to Modern Times

Explore each exciting decade through its food and social etiquette.  Learn about popular ‘20s foods like “flapper pudding” and “sorority salad” inspired by the rise in women’s rights and about  “ice box cake” created thanks to the invention of the refrigerator.

As we move into the ‘30s Depression era with its unemployment lines, soup kitchens, bread lines and apple sellers discover the new value placed on home entertaining.  Discover the story behind ‘30s foods like pineapple upside down cake, “Betty Co-Ed sandwiches”, salad fantasies, and the new post-Prohibition cocktails and cocktail party foods.

WW II brought shortages and inspired “victory gardens”, home canning “meatless Tuesdays,” “No ration-point” menus, and sugarless desserts.  The suburbanization of ‘50s sparked cocktail parties and backyard BBQs, and the ‘70s and ‘80s new gourmet awareness.  Learn about America’s diet crazes each decade and much, much more!


Shakespeare’s Kitchen: Peacocks and Pageantry

The feasts of Shakespeare’s day were fanciful daylong events filled with great food, wine, and entertainments.  Dinner guests were treated to concoctions like fire-breathing roast peacock, enormous savory pies with claws poking through the crust; and dinner rolls shaped like deer filled with spiced wine “blood”.

Discover the fascinating festivities of Shakespeare’s time in this hilarious presentation on the fanciful foods, intriguing table manners, and unusual dining customs of the Elizabethan era.  Learn the incredible reasons the Elizabethans clinked glasses to make a toast and why, in fact, it was called a “toast.”  Learn why gentlemen and ladies refused to eat with forks and why “4 and 20 blackbirds” really were served in a pie!

Sprinkled throughout the lecture are samples of the bawdy jokes, puns, and riddles told between courses back then.

Gourmet Lover’s Virtual Tour of Italy 

Perfect for all gourmets, even if you aren’t planning a trip to Italy.  Discover insider info on the most delicious foods & wines Italy has to offer.  You’ll see how classics like balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, and pasta are made.  Learn about Italy’s intriguing holiday foods and customs.  The talk includes a tasting of “Baci”, Italy’s supreme chocolate candies made by the Perugina company.

Dinner & Drinks With Don:  Mad Men Meals

From Old Fashioneds to fondue, Mad Men is full of drinking and dining. Discuss the show’s famous food and drink scenes, see real food ads from the era and learn more about the heyday of both Jell-o molds and Julia Child.

Discover the popular ‘60s cocktails and nibbles, wear your favorite ‘60s clothes and compete for prizes in a Mad Men trivia contest!

In addition to these listed programs, Francine has literally dozens more, covering such topics as Coffee, Dessert, Aphrodisiacs, the diets of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, The Middle Ages, Picnics, and the list goes on. 


To book this speaker please visit or call 508.485.8996