Francine Segan
Book Speaker
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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


World’s Most Luxurious Foods

Caviar and truffles are only the beginning. Discover the stories behind rare foods like the world’s most expensive potato, a cluster of grapes auctioned at $25,000, Kopi Luwak coffee costing $100 a cup made from beans predigested by civet cats, and Buddha-shaped fruit. Learn about gold’s many culinary uses and about the spices worth their weight in gold. Come away from this amusing talk with lots of dinner-table conversation starters and ideas for opulent entertaining.

100 Years of Fascinating Food Trends

Discover the origins of iconic classics like pineapple upside down cake and Caesar Salad. Learn how feminism and the invention of the refrigerator combined to give us icebox cake and “sorority salad” and why Prohibition sparked a candy boom. Learn about make-do Depression era innovations like “mystery cake” and mock apple pie, WWII rationing, ‘50s cocktail party craze, and the Jackie Kennedy and Julia Child-influenced French craze. From molecular gastronomy to 3-D printed food, hear about the cutting edge—and very edgy—trends popular today.  

Da Vinci’s Dinner: Dining in the Renaissance

The feasts of Da Vinci’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 the Renaissance in this hilarious presentation by food historian and cookbook author, Francine Segan. Hear about the fanciful desserts, intriguing table manners, and unusual dining customs back then.  Learn the incredible reasons they clinked glasses to make a toast and why, in fact, it was called a “toast.”  Learn why “4 and 20 blackbirds” really were served in a pie! Sprinkled throughout the lecture are samples of the bawdy jokes, puns, and riddles served during the dessert courses in the Renaissance.

Elegant Dining & Entertainment inThe Gilded Age

Following the spectacular success of Downton Abbey comes the new TV show, The Gilded Age, about life in high society in late 19th century New York.  The Gilded Age was an era of wealth and prestige, when the palatial homes of the rich and powerful spanned the length of Fifth Avenue; a time when great fortunes were made–and lost.  Learn the Gilded Age equivalent of “unfriending” someone; why the nutmeg grater was the must-have accessory of the 1890s; and the meaning of giving a lady a tulip instead of a rose.

Join Francine Segan, TV celebrity and award-winning author, and discover the elaborate etiquette, enchanting entertainments, and decadent dishes railroad tycoon George Russell and his ambitious wife Bertha would have been proud to serve guests.  Vivid descriptions of dinner parties, cotillions, and elegant picnics will transport you back in time, while you learn all the popular toasts of the era and the proper moment to remove your gloves or tip your hat.

The event includes a trivia contest, as you compete to identify now-obsolete 19th Gilded Age objects that the Astor and Vanderbilt set would be shocked to find you couldn’t use properly

Diet Fads Through the Ages

Fad diets come and go, but the idea of dieting has been around for centuries. From Hippocrates to Gwyneth Paltrow, from the Medieval wine diet to modern juice fasts, here’s a look at some of the most famous—and infamous—moments in dieting history.

Did you know that U.S. President Howard Taft pledged to slim down after getting stuck in the White House bathtub or that Elvis Presley tried the “Sleeping Beauty Diet”? Discover the Ancient Egyptian trick for tying a cord around the waist to prevent overeating, the truth behind Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, and more.


Enjoy a guided tasting as you discover the role Christopher Columbus and Casanova played in chocolate history, how decadent high society sipped chocolate in the 17th century and modern innovations like bacon chocolate!

Did you know that Napoleon indirectly helped invent a new chocolate flavor or why M&Ms and Nutella were created because of WW II? 

Ice Cream’s Cool History

Discover the fascinating stories behind our favorite frozen treats: banana splits, root beer floats, pie à la mode, Eskimo Pies, Bananas Foster, baked Alaska, and more.

We’ll trace these sweets back centuries to the cool treats enjoyed by Alexander the Great and Emperor Nero, who surely invented the first slushy when he sent runners to mountaintops to harvest glistening snow he ate flavored with fruit. Did you know that vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor in the USA, accounting for over 25% of sales, with chocolate a distant second or Hawaii has an “ice cream bean” that tastes just like vanilla ice cream? Discover who invented the ice cream cone, why and the fascinating roles Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan played in ice cream history.


To book this speaker please visit or call 508.485.8996