Carl Raymond
Book Speaker
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Carl Raymond

Fee Range1: $ 3500 - $6000

Food Historian


FoodHistoryLifestyleLiteratureRoyal Family


New York


Carl Raymond

Carl RaymondFood Historian

Carl Raymond brings together the worlds of food, history, literature and opera combining extensive research with an entertaining and lively sense of humor to create insightful illustrated talks.   Carl speaks regularly on food history for such notable institutions as the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the Royal Oak Foundation, the English-Speaking Union and New York’s National Arts Clubs as well as various museums and cultural institutions.

A former classical singer as well as a professionally trained chef, Carl brings an insider’s knowledge of the world of the performing arts as well as the world of food.  He sang with opera companies in his native New England including the acclaimed Opera Company of Boston under Sarah Caldwell and appeared for five seasons as an actor with the famed Metropolitan Opera.

Carl received his culinary diploma from New York’s Institute of Culinary Education with further advanced studies at the French Culinary Institute.   He has taught culinary arts professionally since 2008 and has worked for the Food Network, Condé Nast and for Rodale’s Prevention magazine.   He appeared regularly as an on-camera Chef Ambassador for Roland Foods and is an experienced cookbook editor, recipe developer and food writer.

Carl was a contributing writer on SAVORING GOTHAM: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City (Oxford University Press, Andrew Smith, ed.) and is at work on his own book on the Gilded Age.

Popular Programs 

Divas and Dinner:  A Culinary Look at Opera

In this unique and lively talk, Carl Raymond, former opera singer and professionally trained chef takes a look at the culinary histories behind best-loved operas Puccini’s  La Boheme and Tosca.  In discussing what and where our characters would have really eaten and drunk, this talk gives a unique insight into their lives and loves.  The famous Café Momus in Act II of La Boheme did in fact exist but not as it is often portrayed on-stage.  What was really on Scarpia’s dinner table as Tosca spies the fatal knife? And perhaps most essential of all, the talk poses and answers the question – did Tosca cook? With the backdrops of early 19th century Paris and Rome, this talk takes audiences on a diverse and delicious journey through the cafes, restaurants, and artists haunts that serve as the settings for these classic operas.   With early photographs, illustrations and passages from contemporary 19th century writers such as Balzac, Carl deftly weaves the stories of these two classic Puccini operas together, tracing the highlights of French and Italian gastronomic history in the process and even offers insight into the culinary life of the great composer Giacomo Puccini himself. 

From Dickens to Downton:  The World of Victorian and Edwardian Food

From Dickens to Downton: A Look at Victorian and Edwardian Food is a journey through British food and dining traditions from the mid-19th century through the early part of the 20th century up to the beginnings of the First World War.   Beginning with a look at food references in the work of Charles Dickens which helped establish some of Britain’s most cherished culinary traditions, the talk will continue all the way thorough to the world of great town and country houses known to lovers of Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs.  The talk will take a look at dining tables both upstairs and downstairs as well as inside and outside the great houses.

Carl Raymond, food historian, writer and lecturer, will lead the audience on an illustrated tour of some of the classic dishes of the Victorian and Edwardian periods and discuss their background, how they were prepared and how they were served.  In addition, he will discuss cultural and social trends and influences that affected eating and entertaining from the Industrial Revolution to the beginnings of the Jazz Age.

Dining with Mr. Darcy:  A Look at Food in the World of Jane Austen

The great Jane Austen, the careful chronicler of the social world and customs in late 18th century Regency England used references to food sparingly but significantly in her fiction.  When Austen mentions a dish, she is inevitably telling us something about character or place or situation.  In this talk, food historian, writer and lecturer, Carl Raymond will present an overview of the food world throughout the Georgian era with a special focus on the writings of Jane Austen and food as presented in her novels. Raymond will discuss in detail what was and wasn’t on Georgian tables, how it was cooked, new inventions in the kitchen and garden, and even what Jane and her family cooked and ate themselves.  Most of all, this talk will consider what one might have encountered should one have had the coveted opportunity to share a meal with the complex Mr. Darcy himself.

Gilded Tables:  The Art of Eating in Edith Wharton’s New York

The social world immortalized by Edith Wharton in her great novels The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth was full of grand balls, sumptuous dinners and lavish entertaining.   The famed Gilded Age between the 1870’s and early 1900’s glittered with glamourous characters and staggering wealth.  This talk by food historian Carl Raymond, traces the culinary history of Gilded Age New York with a look at such famed restaurants as Delmonico’s and Sherry’s as well as at the actual menus, dishes and table settings of more private dinners hosted by among others,  Mrs. Astor, the Vanderbilts,  Stanford White and JP Morgan.   Using unique primary source materials, the catering notebooks of Louis Sherry, the great restaurateur, along with a selection of quotes and passages from Wharton’s fiction, diary and letters, Carl weaves a tale of glamour and gastronomy that provides an intimate and completely fascinating glimpse into the dining rooms and kitchens of America’s Gilded Age.  

At the Queen’s Table:  Dining with Anne Boleyn, Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I

The Tudor world, full of passion, intrigue, dangerous politics and even murder, holds an endless fascination for historians, readers and fans of the recent popular films and television series.  This talk by food historian Carl Raymond takes a close and entertaining look at the public and private tables of the three great Tudor queens.

Beginning with the lavish feasts and banquets Henry VIII enjoyed at Hampton Court Palace through to the emergence of the great Elizabethan country house with its lush gardens and often multiple days long celebrations and court entertainments, this talk traces the history through the dishes and dining customs of the Tudors and Elizabethans.  The talk includes descriptions of the great kitchens at Hampton Court along with a discussion of how food was prepared and served to the royal court.  Most interestingly, the talk covers food in the life of Mary, Queen of Scots who, having grown up in the French court of the Loire Valley was perhaps the most food savvy of all these royal queens.



To book this speaker please visit or call 508.485.8996