Harry Potter, King Edward, and the SCA converge for a grand feast

What do Harry Potter, King Edward of England, and the Middle Kingdom all have in common? Elements of all three came together recently at Oxford, England, for a most exquisite feast.

A great hall—the very same great hall, in fact, featured as the dining room at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films—at Christ Church College in Oxford was the site of the feast, created by Chef Roland Dépit. The feast attracted food history experts from around the world, places as far away as Hong Kong, Australia, and the United States. One attendee was Dame Alys Katharine, a subject of the Middle Kingdom:

"One, from Ohio, was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international group devoted to recreating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe. She had invented a method for making a gum paste thick and malleable enough to carve into edible 'trompe l`oeuil' objects, some as large as dinner plates and folded napkins. And then discovered the art had been common in Renaissance Italy but the recipe for the medium lost.

The three courses included many fine dishes, such as smoked salmon mousse, cream of Jerusalem artichoke soup, fois gras with truffles, sea bream poached in lobster sauce, and mutton with caper sauce.