One meal, one person: who would you choose?

For me, certainly not George Washington. In light of this article I read last week, I’d be too disturbed thinking about what was going on inside his mouth. But that got me wondering what historical figure I would most want to have a meal with. Certainly it would have to be someone who enjoys food: perhaps a hedonistic French monarch (he would be hosting, of course); or maybe Napoleon, if he could spare a moment from taking over the world; or someone who could teach me a thing or two while we ate, someone like Brillat-Savarin or Claude Levi-Strauss. Confucius would be a good bet to have an enlightening repast with; Buddha, too, and based on his girth, I’m sure he could keep up with me. If I had to choose a contemporary food network celeb, I’d be tempted to go with the ever good-natured Ina Garten; it’d be tough, though, since Ted Allen and Alton Brown both tickle the nerd in me. (Jeffrey Steingarten does not.) One could not be blamed for wanting to wine and dine leaders like Obama, inventors like Thomas Edison, luminaries like Steve Jobs, artists like Michelangelo or Monet. Ah, the possibilities..though, as long as my dining companion was someone with whom I could eat without abandon, have a good laugh and a meaningful conversation, it wouldn’t matter what worldly accomplishments s/he brought to the table. It could just as well be someone history did not remember.

If you could have an intimate meal with one person (or character), who would it be?

p.s. – some more presidential food facts for your feeding pleasure.

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