Profs and Pints Presents “Food and Diplomacy: An Ambassador’s Perspective,” with Martin Dahinden, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States
Monday, February 11, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Join Profs and Pints for a talk with Ambassador of Switzerland Martin Dahinden, who will explain how he has researched centuries of anecdotes about dishes, chefs, bakers, and gastronomes to prepare a strategy for portraying his country through food.
Lord Palmerstone, the legendary British prime minister and three-time foreign minister, famously said that “Dining is the life and soul of diplomacy.” He didn’t mean that diplomacy is all about eating, rather that diplomats are hard at work even while dining because official dinners and cocktail receptions allow diplomats to exchange information and opinions more freely than they can at conferences or meetings. Great diplomats of history, such as Talleyrand and Metternich, were masters at using the convivial setting of mealtime to pursue political objectives.
The distinguished guests are not the only communicators at an official dinner: the menu itself conveys important messages. Through choices of ingredients, dishes, and presentation, states and institutions can portray themselves as they’d like their counterparts to see them.
History holds many examples of how leaders—and the chefs working for them—have shaped narratives with food. An improvised dish, supposedly prepared for Napoleon after a decisive victory, became an instant favorite of the French emperor and made its way into the canon of French haute cuisine.
1847 Columbia Road N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
General Admission: $12.00 - $15.00
Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.