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Folger Gala 2015

June 5, 2015

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This year’s Gala at the Folger Shakespeare Library celebrated the 300th anniversary of the British Longitude Act of 1714, which offered a huge reward (over $4 million) for any practical way to determine longitude at sea. The longitude problem was so difficult that—despite the hefty reward—it took five decades to solve it.

The Folger’s exhibition from the National Maritime Museum, Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude and its navigational instruments, were a fitting backdrop in this celebration of the journey of learning.

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The menu was designed with an ‘East Meets West’ theme to underscore the exotic ingredients, rare delicacies, unique flavors and spices that came from the exploration and expansion of the Eastern Trade Routes.

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The first course featured Miso-glazed Shrimp served chilled with segments of Ginger-infused Pink Grapefruit, toasted Coconut, and salty Sea Beans with a smear of Spinach-Watercress Emulsion and airy Rice Paper Crisps.

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For the main course, a traditional Guinea Hen Roulade filled with a of rich confit Hen, Scallion Butter, Chives and Wild Mushrooms, was cooked Sous Vide, roasted then finished with a Ruby Port reduction scented with Star Anise.  Black Forbidden Rice with Purple Cauliflower, tournéed Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas and crisply fried Lotus Root Chips complete the plate.

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The dinner ended with a Coconut-Yuzu Parfait on a buttery Gingersnap Cookie Crust topped with tiny peaks of toasted Meringue and garnished with Pineapple-Yuzu Curd and Coconut Tapioca Pearls.

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Erik Duran‘s brilliant florals, lighting by Atmosphere and rich linens and table settings from Perfect Settings set a stately and opulent tone in the Folger’s Galleries and Reading Rooms.

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The generosity of the event’s sponsors, guests, and donors raised funds to support the Folger’s continuing mission to explore, educate and engage.

Photography by: Pixelme Studios – thanks, Pepe!