Dress in Your Best 1920s Attire for This Glamorous CIA Dinner Party

Now's your chance to dress like a flapper and enjoy a host of succulent sirloins and more at the Culinary Institute's revival of an age-old tradition, the Beefsteak dinner.


Photos Courtesy of the CIA

A more than 150-year-old New York culinary (and customarily, overly masculine) tradition is being brought back to life this weekend at the Culinary Institute of America in the form of an all-you-can eat, steak-and-beer-filled beefsteak dinner party.

In it’s fifth year, the CIA Beefsteak dinner is an exuberant revival of the popular pre-and-post-prohibition gatherings, characterized by succulent sirloins and other meats, glamorous jazz-age dress, and an entire lack of utensils. Provided with aprons and butcher hats, beefsteak attendees are encouraged to eat with their hands, as the original beefsteak parties allowed for men to free themselves of standard dining etiquette imposed at home.

Related – History of a Dish: The Beefsteak

The event was traditionally men-only until the Nineteenth Amendment granted women suffrage, which, coincidentally, is when the custom began to adopt a more upscale atmosphere, a wider-ranging menu, and the use of utensils. Of course, the CIA’s Beefsteak is welcoming of everyone to dig into their lavish assortment of sirloins, oysters, mini-burgers, and more. Attendees are encouraged to dress to the nines in their favorite Prohibition-style outfits. Plus, a brass band will complete the scene playing Beefsteak-era tunes and a sing-a-long at intermission.

Some highlights from the coming menu (we’re already drooling, too) are roasted oysters, grilled lamb chops, roasted sirloins with blood and butter gravy, chocolate cake doughnuts, plus crisp and refreshing beer from The Brewery at the CIA. While, as a New Yorker article from 1939 boasts, the original beefsteaks allowed entrée for as little as $5 (translating to around $80 in today’s dollars), the CIA’s ticket is $150. Yet, and event of this size at a venue of the Institute’s culinary stature will sure to be a memorable night revelry and fun. Plus, any chance to dress like it’s the 1920s should not be missed. 

Related – The CIA's Apple Pie Bakery Café Just Got a Gorgeous New Redesign

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