Dining In Style: Sample Met Gala Menus From Over The Years
Image Credit: Flour Shop's Amirah Kassem, known for her exploding sprinkle cakes, catered the desserts for the 2022 Met Gala. Instagram/@flourshop

This post was originally published as part of our daily newsletter, Just One Thing, on April 28, 2023. Subscribe here. (We're awesome about not spamming your inbox!)


COME May 2nd/3rd, and our social media and entertainment news feeds will be taken over by photographs of celebrities dressed in their avant-garde best for the extravagant, over-the-top annual soiree that is the Met Gala. While red carpet updates certainly appeal to our fashion forward *cough* selves, it is the dining aspect of it that truly communes with the depths of our foodie souls. The sad truth is that we won't ever cadge an invite to eat and drink at the Met Gala, but we can look at what's been served in editions past, and enjoy at a distance these gourmet delights.


Four chefs designed a course each for last year's shindig at the Met. Vegan chef Lauren Von Der Pool was in charge of the hors d’oeuvres (served during cocktail hour), Top Chef Season 17 star Melissa King handled the first course, Chef Marcus Samuelsson the entrée, and Flower Shop's Amira Kasem — known for her "exploding sprinkle cakes" — managed desserts. 

Von der Pool's plant-based hors d’oeuvre was a coconut-ceviche tostada bite and compressed watermelon sushi. Truffled potato bites and rice cakes topped with collard greens and cucumber salsa were also among the passed appetisers. Beef tenderloin with a collard-greens slaw and sweet potatoes with a cornbread crumble was Samuelsson's dish, while King told The Cut that she crafted a "hamachi crudo in a citrus broth done in a ceviche style". King's dish incorporated a "yuzu-kosho–and–olive tapenade, a Chinese Sichuan chili oil" and had notes of "pickled kumquats and fresh citrus" in the broth.


Known more for Keke Palmer's viral roast of the plant-based menu, the year's dishes still sounded good (no matter what they actually tasted like). Hello magazine reported the presence of the following on the table: 

Canapés — collard greens hot chow served on coconut buttermilk cornbread, black rice porcini arancini with pumpkin Calabrian chilli sauce, and watermelon tart with smoked yuzu soy on a panipuri cracker

Mains — a blend of creamy barley with corn, pickled turnips, and roasted maitake

Dessert — an apple mousse and apple confit with a calvados glaze.


NYC's top caterer Olivier Cheng was in charge of the sit-down Met Gala dinner in the last pre-pandemic edition. Refinery 29 reported that the menu encompassed: 

For appetisers — baby shrimp toast with lemon, horseradish, and watermelon radishes; an asparagus tart with celery leaf pesto, and tomatoes stuffed with green goddess panna cotta

For the entrée — filet of beef with beet horseradish crema and a tomato rye tartlet, haricots verts in citrus balsamic garnished with orange flowers, braised rainbow carrots with thyme and a mascarpone potato purée

For dessert — gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) cake, flamingo cookies and espresso.


Olivier Cheng catered this year's event too, and executive chef Jenny Glasgow told House & Garden magazine how the dishes had been envisaged:

First was a "cacio e pepe frico" (which, we gather from an NYT Cooking recipe, is a delicate cracker made by baking mounds of grated cheese into weblike crisps) followed by first course of lobster with wild herbs and saffron radish. Baby lamb chops with fresh mint and almond pesto, and branzino with lemon caper brown butter, comprised the entrées. Lastly, "gold dusted truffles, chocolate dipped cape gooseberries... and an amaretto semifreddo ‘drumstick’ cone with a golden pearl on top" added the sweet finale for the night.


The complete menu for the 2017 gala was descriptive (and mouthwatering) enough that we feel compelled to present it to you in its untouched entirety:

— Lobster and King Crab with Caviar Baby Lettuce and Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes in a Lemon-Melon Foam

— Roasted Sea Bass, Citrus Miso Sauce Wagyu Beef, Green Peppercorn Sauce Baby Spring Vegetables

— Matcha, Coconut Mango, and Yuzu Citrus Mochi

— Green Tea and Coffee

— Kikusui Junmai Ginjo Pierre André Chablis, 2015 Louis Chevallier Pinot Noir, 2014


Rounding off our Met Gala dinner retrospective is this menu that had green and baby white asparagus with white sturgeon caviar for the first course, a trio of mains (grilled lamb chops with wild mint, wild striped bass with California dill sauce, mélange of baby vegetables and potatoes), and a fanciful dessert (green apple sorbet on a spun-sugar nest and rhubarb compote) that guests were seemingly enthralled by.