About Our Event

Our Meals of Antiquity project seeks to re-create culinary experiences that have been lost to time. In some cases, our meals will represent cultures that are effectively extinct in the modern world, while in other cases, we will examine cooking techniques, styles and flavors that have been lost or abandoned over time.

Babylonian food is unquestionably the best cuisine for us to begin with, as there is sufficient documentation of the period and the culture to find recipes, as well as to assemble possible recipes using actual ingredients available to Babylonians at the time, while carefully avoiding ingredients that may have been used in cooking elsewhere, but not actually available to or used by Babylonians at the time. Thus, you will find no black pepper (not yet imported from India) nor parsley (possibly used only for medicinal reasons) in our recipes, for example. Our menu could have been eaten by the elite of Babylonian society, but some ingredients and preparation techniques would have been beyond the reach of the common citizen.

This particular menu is designed as a seasonal winter menu. We have sourced a particular brew that has much in common with Babylonian beer recipes. For those who prefer a glass of wine, something that Babylonians would not likely have had access to, we have made a well-educated guess at flavor (most likely, these would have been sweet) and will have suggested wine pairings available. The usual Lucha Cartel alcohol and beverage menu is also available. Please note that beverages are not included in the ticket price.

Our event takes place on Sunday, March 15th, 2015. Our first seating on March 1st sold out, so advance tickets are strongly recommended. Lucha Cartel will open at 6:00pm for drinks at the bar and you'll be able to have discussions with members of our team about the process of creating the meal. We will begin serving the meal at 7pm.


Lucha Cartel Restaurant

207 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106

Located in the heart of the Olde City district in Center City Philadelphia, Lucha Cartel is convenient to a number of historical attractions, upscale bars, night clubs, and numerous public transportation options. Recently renovated, Lucha Cartel normally offers a Tex-Mex menu, complemented by an extensive array of choice tequila and other fine liquor. Lucha Cartel will be closed to the public during our event.

Who We Are

The Company

Special Events & Concerts January 1995 - Present

Dancing Ferret Concerts has been promoting concerts and special events in Philadelphia for over twenty years. From intimate club spaces to the Kimmel Center, we've worked with local, national and international performers. We staged two sold-out Uyghur dinner events in 2012 and look forward to returning to the culinary world with this event.

The People

Creative Minds Behind The Scenes

The President of Dancing Ferret Concerts, Patrick Rodgers, conceived the Meals of Antiquity series as a means of encouraging people to explore other cultures, not only as they exist in the present day but also as they existed in the past. Designing Cook Colin Barth had to do extensive research to prepare and test this menu. His favorite moment in designing the menu was determining that an ingredient mistranslated by scholars as "pounded yogurt" actually contained "pounded locusts," something that made the recipe in question much more logical - and sadly, too exotic for our purposes. Lucha Cartel Owner Paul Brown has been a fixture of the Philadelphia hospitality industry for decades, having worked as a bartender and nightclub manager before moving into the restaurant business.


"...dinner like this, with its manifold intellectual and gustatory pleasures, is a firm reminder of why our collective obsession with the food culture of our own time and place - the amazing food scene in Philadelphia, circa early-21st-century - is so riveting and so rewarding." - Brian Freedman, Philadelphia Weekly

"What did make it onto the final menu was unique and delicious...The food tastes exotic but not alien." Justin Mummert, Geekadelphia

"...found it to be as intriguing as it was tasty." a.d. amorosi, Glamorosi Magazine

"The meal has been highly researched by designer Colin Barth in order to ensure its historical accuracy." Mikaela Gilbert-Lurie , Foobooz


Tickets are no longer being sold in advance for this event; however, there will be a limited number of tickets available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. You are welcome to call Lucha Cartel after 6pm to see if any tickets remain (phone: 267-761-9209). The price of a ticket is $49 and includes your choice of soup and bread, salad, entree and dessert. Taxes are included; beverages and server gratuity are not. If you are satisfied with the service you receive, please tip your server accordingly.