NOTE: Quarantine doesn’t mean the events have stopped! Check for virtual classes conducted over Zoom.

Book me for a lecture or private event at


Above: Sharing the Eleusinian Mysteries at Burning Man 2017, and getting heated talking about Gilgamesh at Brooklyn Brainery (photos by Shawn McGinniss & Kevin Schreck)

Check out the Brooklyn Brainery website for information about my past classes there, including ancient cuisines (Aztec, Greek, Egyptian and Roman), Mesopotamia, the Eleusinian Mysteries, and more! Most of these classes happen on a recurring basis. When a new Brainery class is scheduled, it will appear under “Upcoming Events” below. “Past Events” does not include all past Brainery classes.




The Sumerians: History’s Innovators
Brooklyn Brainery, 190 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Monday, February 4th, 2019
8:30pm – 10pm
$10. Purchase tickets here.

Together, we will follow the Sumerians as they climb the heights of achievement in art, literature and government, from their mysterious origins around 3500 BCE to their disappearance circa 1200 BCE. We’ll hear Sumerian poetry and music, see the sparkling treasures of the Royal Cemetery of Ur, and meet kings and conquerors, priests and priestesses, and the woman who became the first known author.


A Feast for a Queen (Lecture & Tasting)
Felicity House
Tuesday, February 19th & Thursday, February 21st, 2019
Private event

What type of dessert does a queen eat? Only a few women have ruled as monarch of England, but each has exemplified a unique moment in British history. One way to understand more about a society is through that period’s food, and especially the food of the ruling class. From this lecture, we’ll learn about the favorite desserts, eating habits, and table etiquette of the three longest-reigning English queens: Victoria, Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II. In addition to the lecture, we’ll taste each queen’s favorite dessert which will include: gingerbread cookies, Victorian sponge cake, and chocolate biscuit cake.


Cleopatra: Her Life and Legacy
Brooklyn Brainery, 190 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Thursday, February 21st, 2019
8:30pm – 10pm
$10. Purchase tickets here.

In this class, we’ll peel back the layers of myth to examine the historical facts about Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt. We will also consider some of the cultural depictions of Cleopatra in the centuries since her death, and how these differ from reality.


Carthage Must Be Destroyed!: Rome, Carthage, and the Punic Wars
Brooklyn Brainery, 190 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019
8:30pm – 10pm
$11. Purchase tickets here.

In this class, we’ll compare and contrast the two great rival cities of the ancient Mediterranean and their budding empires. We’ll also follow the timeline of the Punic Wars themselves and learn how this ancient power-struggle influenced literature and


Walking Tour & Garden Reception – Athens in Manhattan: The Role of Greek Revival Architecture in Early New York City
Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East 4th Street, New York, NY
Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 [rescheduled due to rain!]
6pm – 8pm

As a burgeoning metropolis in a young republic, 19th-century New York sought to strengthen its position in the world by connecting itself to history—especially Ancient Greece, regarded as the birthplace of democracy. From these efforts, the Greek Revival style of architecture was born, linking New York to the glorious “Golden Age” of Athens in the 5th century BCE.

Join us for a walking tour focused on Greek Revival architecture in the neighborhood of the 1832 Merchant’s House Museum, itself an example of this powerfully symbolic style. Along the way, we’ll learn about the specific features of Greek Revival and compare the realities of Ancient Greek civilization with the ideal presented in 19th-century America.

5-6 p.m. – Walking tour #1
6-7 p.m. – Reception in the garden of the Merchant’s House Museum
7-8 p.m. – Walking tour #2

Co-sponsored by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.


Greco-Persian Dinner
Nerai, 55 East 54th Street, New York, NY
Friday, May 18th, 2018
2 seatings at 6pm and 8:30pm
$79 for a six-course dinner, with wine. Purchase tickets here.

I’m really excited to share this event, the culmination of an ongoing project between myself, Eklektikon Wines and Nerai restaurant. Join us on May 18th for a historic dinner inspired by the Greco-Persian Wars! Sample ancient Greek and Persian dishes side by side, drink ancient-style natural Greek wine and learn about this ancient international clash; a conflict so huge, it inspired the study of history itself.


Pass the Flamingo LIVE: The Cuisine of Ancient Greece
Caveat, 21 A Clinton Street, New York, NY
Wednesday April 18th, 2018
Doors 6:30pm, show 7pm
$10 advance, $15 at door (includes food samples). Purchase tickets here.

After a long day of writing philosophy or besieging Troy, what kind of meal would an Ancient Spartan or Athenian enjoy? Fortunately for us, the Greeks left behind a wealth of information about what and how they ate.

Featuring interactive opening talks on ancient drinking games and ancient aphrodisiacs!


Italian American Museum
, 155 Mulberry Street, New York, NY
Thursday, March 1st, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
FREE. RSVP by calling the Italian American Museum (212) 965-9000 or email or

A toast to the redevelopment of the Italian American Museum as it moves to an expanded new location. Italian hors d’oeuvres provided by Fiorella DiCarlo, Ancient Roman dessert provided by me.


Renaissance Dinner
Master Drawings New York
Wednesday, January 31st, 2018
Private event

I’ll be giving a talk on Medici wedding feasts to accompany a Renaissance Italian dinner I developed.


Collaborative for Food Creatives
W 121st Street, New York, NY
Saturday, January 20th, 2018
$10. Purchase tickets here.

​Hosted by Moving Gastronomy and FED, this pop-up collaborative will offer a platform for chefs, bartenders, and intellectuals to create and perform together. (Featuring an ancient food sample and a brief presentation by me.)


Pass the Flamingo: The Cuisine of Ancient Rome
Caveat, 21 A Clinton Street, New York, NY
Monday January 8th, 2018
Doors 8:30pm, show at 9pm
$10. Purchase tickets here.

Join me on a journey through the Ancient Roman foodscape. We’ll sample recreated Roman delicacies, play a game of Name That Spice, and examine art, archaeology and literature to uncover the Roman love affair with food.


Pregame Your Brain: Saturnalia
, 21 A Clinton Street, New York, NY
Friday December 22nd, 2017
Doors 8:30pm, show at 9pm
$7 ticket includes free drink for the first 100 guests! Purchase tickets here.

You know that December holiday, celebrated for centuries? You know, you give gifts to loved ones, business and government are closed, you get drunk at parties with people you normally don’t hang out with socially? Thats right, SATURNALIA! Come taste some Roman delicacies and learn more about this Ancient Roman celebration as you make your way through 10-minute speed lessons by different speakers (including me).


La Vigilia: Italian Christmas Food Traditions
Italian American Museum, 155 Mulberry Street, New York, NY
Thursday, December 14th, 2017
6:30pm – 8:30pm
$20 suggested donation. RSVP by calling the Italian American Museum (212) 965-9000 or email or

I’ll be co-presenting with host Fiorella DiCarlo about the ancient origins of modern Italian Christmas food and other traditions. Features a complementary tasting and wine-pairing from our sponsors.


MOFAD’s Big Fat Ancient Greek Feast
Museum of Food and Drink62 Bayard Street, Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
6:30pm – 8:30pm
$40. Purchase tickets here.

Though often described simply as a “drinking party”, the original symposium of Ancient Greece was an important social ritual that strengthened the bonds of community. Eating and drinking brought Greek cities together to share everything from jokes and poetry to news and ideas. Join us for a modern twist on this ancient tradition. Coletti will trace the history of the symposium and describe its importance to the Greeks and what it can tell us about their society. Then, we’ll eat a dinner inspired by the unique cuisine of Ancient Greece, with bread provided by Fornino and wine by Eklektikon.

Part of Feasts and Festivals, a photography exhibition and program series in partnership with SAVEUR presented by Roland Foods.


The Symposium: Academic Standup
Caveat, 21 A Clinton Street, New York, NY
Thursday October 19th, 2017, 10pm – 11:30pm
$7. Purchase tickets here.

Academics can be funny too. Alongside others of various disciplines, I’ll be delivering a standup comedy routine about Roman cooking experiments and my kinship with Elagabalus.


Black Earth, Red Earth and Lumpy Beer: The Cuisine of Ancient Egypt
Nerd Nite NYC, Littlefield, 635 Sackett Street, Brooklyn, NY
Friday September 15th, 2017, trivia at 7pm (doors 6:30), presentations start 8:20pm (doors at 8:05)
$14 presentations + trivia, $10 presentations only. Purchase tickets here. 
Enjoy some trivia and learn about Ancient Egyptian food alongside two other fun talks on NYC’s nerdiest topics.


From Eggs to Apples: The Cuisine of the Ancient Romans
QED Astoria, 27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria, NY
Saturday September 16th, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
$20. Purchase tickets here.
What delicacies could you expect to sample as the dinner guest of a Roman Emperor? What about a Roman tradesman, soldier, or shepherd: what was his idea of a decent meal? Come and sample some Roman delicacies and learn about the Roman love affair with food.


The Eleusinian Mysteries: Occult Secrets of the Ancient Greeks
Black Rock City, NV (yup, Burning Man) , Center Camp Cafe
Monday, August 28th, 2017, 10:45am

If you should happen to be at Burning Man 2017, come check out my short lecture on the ancient fertility cult/secret society called the Eleusinian Mysteries. And if you aren’t going to Burning Man, fear not! An extended version of this class comes to Brooklyn Brainery September 20th.


Mesopotamian Mythology
Stone Creek Bar and Lounge, 104 East 27th Street, New York, NY
Sunday, August 20, 2017, 3:00pm
Via the NYC Mythology Meetup Group on RSVP here.


Talks and Turntables: New York at Night
Magick City, 37 Box Street, Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday July 26th, 2017, 7pm – 12am
A new lecture-series-turned-dance-party! I’ll be speaking about the surprising variety of animals (that’s real animals, not party animals) active in New York City at night. RSVP here.


Ancient Roman Dinner Party
Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
May 7th, 2017
I helped spit-roast a lamb and made some other Roman delicacies for a dinner party hosted by my college’s Classics Department. Check out my blog post about it here.