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EatMantua 2017

When food and how it is prepared become art.
If it is true that food, the rites that are celebrated around the table, feasting and all it entails are culture, then it goes to say that there are places dedicated to celebrating the marriage between art and food culture; places where these marriages almost achieve absolute beauty. This is true of EatMantua, an event which aims to “restore the value of food and how eating together is a fundamental moment for getting together and creating a sense of community, just as it was at symposiums since the dawn of our civilisation, from ancient Greece to sumptuous Renaissance banquets". We are speaking of beauty because EatMantua is organised in the incredibly beautiful rooms in Palazzo Te, the building commissioned to Giulio Romano (Raphael’s favourite pupil, architect and painter, in a word, a key player during the lavish Italian Renaissance) in the second decade of 1500 by the Marquis Federico II Gonzaga. In the fifth act of his Winter's Tale, Shakespeare praised Giulio Romano as he "who, had he himself eternity and could put breath into his work, would beguile Nature of her custom”. From June to September 2017, visitors to EatMantua can admire his stunning frescoes, highly praised by Giulio Vasari, while learning about the thousands tasty links in traditional Italian cuisine, the ties between the preparation of fruits of the Earth and thought, and the many stories that make the act of eating an emotional journey. There will be round tables and discussions with historians and food historians on the relationship between Italian and European cuisine over the centuries; on the comparison between Renaissance tradition and contemporary cuisine; and on the evolutionary nexus between food preparation and social stratification. Michelin-starred chef Gualtiero Marchesi (without a doubt the most famous Italian chef in the world) will be present with his flavourful excursus on the development of Italian cuisine. EatMantua’s guest chefs will be cooking for visitors on Berto's kitchen islands (our company is the event’s technical sponsor) during the journey through the Giardino dei Sapori (Garden of Flavours), an event within the event which will animate Palazzo Te’s enchanting Garden of Esedra from August 26th to September 10th: every weekend, a Jeune Restaurateur of the JRE (Association that brings together the best young chefs of European Haute Cuisine) will use our kitchens to make dishes with typical Mantuan products, creating original themed dinners. Alongside the programmed initiatives, cocktail shows and musical events, the organisers have arranged a traditional Mantuan patisserie Festival and several video-installations at the Fruttiere (the building which now houses the International Centre for Art and Culture at Palazzo Te). The accounts of Renaissance wine and food and its great protagonists reveal the creative processes behind dishes that are also works of art, just like the personages painted by Giulio Romano, whose mouths appear to be watering as they look down from their places on the walls.


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