Both chefs and artists share creative paths. Both seek ultimately, expand limits and manage to renew the way we relate to an object, an experience. The relationship between culinary and visual art has always existed in Art History. Artists who are inspired by food, chefs who are inspired by art.
At the Usina del Arte (Buenos Aires, Argentina) during 2018 a program for kids was developed by chef Juliana López May, “Experimento cocina” (Cooking experiment/ kitchen experiment). Cooking classes in a location specific of visual arts, where children learned guided by the best chefs, about seasonal products and healthy eating habits, with the added value of using local products.
The word ‘Curator’ is a neologism, a new word in relation to the visual arts. The curators in ancient Rome, were public officials, magistrates or imperial officials in charge of administrative tasks in a specific field. In this sense, the word is valid for the visual arts as well as for gastronomy.
The clearest example of inspiration between art and food is number one chef on the list of best restaurants in the world: Massimo Bottura. With his Osteria Francescana, he has revolutionized Italian cuisine, to which he has incorporated contemporary art.
A gray circle hanging from the wall, by Bosco Sodi. The hyperrealist sculpture of the security guard, nicknamed Frankie, by Duane Hanson. A “guard”, who watches “We are the revolution”, a self-portrait by Joseph Beuys.
“The landscape of Elger Esser represents the valley of the Po that is flooded. So it is an image of both devastation and regeneration because the river behind it leaves the fertility of the silt. I remember it in the first person because my father had land on the coast and when it happened it was a disaster. “(Alessandra Maldonesi interview for Reporter Gourmet).
A room dedicated to the birds of Carsten Höller.
The Damien Hirst room. “The pink monochrome represents women, who in our kitchen are fundamental.” In 2016 Bottura receives an email from Damien Hirst, who had read his book and offered him a piece. “I chose one painted for the Olympic Games in London (” Spin “) and it is the picture that inspired me for my “Beautiful psychedelic veal not flamed grilled “. I took all the contours and turned them into chewable colors, shot on the plate in a seemingly random way. They represent the door open to the unexpected, the happy triumph of those who can transform a problem into an opportunity “. (Alessandra Maldonesi interview for Reporter Gourmet).
Although perhaps the most important work is the work of the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, “Tourist”. As Bottura tells in the first episode of Netflix’s Chefs Table, seeing the work of this artist at the Venice Biennale in 2011 opened his perspective on tradition and innovation and changed his perception of food.
In El Refettorio (Milan), a place of solidarity and culture, promoted by the Chef through the Food for Soul project, there are works by Gaetano Pesce, Carlo Benvenuto, Enzo Cucchi, Mimmo Paladino and Maurizio Nannucci.
In terracotta, the Porta dell’Accoglienza (Welcome Door) of Paladino contains the primary elements of life, which are water, earth, bread and the eternal transmigration of peoples.