Thursday, 15 September 2011

A "celebrity chef" of 1800

We are all used to see celebrity chefs on the tv nowadays. They probably spend more time in front of the cameras than in their kitchen. However it is not something totally new.

In the 18th century, in Italy there was somebody already keen in becoming a celebrity chef.  Pellegrino Artusi was his name. This year, a century after his death, its masterpieces in the kitchen and in its books are still around and considered more than ever the real bases of the Italian culinary traditions.

A bit of history to introduce the star of the show..

Pellegrino Artusi was born in Forlimpopoli on 4th August 1820, the only male son among seven sisters. His father, Agostino was a wealthy businessman dealing with colonial items.
 After his studies at the Bertinoro’s Seminary, he started dealing with his father business as well as cultivating his passion for literature and cooking,

His masterpiece, “La scienza in cucina e l’ arte di mangiar bene” (The kitchen science and the art of well eating) is still considered a mile stone of the family culinary tradition in Italy and abroad. It collects 790 receipts, from broth to liqueurs, passing through soups, hors-d’ ouvres (or well “starters”), second dishes and cakes. The approach is a didactic one (“with the practical manual – Artusi writes – it’ s sufficient to be able to keep a ladle in the hands”). The receipts are followed by the author’ s reflections and anecdotes, as he writes in a witty style.

It is a real pleasure to read the book, which is available in English as well. It has cultural insights, which help the reader understand where much of the Italian culinary tradition come from.

Artusi is not just a book or a name; it became in the years a brand, which have been used to promote gastronomic tourism in the Artusi’s region, Emilia Romagna, already strong in the food and beverage field.

Furthermore, a wide range of culinary events and cooking classes are organized by CASARTUSI, which is “the centre of gastronomic culture dedicated to Italian home cooking”. CASARTUSI involves a library, dedicated to the “celebrity chef”, a restaurant, where receipts are inspired by the above-mentioned book, and a cooking school. Everything under one name : Artusi, which with is scientific approach to cooking, and without the use of tv and social media have been surviving for a century and will last for ever.

If you want to find out more visit:  .