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Back to the futurists

If I told you that, just outside Maidenhead on Friday night, they’d be serving “black olives, fennel hearts and kumquats presented with corresponding flags of sandpaper, silk and velvet (eat with your right hand and stroke the flag with your left)” you’d probably nod knowingly. If I told you that Heston wasn’t involved and that the menu was lifted from a cookbook nearly 80 years old, you might be a little more surprised.

In fact the dish, catchily named “Aerofood formulated by the futurist aeropainter Filli” is part of a burlington coat factory canada goose coat “Futurist Aerobanquet” to be staged by party artists Bompas and Parr in collaboration with Time for Tea and the Dhillon Hotel Group and coincides with an exhibition celebrating the centenary of the birth of Italian futurism at canada goose coat 1000 bulbs free the Tate Modern.In later years futurism was to have a complicated and not entirely healthy relationship with Italian Fascism, but it’s beginnings just before the first World War seem at least philosophically understandable in hindsight.

A group of young artists, assembling around Filippo Tommaso Marinetti declared their rejection of the deadening influence of tradition and historical precedent in their work and their enthusiasm for what must have seemed then, to be the future: speed, machines, big cities, the freedom canada goose coat 1000 bulbs garland and mobility of the motor car, human flight and, perhaps an unfortunate hint of what was to come, violence. Before world’s first mechanised total war and at the beginning of the west’s technological rise to dominance, it must have made sense – and in a seductively exciting way.

Of course Marinetti was a thinker and artist but he was primarily a patriot and an Italian which meant two things: first there must be a comprehensive and fiercely argued ‘manifesto’ jacket, and then there must be lunch. In 1930, in collaboration with the futurist painter Filli he managed to combine the two by publishing ‘La Cucina Futurista’, a manifesto of futurist cooking.

The manifesto proposed a ban on average price of canada goose jacket pasta, the abandonment of knives and forks at table and courses that could be consumed in a single mouthful. Its recipes embraced technology in their execution and aimed to please all the senses – employing perfumes, trombone playing waiters and dining rooms designed like aircraft with vibrating seats and the sound of roaring engines.

For most of the intervening eight decades, the cookbook has been printed in short runs, bought only by the most dedicated food nerds and largely referred to as an example of the kind of canada goose coat – kensington bonkers idiocy that occurs when artists get their hands on food. Yet recently many elements of the amazon canada goose jacket futurists’ original thinking have become relevant again – the interest in technology, the multi-sensory approach, the desire to shed the yoke of culinary tradition and try new, challenging combinations and presentations – have all popped up again as ‘molecular gastronomy’.

Marinetti’s ideas failed to take broader hold in Italy between the wars. There were many reasons. It is debatable whether any movement to express artistic or philosophical ideas through food can gain any mass appeal if it doesn’t taste great; it’s arguable whether the trends which so excited the futurists lend themselves to something as fundamentally organic as cooking; and, hell – no pasta? Who were they kidding?

What’s relevant today is how our present can you wash a canada goose coat food futurists in Spain and Maidenhead are moving on from where Marinetti ground to a halt – distancing canada goose coat 1000 calorie diet themselves from the scientific technique, the shock and the artistic ‘statement’ of molecular gastronomy and experimenting further with authentic canada goose outlet online the senses and emotions.

Word of Mouth, as ever, fearlessly pushing the culinary envelope on your behalf, will be at the event on best ideas about canada goose outlet on pinterest Friday night. We’ll be clinging to our vibrating seats as we try to get both our mouths and our heads around the main course of ‘Pork Fuselage’ and we’ll report back next week. Tickets are still available here if any WoM’ers would care to join us.

In the meantime, can food ever be used to express ideas – political, philosophical or artistic – or would you rather just get your head into a big bowl of spaghetti?