Eating Architecture

Jamie Horwitz, Editor, Paulette Singley, Editor
Jamie Horwitz, Editor, Paulette Singley, Editor MIT Press (MA) $44 (385p) ISBN 978-0-262-08322-5
Reviewed on: 05/01/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Paperback - 373 pages - 978-0-262-58267-4
Hardcover - 410 pages - 978-0-262-27574-3
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These 20 inquisitive, sophisticated and offbeat essays explore the junctions between cookery and architecture, probing the unexpected links between the two art forms. They're more numerous than one might imagine-as Phyllis Pray Bober reminds readers in the volume's prologue, Antonin Careme, father of French cuisine, claimed, ""Most noble of all the arts is architecture, and its greatest manifestation is the art of the pastry chef."" Separated into four sections, ""Place Settings,"" ""Philosophy in the Kitchen,"" ""Table Rules,"" and ""Embodied Taste,"" these essays delve into colonialism, tourism, Canada and modern art, all examined through the twin lenses of food and form. Barbara L. Miller, who teaches art at Western Washington University, uses the theme of gingerbread houses to discuss, among other things, the spaces of 1950's domesticity. Ferruccio Trabalzi, a Los Angeles urban planner, writes about the ways in which places like Napa Valley, the Champagne region and Tuscany have thrived commercially by protecting their original foodways and architecture. And Daniel S. Friedman, director of the Univ. of Illinois, Chicago's architecture school, writes beautifully of the food-based cinematic masterpiece Babette's Feast. The volume also includes a selection of weirdly lovely full-color images of food and food-related ideas as depicted by architects. While undeniably academic in tone-and tough going in spots-this book is also accessible and fascinating, a delicious tour through modern culture as experienced through the buildings we inhabit and the foods we eat.
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