- Winner, Jackets Category, 2005 Association of American University Presses (AAUP) Book, Jacket, and Journal Show.
386 pp., 8 x 9 in, 83 b&w illus., 47 color plates
- Published: February 17, 2006
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Published: May 21, 2004
- Publisher: The MIT Press
A highly original collection of essays that explore the relationship between food and architecture—the preparation of meals and the production of space.
The contributors to this highly original collection of essays explore the relationship between food and architecture, asking what can be learned by examining the (often metaphorical) intersection of the preparation of meals and the production of space. In a culture that includes the Food Channel and the knife-juggling chefs of Benihana, food has become not only an obsession but an alternative art form. The nineteen essays and "Gallery of Recipes" in Eating Architecture seize this moment to investigate how art and architecture engage issues of identity, ideology, conviviality, memory, and loss that cookery evokes. This is a book for all those who opt for the "combination platter" of cultural inquiry as well as for the readers of M. F. K. Fisher and Ruth Reichl.
The essays are organized into four sections that lead the reader from the landscape to the kitchen, the table, and finally the mouth. The essays in "Place Settings" examine the relationships between food and location that arise in culinary colonialism and the global economy of tourism. "Philosophy in the Kitchen" traces the routines that create a site for aesthetic experimentation, including an examination of gingerbread houses as art, food, and architectural space. The essays in "Table Rules" consider the spatial and performative aspects of eating and the ways in which shared meals are among the most perishable and preserved cultural artifacts. Finally, "Embodied Taste" considers the sensual apprehension of food and what it means to consume a work of art. The "Gallery of Recipes" contains images by contemporary architects on the subject of eating architecture.
Carême threw down the gauntlet when he declared architecture the most noble of the arts and pastry the highest form of architecture. A century and half later, Eating Architecture picks up the gauntlet and runs to imaginative lengths in its exploration of the architectural aspects of food and the gastronomic aspects of architecture. An important and original contribution, full of delightful surprises.
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, author of Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage
This book is a stately banquet with four menus containing intellectual dishes of increasing physical and conceptual depth. By contextualizing the production of food, architecture, and language within broader cultural, social, and economic forces, the essays give this book its academic breadth and a capacity to enrich a diverse readership. Eating Architecture can be savored in one long and indulgent session or in little tidbits with equal relish. It is easy to digest, and if indigestion ensues, it is only due to the surfeit of its riches.
Katerina Ruedi Ray, Director, School of Art, Bowling Green State University
Cooking, like architecture, manifests itself in building. The cook, like the architect, draws on an infinite array of creative resources which make it possible to create wonders from basic construction materials. But even using the finest marble or the best caviar, success is not guaranteed. Architecture, like cooking, evolves and lasts in the form of memories, tastes, and temperatures.
Ferran Adrià, head chef, El Bulli restaurant, Barcelona
Eating Architecture is an immensely original and fascinating work. It brings together analyses of food and drink with materialities and design to produce a delightful feast.
John Urry, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University
Two essential and connective parts of our culture, food and architecture, are brought together in a serious and provocative fashion with Eating Architecture. If it wasn't clear before that the two rule the world, it will be now.
Michael Maltzan, architect
Poolside reading for gourmets with upper-echelon IQs.
...Serves up a surprisingly palatable experience.
Like the chef at a fusion grill, Eating Architecture revels in the eclectic, the diverse, even the idiosyncratic. The editors have wisely resisted the temptation to elicit homogeneity from their contributors, and the result is a collection of essays that truly sings—a bold polyphony of distinct voices that jostle and flirt as they map, trace, and sculpt the interpenetrations of food and space. From the analytic to the anecdotal, from the incisive to the suggestive, the essays in Eating Architecture will both challenge and reward the curious reader.
Mark Morton, University of Winnipeg, author of Cupboard Love: A Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities