This event was slightly different to the ones that had preceded it. It took place in a Kingston School of Art Graphic Design studio  during a second year strand studio crit.  The time in which the reading, eating and exchanging could take place had been determined by my tutor- an awkward two o’clock slot in which nobody would be particularly peckish. Unsure as to what I should read and cook I turned to one of my favourite gastronomic tales: The Story of Marcus Gavius Apicius. In terms of what to cook in relation to Apicius’ story, I found a Honey Cake from the cook book “De re coquinaria” often referred to as “Apicius”. The honey cake recipe was  slightly adjusted for the modern palate. 

Below is the story I read to my peers and tutor and the recipes they gave in return can be found in the recipe section of the website under “The Story of Marcus Gavius Apicius”.

The Story of  Marcus Gavius Apicius 
Passtheflamingo (2017) Ancient eaters: Marcus Gavius Apicius, the other other one.

Marcus Gavius Apicius (henceforth referred to as MGA) was a wealthy Roman gourmand who lived in the early part of the first century, during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius (14 – 37 CE). His cognomen of Apicius derives from an earlier Apicius of the first century BCE. This man was not his ancestor; rather, the first Apicius was so much of a gourmet that his name became synonymous with the love of fine dining, so that anyone with a similar interest would receive it as a nickname.

Roman men were known by a personal name, a hereditary clan name and a nickname. Gaius Julius Caesar would have been understood as “Gaius of the Julia clan, called the Caesar.” Children could inherit their father’s identifying nickname or cognomen, and like our family names, they were often passed down for so long that people forgot their origin; Caesar was variously parsed as “Hairy”, “Blue-Eyed”, “Cut”, or having something to do with killing an elephant. But cognomina were originally intended to reflect the most noteworthy thing about an individual. If an individual accomplished something remarkable, they might gain a new cognomen, as when Publius Cornelius Scipio became Scipio Africanus after his military victories in Africa. This was also the case with Marcus of the Gavia clan, called the Apicius, who got his cognomen by loving food more than anyone else in Rome.

He was famous for his grand dinner parties, where he served costly delicacies like cockscombs and flamingo tongues, fish drowned in fish sauce and the livers of fattened pigs. He kept a villa at Minturnae, a seaside town about a hundred miles southeast of Rome, known for its fine shrimp. On hearing that the shrimp of North Africa were even better, Apicius once took a special trip there just to try them. But when locals brought the catch of the day to his ship, he found it underwhelming and had his captain turn around, returning to Minturnae without ever having made landfall.

The publication below was handed to each person in the crit and the texts inside informed discussions

Communal Oven Project (Coming Soon) Communal Oven Project (Coming Soon) Communal Oven Project (Coming Soon) Communal Oven Project (Coming Soon)