The Panareo Art Project was initiated by Alessandro Zezza, the owner of the hotel-resort Masseria Panareo and the curator Francesca Nannini, in spring 2014. I was invited for a residency in the scenic Salento region to be inspired by the nature, the people and their traditions.
The Salento region is located in the southeastern most part of Italy, virtually at the »heel« of the italian »boot« and therefore on a slim peninsula. Here, in the very south of Italy, traditional and modern life styles intermingle. Artisan manufacturing as well as knowledge about wild herbs, regional products, and cuisine are up against a modern, industrialized food culture evidenced by heavily wrapped convenience food.
Extensive walks along the rocky coast, through blooming meadows buzzing with bees, and across never-ending olive tree fields were the source of inspiration for the concept dinner Salento Sauvage – a contemporary journey through Puglia (Salento Sauvage – un viaggio culinario contemporaneo attraverso la Puglia).
The region is wild and beautiful, rich of impressive scenery, and home to good, rustique cuisine. If you take closer look, however, the primary image of this magical landscape is often disturbed by elements of a modern every-day life: empty plastic bottles, cans, and other wrapping materials are lying in ditches, hanging in branches, half-way covered by plants, hiding between rocks and stones, and moving with the waves. The traces of modern civilization bear witness to every-day life and form a part of the scenery along with the poppy flowers, wheat fields, olive trees, and the cliffs.Even though these traces of a modern society are omnipresent, they are rarely mentioned.
I wanted to describe an unaltered image of my impressions with my work and developed a dinner concept which reflected this theme in a sensitive way: between the five main courses we served three intermediate courses, the so-called »contemporary irritations« – fresh local products of the season were served as pure as possible in empty food packaging. On the other hand, each of the main courses reflected the story most prominent in my mind’s eye, one of the rich scenery’s images and the abundance of nature.
Aperitivo | Olive Tree
stuffed rice balls, olive bread, pizza delle cicorie | lavender-thyme-aperitif | room installation, finger food to harvest
Antipasto | Field
ricotta (from the shepard in the neighborhood), ash from wild herbs, pine seeds, wild thyme, fig confit, red wine jelly, jam from mandarines | wooden boardmade of the trunk of a 100 year-old olive tree
Irritation No. 01 | Plastic
young vegetables from the garden, marinated with Masseria’s olive oil (produced byin house)
baby zucchini with flower, carrot, cicoria | half plastic bottle
Primo | Meadow
homemade pasta stuffed with basil and ricotta creme, wild fennel, tomatoes au gratin, starflower, onion flowers, olive oil| tile made of terra-cotta
Irritation No. 02 | Can
mussels au gratin | can, pebble stone
Secondo | Sea
La Paranza* (mixed small fish, fried), sea fennel, lemon dip | plate, shell, »sand«
Irritation No. 03 | Tetra-Pak
apricots, lavender, mascarpone creme |hay, tetra-pak bottom
Dolce | Fruit
almond cookie, lemon creme, apricot, peach | mason jar, fig leave, wooden board
* a typical fisherman’s dish to prepare the small fish that didn’t sell so well at market
bread plays an important role in the italian cuisine. In Puglia, wheat bread is traditionally baked in a stone-oven. Bread is made in various shapes and textures, with dried tomatoes, olives, olive oil or herbs. A specialty of the South is the double baked, very crisp and dry »frisella«, also called »frisa«. For Salento Sauvage, various kinds of bread were put together in an installation on the table, which resembled the rocky coast typical to the Salento region.
- food concept
- aroma and flavour concept
- creative direction