News | Monday, 30th October 2017

Life and works of James Joyce to be explored through food

Elisa Oliver is curating 'Tasting Joyce' as co-editor of food and arts journal 'Feast'

Image from Anthony Burgess curated meal in 2015

The mouth-watering tastes and smells of James Joyce’s Dublin will be recreated for a one-off literary dinner party. 

Tasting Joyce (2nd November, James Joyce Centre) is a culinary journey through Joyce’s life and works, organised by food and arts journal Feast. The full eight-course tasting menu, which will include food and ingredients referenced in his writing, is being kept under wraps until dinner is served on the night.

Diners will consume dishes that will encourage them to reflect and unravel ideas in the writer’s work and bring them full circle into contemporary Dublin.

The event is curated by Elisa Oliver, Senior Lecturer in Art History at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University and Co-Editor of Feast, in collaboration with the James Joyce Centre Dublin and the Irish Food Trail.

'Tasting encounters'

Oliver said: “Tasting Joyce uses food to immerse us directly in the scents and tastes of Joyce’s Dublin, connecting us to period and place and unpacking the ways in which Joyce uses food to mobilise a variety of ideas about Dublin and Irish identity.

“It is not a recreation of food in Joyce’s writing but instead a series of ‘tasting’ encounters designed to reveal how the lens of food can open up new points of access to Joyce’s novels. In Tasting Joyce the culinary arts will sit alongside the literary and the visual ones reverberating off each other in rich and unexpected connections.

“The event is reflective of Feast’s approach, which addresses our relationship with food as a social event, a marker of identity, a product of history and a commodity for trade.”

Food will be prepared by Dave Power, Head Chef at Boxty House Restaurant, who helped develop the menu alongside food scholar Flicka Small. The evening will also include readings and the displaying of artworks by Nuala Clooney and Kaye Winwood.

Tasting Joyce is the second of Feast’s curated meals, having previously presented The Devil’s Supper in Manchester in March 2015 in conjunction with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, which explored regional food and identity in the The Clockwork Orange author’s canon.

In Tasting Joyce the culinary arts will sit alongside the literary and the visual ones reverberating off each other in rich and unexpected connections.

Alongside its programme of events, Feast’s journal combines articles on contemporary arts practices with recipes, food histories and literary narratives that highlight and question the roles that food hold in our everyday life. This touches on issues including the body, consumption, class, sexuality and gender.

Previous printed issues have taken the themes of Indulgence, Digestion and Waste, while the online editions developed around the theme of ‘Setting the Table’ from ‘Cutlery’ to the forthcoming ‘Spaces for Eating’.  Last year Feast held the programme ‘Setting the Table’, a series of public talks and commissions on the cultural resonance of where and how we eat using items from the MMU Special Collections archive.

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