The Ingredients of Art: the harmony of living and tasting

The Ingredients of Art

Arch. Maddalena Fortelli, arch. Luigi Pietro Montanari

The imagination of the ‘food chain’, from the field to the vegetable garden, from the slaughterhouse to the stable, is a recurring theme in the work of painters and illustrators. This was noted by Alberto Veca, critic, poet and art historian, opening a reflection on the profound link between cuisine, food and art in the prestigious magazine ‘La Gola [1]’.

But Marchesi, perhaps the greatest Italian chef, had already claimed that ‘beauty is the way of doing things well, and art is in the way of doing something’. A principle that, inevitably, has a bearing on architecture, the discipline called upon to seek a balance, a harmony between functional purpose and being part of the artistic field.



An art, however, that must first and foremost be functional, as demonstrated by some of the most important restaurants that have been able to generate an ambience where gastronomy and surroundings merge into a single ingredient in profound harmony; that harmony that allows for a complete sensory experience, all-encompassing from the very first contact.

Architecture and cooking are fields where it is possible to create an end product from a mixture of ingredients and where the crossing of matter aims at achieving the essence. In cooking, ingredients are the basic elements that combined together create delicious and complex dishes from their individual characteristics: flavour, texture, colour and so on. In architecture, ingredients are the set of technical features that go to define the essence of a space. In both cases: a process of combination and fusion.


Home restaurant dello chef Simone Finetti, Villa Albertina FE


The entrance, the threshold, is therefore the personal or collective access point that attracts the attentive gaze and reflects the personality of the space. The element denotes style and welcome. The correlation between ingredients and home entrance lies in the care and attention we give to both. Whether we are preparing a delicious meal or creating a cosy ambience, the choice and arrangement of basic elements are crucial to creating a pleasant and rewarding experience for ourselves and anyone who enters that place.


Arch. Maddalena Fortelli e Arch. Luigi Pietro Montanari



[1] Magazine founded in 1982 and co-edited by Antonio Porta and Alberto Capatti, with graphic design by Gianni Sassi.  Published from 1982 to 1988 by Intrapresa Cooperativa di promozione culturale, it suspended publication from 1989 to 1990. From 1991 to 1993, the magazine was published by Nibbio Editore in Milan.

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