Situated in a neoclassical, 19th-century building in the historic center of Athens, the museum helps to promote the richness of Greek gastronomy, as well as its historical and cultural value.
One current exhibit – #TheReflectionOfThePlate – perfectly demonstrates how the museum takes a thoughtful look at food and its impact on culture.
Cooking class at the Museum of Greek Gastronomy — Photo courtesy of Museum of Greek Gastronomy
In general, the Museum of Greek Gastronomy program creates a holistic experience for visitors; it combines a full-time restaurant and cooking classes with an event hall and an exhibition space, thus allowing everyone to learn about Greek food from the stage of production to that of consumption, in an experiential and entertaining way.
So far, the museum has presented two exhibitions on Greek gastronomy, focused on thematic directions that range from tradition to technological applications.
The current exhibition, #TheReflectionOfThePlate, bridges gastronomy with contemporary art.
According to exhibition curator Lina Mantikou, the subject of food has lately become dominant within the realm of social media. Sharing images of food preparation as well as the aestheticized presentation of a meal have become so common that it would be accurate to refer to this as a global, everyday practice.
The key concept of the exhibition #TheReflectionOfThePlate is that contemporary culture can be read through the reflection that food and its surrounding practices shed upon it.
The strong relationships between dietary habits and culture from the prehistoric times up until today highlight the fact that food and its practices are among culture's most important features.
Work by Yannis Kapellos in the "#TheReflectionOfThePlate" art exhibit — Photo courtesy of Museum of Greek Gastronomy
For the purpose of this exhibition, 12 contemporary Greek artists were asked to explore and express some aspects of contemporary culture, using food as their tool.
As the curator explains, they worked with concepts such as meal, raw material, ingredient and etiquette and eventually each of them produced both a work of art, a commercial object now available at the museum's gift shop and a recipe for the museum restaurant's menu.
Through this triptych, the artists approached the question, "What do we propose, what do we produce and do we actually consume what we produce?" It's a question relevant to all of us within our contemporary world.
#TheReflectionOfThePlate opened in March 2015 and will be presented until Sept. 30, 2015. When you visit it, make sure you have time to relax in the beautiful courtyard of the museum and enjoy some of the artsy recipes the 12 artists have created for the restaurant.
Participating artists include Katerina Velliou, Yiannis Grigoriadis and others.