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A two-day event dedicated to the cultural history of food in India & Italy and a celebration of food in our cinemas.

12th & 13th December Protected content

Saturday Protected content am to 4.30 pm
Sunday Protected content am to 2.30 pm

Somaiya Centre for Lifelong Learning,
2nd Flr, Somaiya Bhavan, 45/47 Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Flora Fountain, (Above Kitab Khana)
Fort, Mumbai - Protected content

Rs. Protected content - (inclusive of Lunch, Tea, Coffee)

Call: Protected content Mail: Protected content

SESSION 1: DEC 12, 11.00AM – 1.00PM - CUISINE ITALIAN STYLE: An introduction to the history of Italian food and cuisine from its Roman origins to its transformation in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, passing through the revolution carried by the products & ingredients of the New World till pizza and pasta conquer the world. It will highlight the central role of food in Italian history, culture, religion, daily life, art & literature through an analysis of historical documents and archaeological studies.

SESSION 2: DEC 12, 2.00PM – 4.30PM – CUISINE INDIAN STYLE: Drawing on gastronomic references in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as well as historical evidence, this lecture will outline a cultural, political and social history of food practices in India from antiquity to the controversies of today. While acknowledging the difficulty of conceptualising an “Indian” cuisine, some of the fundamental philosophical ideas behind food in India’s different religious/linguistic traditions will be highlighted as also the diverse sources of its ingredients. It will make us ponder whether the examples of assimilation and transformation in Indian cuisine are emblematic of larger questions of identity.

SESSION 3: DEC 13, 10.00AM – 12.00 NOON – FOOD IN ITALIAN CINEMA- From the hunger of the Second World War, to “The Grande Bouffe” of the economic boom in the Sixties/Seventies till the “invasion” of American food culture in the Eighties, the lecture will explore the role of food in neorealist cinema and arthouse cinema as well as “commedia all’italiana”.

SESSION 4: DEC 13, 12.30PM – 2.30PM – FOOD IN INDIAN CINEMA – Starting off from the numerous analogies between food and aesthetics in the Natyashastra, the lecture will explore how food has been used in Indian cinema to bring out character in some cases. In others, it has been an integral element of the plot where characters come together or get separated over issues growing out of food preferences.


Luca Bernardini studied Philosophy and History at the University of Padua. In Italy he worked for Slow Food, an international eco-gastronomic organization that promotes traditional food. He now lives in Mumbai and works as a consultant for Italian restaurants of the Taj Hotel network. He teaches Italian and is the Indian coordinator for the worldwide restaurant guide Slow Food Planet.

Indranil Chakravarty is a film academic and writer who studied at the International Film School in Havana (Cuba) and has been Professor of Screenplay and Film History at FTII (Pune) and Whistling Woods (Mumbai). At home, he spends much of his time in the kitchen and loves intense conversations about food. In Jan Protected content , he is joining the Film Department of Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) for research and teaching.

An event organised by:
Somaiya Centre for Lifelong Learning

In collaboration with:
Istituto di Cultura Italiana - Mumbai