Preview 2: Taste Beyond Borders at the Napa Lighted Art Festival 17 Jan 2019

Members of the Ordered Universe team will be in California in January 2019 for the Napa Lighted Art Festival, bringing our favourite blend of medieval history, modern science, and mesmerising art to the west coast of the USA for the first time.

This is the second in a series of posts designed to tell you more about each of our events at the Napa Lighted Art Festival and how you can get involved.


Event: Taste Beyond Borders
Date: 17 Jan 2019
Time: 1pm–2:30pm
Location: CIA at Copia (The Culinary Institute of America), 500 1st Street, Napa, CA 94559
Tickets: We strongly recommend booking tickets for this event. Tickets are free and are available via Eventbrite here.

Come and experience a taste of the past! Giles Gasper, a medieval historian from Durham University, UK and Andy Hook, owner of Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle, UK, will bust myths about medieval European food, and present its credentials as one of the world’s great cuisines. In company with chefs from the Culinary Institute of America they will reveal the delicacies and complexities of medieval European food which was both local and international. Medieval European food was a global fusion, from Indonesia to West Africa. Modern concerns about sustainability, fresh produce, tradition and innovation, have surprising connections with the past.

The talk is part of a series curated by the Ordered Universe Research Project and Durham University, UK, for the 2019 Napa Lighted Festival – Beyond.

About the Presenters

Pic Giles

Professor Giles E. M. Gasper: Giles is a historian of European medieval culture, focusing on science and religion at Durham University, UK. Educated at the University of Oxford and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, he has taught and researched in Durham since 2004. Leader of the Ordered Universe research project since 2008 his other interests encompass medieval food culture and monastic life and thought. Giles collaborates with non-academic partners regularly, with creative arts, restaurants, churches, museums and galleries. He is occasionally to be heard on BBC Radio and seen on BBC Television.

SH0B2993Andy Hook read Physics at Swansea University in Wales, before embarking on a first career in engineering and manufacturing management. After a decade of working in factories he decided to switch careers and opened a restaurant on the North East of England coast. This was quickly followed by others including the acquisition of a 13th century former Dominican friary in the heart of Newcastle from where he has run Blackfriars Restaurant ever since. Juggling the challenges of operating a number of independent commercial restaurants, Andy always has time to immerse himself in Blackfriars’ medieval food history. Blackfriars has been collaborating with Durham University for over 10 years. Together they co-host biannual lectures of medieval food in Blackfriars Banquet Hall.

Images in collage courtesy of Blackfriars Restaurant, Newcastle, UK.

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