"A meal is an artistic moment like any other"

Evenings at the Friche de la Belle de Mai, exhibitions at Mucem and the Vieille Charité... In Marseille, Emmanuel Perrodin is at the helm of several cultural events. As a traveling chef, his culinary performances delight the public as well as the event designers. We talk to the chef.

What inspires you to create culinary performances?
I am a historian by training, and I’ve always been passionate about art. I discovered the art of cuisine at the age of 30 and established myself in Marseille! I trained with great chefs and I became chef at the Relais 50 restaurant on the Vieux-Port, then, I decided to take the kitchen outside the walls. I wanted to mix my two passions, art and gastronomy. For me, cooking is a language. It is also what shapes us, culturally speaking. We all have the memory of taste. The trigger occurred when the Cantini Museum of Marseille contacted me, two years ago, to develop culinary creations in connection with their exhibition "The dream".

What exactly is a "culinary performance"?
It revolves around an exhibition, it is a tasting that tells a story prompted by the works that are presented. A meal is an artistic moment like any other. For the exhibition "Picasso, Imaginary Journeys" at La Vieille Charité cultural centre this spring, I designed twilight meals in the chapel. The work Still Life with Two Octopuses and Two Cuttlefish inspired me, for example, to create a dish of an octopus cooked with red cabbage and baking soda which turned it slightly blue. I added a sauce with dark red wine, a dash of ink and cassava pulp. At the end, the guest discovers that he painted while eating! These meals create a space for sharing in the museum.

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Marseille in Provence