31 March 2021

Hot in the City: Masterpieces inspire European Art Feast

| Sophia Brady
Chestnut and bitter chocolate dessert

Chestnut and bitter chocolate dessert inspired by Botticelli. Photo: Supplied.

In a major coup for Australian audiences, the National Gallery of Australia’s current exhibition Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London, draws exclusively from one of the greatest collections of European paintings in the world.

This unprecedented exhibition includes 500 years of art in 60 paintings and comprises the largest group of works ever to travel outside Britain in the National Gallery’s history.

Botticelli to Van Gogh features 55 of the world’s most famous and admired artists from the 15th to the turn of the 20th century, including Botticelli, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, El Greco, Velazquez, Goya, Turner, Constable, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh.

Spanning 450 years, the blockbuster exhibition is on until 14 June 2021 and it provides an overview of Western European art history through seven defining periods: Italian Renaissance painting; Dutch painting of the Golden Age; Van Dyck and British portraiture; The Grand Tour; The discovery of Spain; Landscape and the picturesque; and France and the rise of modern art.

You can see it in style by pairing your viewing with a themed European Art Feast dining experience at First Edition Canberra at the Novotel.

3-course set menu

The curated 3-course set menu pays homage to two of the exhibition’s most revered artists, Vincent van Gogh and Sandro Botticelli. Photo: Supplied.

The curated three-course set menu pays homage to two of the exhibition’s most revered artists, Vincent van Gogh and Sandro Botticelli. Executive Chef Jennie Tressler has matched traditional ingredients of the artists’ respective countries of origins to create the European dining masterpiece.

“My inspiration for this menu was food produced from the era of each artist,” she said. “I researched not only their art but also their lives including origins and habits. I have included some personality traits of Van Gogh on the menu such as his love of absinthe as well as smoking pipes.”

To start, guests will select between the Botticelli-inspired Tuscan prosciutto, with fig in a raspberry reduction topped with a crispy parmesan lace, or the Van Gogh-inspired gouda and smoked heirloom vegetable tart.

Botticelli-inspired Tuscan prosciutto

Botticelli-inspired Tuscan prosciutto. Photo: Supplied.

The mains will deliver a choice of a classic Italian Ragu di coniglio con troffie, which is a rustic rabbit ragu, tossed with a freshly made pasta lemon thyme and pecorino white truffle-infused oil. For seafood lovers, there is a warm beetroot poached salmon, with toasted sunflower seeds, confit orange, and pomegranate.

To complete the night, indulge in either a chestnut and bitter chocolate crostata with hints of rosemary and vanilla bean gelato or, in tribute to Van Gogh, enjoy an apple tompouce with absinthe-infused white chocolate and custard.

The creative team has also designed two cocktails available to compliment the feasting experience with either a Starry Night Cocktail – featuring First Edition Signature gin and Frangelico – or Botticelli classic Aperol Spritz.

Warm beetroot poached salmon

For seafood lovers there is a warm beetroot poached salmon. Photo: Supplied.

First Edition’s European Art Feast three-course menu costs $75 per person and is available through to the end of the Exhibition on Monday 14 June 2021. Bookings are essential via the website.

First Edition is located inside Novotel Canberra, Level 1, 65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City.

Original Article published by Sophia Brady on The RiotACT.

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