Futurist Chicken

I didn’t think I’d ever share a recipe with you all, but here’s one of my absolute favorites!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Get your chicken and season appropriately with your favorite spices and seasonings
  3. Put a handful of steel ball bearings inside
  4. Roast for an hour or until done (make sure the steel flavor has completely infused)
  5. Garnish with whipped cream

Are you confused? I would be very surprised if you weren’t!! This definitely isn’t a favorite recipe of mine (sorry for the dishonesty) but it is one that should spark your interest if you’re a Futurist!

The Futurist movement originated in the early nineteenth century in Italy with a manifesto written by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. The ideas surrounding modernism were so pervasive throughout society already, so the futurists took that idea and ran with it. The love of industrialization, violence, and speed was represented through poetry, theater, music, art, politics, and even cuisine. A passionate love for war makes this movement idealize modern ideas on a terrifying scale. In his manifesto, Marinetti says “We will glorify war – the world’s only hygiene – militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.” (Marinetti, Futurist Manifesto) Naturally, the violent, nationalistic ideals of this movement caused many Futurists, including Marinetti, to support Mussolini with support back.

Holy Palate Restaurant in Turin
Here is a picture of some of the staff from the Holy Palate in Turin! See this article for this picture and for more information on the restaurant!

So yes, Steel Chicken was definitely on the menu for Futurists. At Tavern of the Holy Palate, the Futurist restaurant that opened in Turin, diners could “enjoy” this dish as well as many others with strange flavor combinations. Since the movement was concerned with ridding the country of its past in order to look toward the future, pasta was definitely not on the menu. A strict policy of seeing pasta as a representation of all things wrong with the past must have made for a pretty sad time for many Italians (who doesn’t want to eat pasta??). As well as an emphasis on the meals being cooked in a Futurist style, the ambiance of the restaurant was equally shrouded in modernity. Forks and knives, considered abhorrent devices of the past, were swapped for the hands and fingers as a way to consume food. Swatches of fabrics of various textures were encouraged to be interacted with while eating, perfume was lightly misted through the air during the meal, and a Wagnerian opera could be heard coming from the kitchen for diners to enjoy. All of these certainly made for a full sensory experience of Futurist dining!

In terms of art, the Futurist artists were absolutely disengaged from the past. They sought to break from any artistic norm and submerge themselves in creating art that represented their love of speed, movement, progress, and modern materials. Umberto Boccioni’s Development of a Bottle in Space, made in 1912 and cast in 1913, is a perfect example of futurist sculpture. The representation of a bottle, simultaneously emerging out of the base and flowing back into it. The abstract design of this bottle is created by curving lines that reinforce the Futurists interest in depicting motion. There are pockets of mass and then pockets of void created, and this piece is obviously meant to be walked around to take in its full artistic effect.

Though I’m not super down with futurism because of its blatant misogyny and nationalistic tendencies, it was so interesting to research this movement to see how people from the early 20th century reacted to modernity. I hope you enjoyed reading and let me know if you’d ever try Steel Chicken! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Futurist Chicken

  1. Thanks for your informative article and *delicious* recipe, Ivy. The Futurists did make interesting work the pushed the boundaries of poetry, theater, music, art, politics, and, lol, food. Sadly, when I first learned about the Futurists during my own undergraduate experience, their love of war and violence, nor their disdain toward women, was never even mentioned. Glad to see you shining the light of truth at their misogyny. I’m equally pleased to discover that more contemporary, honest resources are available that provide a more accurate picture of this strange movement and their members.

    1. It’s so sad to see history erasing itself as it goes so as to cover its less favorable parts!! Yes, it was very jarring to read such scorn for women and anti-peace policies in an otherwise passionately modern movement. I’m glad I was able to get the full story!

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