Scalco, Et Cameriero Secreto; Italian Handwriting in Calligraphy and Illumination – Alessandra Serena Renda of Gibellina

Bartolomeo Scappi came from the town of Dumenza in Lombardy, according to the inscription on a stone at the church of Luino. His date of birth is unknown, but is placed at the beginning of the 16th century, even though his death occurred around 1570.  He died April 13, 1577 and was buried in the church of SS Vincenzo and Anastasio alla Regola which is dedicated to cooks and bakers. The church was demolished shortly before 1888 for the construction of the embankments of the Lungotevere dei Vallati 

Bartolomeo Scappi was a 15th century Italian famous cook, who professionally cooked for Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio as well as other Cardinals in the Vatican and Pope Pius IV. He was the private chef to Pope Paul III and Pius V and was the author of one of the most complete books on gastronomy during the year of 1570. He organized a banquet/feast while he was in the services of Cardinal Lorenzo. Scappi is often considered one of the first internationally renowned celebrity chefs. Besides being an excellent cook, he was also a far-sighted forerunner of cooking techniques. 

During the year of 1570 he wrote the book Opera dell’arte del cucinare. The book contains over a thousand recipes of the Italian Renaissance. It describes cooking techniques, tools, technical solutions in catering, cooking lessons, description of dishes, food conservation suggestions, the setting of banquets, everything a high-level Renaissance chef needed to know and gives the first known image of a fork. It also gives the first hint of dietary cooking for the sick and infirmed and reflections on food hygiene. Scappi had a strong love for Parmigiano Reggiano and claimed it “the best cheese in the world” 

Opera Dell’arte del cucinare is mainly written in Italian it has be partially translated in Spanish, Dutch, and English. 

I picked this entry as my submission for the competition because, not only is it in relations with my persona but it is fun writing in a different language and remembering certain words that my father had said to me or taught me when he was alive.

I was gifted an e-document of the book Opera di Bartolomeo Scappi, from my cousin who lives in Sicily, he has been a big supporter of my SCA participation and enjoys the history of cooking too. The excerpt I wrote is from the beginning of the book. It is an 810-page book, full of cooking knowledge, information and images, of kitchens with the names for the tools, equipment and supplies. Maybe there is some vino there too.

Lady Krystalis Capoziello da Napoli of Shire of ACG and I translated the writing through Google Translate, and some Italian language that we know.

16 thoughts on “Scalco, Et Cameriero Secreto; Italian Handwriting in Calligraphy and Illumination – Alessandra Serena Renda of Gibellina

  1. Thank you. 🙂 I had so much fun working on it. There’s so much info in the book that I can only do a piece at a time.

  2. Parmigiano Reggiano definitely is “the best cheese in the world”. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Simply wonderful! I love the influence and inspiration of your father’s memory. Amazing!

  4. What a unique and interesting topic to use in a C&I piece. Ienjoyed reading about your research, it makes me want to learn more!

  5. I love both this cookbook and your discussion of it as a C&I project. I also love the discussion around Italian culture. Really beautiful work.

  6. Beautiful project; I especially love the olive branches! And I appreciate that you included some of Scappi’s biography — so interesting! I have to agree with him on the parmigiano (lol).

  7. What a great project!! I definitely agree with Scappi that Parmigiano Regiano is the best cheese!!
    Thank you for sharing your work with us!!
    Now I want a nice bowl of cheesy pasta!! ☺

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