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Food in Art

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Key Information

100% Online
Learn at your own convenience

Live learning and discussion with instructor every week
50 Hours of Learning
10 weeks of study: 4-5 hours per week
Course offered in English

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the role of food in various art forms, from paintings, to literature, to film, over different periods throughout history.
  • Critically engage with the aesthetic objectives and defining characteristics of each period, whether it is religion or realism, pleasure or provocation, and understand the meaning of food in delivering these objectives.
  • Make connections between food as an object and tool in art and as a window to culture and gastronomy.
  • Interpret art with confidence, aesthetically and politically, and discover your style preference when it comes to the representation of food in art.
  • Apply artistic techniques and concepts learned in this course in your professional and/or personal life.

    This course explores a wide range of paintings, literature, film and photography to discover what food means to the artist and the culture in which it was created and what role it plays to communicate a message that is relevant for the cultural, political, and social background of the time period and for the future. Be prepared to question our food choices and our relationship with the society and the environment.


    Who is this course for?

    This course will appeal to starting or second career professionals with diverse backgrounds, who want to build or develop their skills in culinary arts. It will be of interest to chefs, food writers, bloggers and editors, food designers, social media content creators, food marketing professionals, food photographers, food stylists, and gastronomes. The course will expand their knowledge and views in world history, geography, and politics thus enabling them to make more connections between food and other topics.


    Instructor: Demet Güzey

    Demet Güzey is a food writer, researcher, and educator. She is the author of two books: Food on Foot (2017) and Mustard (2019, the winner of Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in herbs & spices category). She has published articles on the history of food ingredients, traditions and art in magazines ranging from Gastronomica to EATEN, and has held many educational retreats combining food history, art, writing and cooking. Demet has a PhD in Food Science, a Diploma in Gastronomy, a WSET Level 3 Wine Certificate; she currently teaches food and culture at USAC in Verona, Italy.


    Career Opportunities

    Participants can employ the skills they acquire in this course in their existing or future career in many ways, especially in creativity. Build new content for online or print communication, write about new topics, design or cook new foods or market food products with newly developed skills in making connection to the world of art. Be inspired to appreciate the role of food in art and how it communicates about cultures across human history. Participants will have a deeper understanding of gastronomy no matter which part of it they work or intent to move into. Chefs, hospitality professionals, food designers, food and wine event organizers, marketers of food and wine, destination guides, art and gastronomy experience consumers, and gastronomes will enjoy this course.

    Here is the course outline:

    Introduction to Food in Art

    Meet Demet Guzey, your instructor. Get started with an introduction to the main concepts and ideas for discussion: What is Art? What is the Role of Food in Art? Can Food be Art?

    Prehistory, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome

    Explore the first examples of food in art, from cave drawings, to mosaics, to paintings, with a focus on the importance of wealth and status.

    The Middle Ages

    Explore the symbolism of food in religious paintings, illustrations and manuscripts of foods, preparations and banquets. Including the influence of the church, class differences and dietetics on medieval society and art.

    The Renaissance and Baroque Periods

    Examine the humanistic and the aesthetic principles of beauty and pleasure through discovery of Italian and Dutch paintings.

    The 19th and 20th Centuries

    Explore the development and change of how food is viewed through the lens of arts in an ever-changing world, following the shift in focus from beauty, nature and realism to provocation and social and intercultural meaning.

    Food in Modern Sculptures, Installations, Performances & Fashion

    Discover installations and performances pertinent to food from around the world as we question the boundaries of food as art.

    Food in Literature

    From food novels to food poetry to food memoir, we will examine the role of food in literature.

    Food in Photography

    From food landscapes to hyper-realistic food photographs, identify conceptual visual images which challenge us to think about food differently.

    Food in Film

    Examine moving images as an art form and clips from food films ranging from the classics to cartoons. Food can be employed as a narrative device to create meaning and contribute to the formation of identity.

    Food in Art and Hospitality

    From avant-guard to Eat Art movement, to anti-meals and anti-art - understand how performance and movements that focus on food as artistic material can portray eating as a performance.


    The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

    Statement of Results
    Certificate of Completion 2022
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