Capillary and continuous
The inspirational principles of the Accademia translate into numerous and concrete initiatives addressed externally towards scholars, enthusiasts, lovers of the civilisation of the table and - inside the Accademia's own organisation - towards Delegations in Italy and abroad, Academicians and Delegates, in order to ensure an ever lively attention and to avoid moments of inertia. Because awareness, like knowledge, never ceases.
The continuous studies and research which the Accademia carries out about everything that concerns the civilisation of the table, also emerge from an intense convivial activity, which, other than provide an occasion for meetings and fervid exchanges of ideas, represents a very intense moment of participation: the moment of the banquet intended in the Dantesque sense. Every convivial meeting is in fact an occasion for cultural interventions bound to the moment, the place and the circumstance.
Conviviality is, moreover, an expression of hospitality, of the communication of the life, intelligence and diplomacy, which often makes very different table companions more reasonable and well-disposed.
Culture and the divulgation and safeguarding of the convivial spirit is thus very important to the Accademia - and so it should be. It is for this reason that the Accademia, as part of its activities, organises very significant events.
The ecumenical dinner
This event is organised on the same day by all Delegations, in their respective territories, in order to ecumenically celebrate the theme of the year; present not only on the menu of this convivial encounter, but also in the interventions and contributions of the various speakers, who are experts on the subject. As such, the ecumenical dinner represents a lively moment of cultural enrichment.
The ecumenical dinner is the occasion to unite, ideally and effectively, all the Delegations around the investigation of a theme, which is, precisely, selected at the beginning of the year, in order that it may be celebrated not only from a gastronomical point of view, but also from a historical, environmental and civil viewpoint. Then, every Delegation interprets the theme in the uniqueness of their recipes and menu, due exactly to the diversity of the traditions and culture of its own territory. The ecumenicity of such a dinner thus lies in the sum of interpretations which together, in the same moment, even if in different places, contribute to shape a harmonic whole.
The ecumenical dinner is attended, apart from by Academicians, by representatives of the various media, personages from public and private bodies, scholars and lovers of the civilisation of the table. Thus, the debated issues, the menu, the ideas, the projects and objectives which are the inspirational source of the Accademia's activity, can acquire the necessary emphasis and can be divulged, applied, and supported outside the Accademia, with a vaster public, as well as inside its own community.
It is the task of the Symposiarch, chosen each time by the Academicians of each Delegation, to periodically organize the Symposium, a convivial moment where guests from the world of culture, journalism and mass media are offered an occasion to grasp the profound significance of a convivial reunion. The latter is conveyed through interventions and themes connected with the civilisation of the table, which are confronted by the pre-selected speaker or speakers who discuss history, tradition, the most important events, and the products of the location or territory at which the reunion takes place.
The Symposium likewise represents an occasion for the investigation, experimentation and supervision of the condition of public catering. In fact, the Symposiarch chooses a restaurant in the territory of his own Delegation, proposing and agreeing with the chef on a given menu, chosen with extreme care and according to very precise criteria. By means of a detailed evaluation form, the participants to the Symposium can express their judgment regarding the chef's capacity of interpreting the menu, the quality of the products used and the combinations with the wine, the hospitality and reception of the establishment and regarding the ratio between price and quality.
The minute preparation of this event on behalf of the Symposiarch - who chooses, agrees and previously tests the menu which illustrates the philosophy of the event - and the thorough and responsible evaluation of the latter by the participants constitutes, as one of the Accademia's activities, a highly attentive engagement and one of valorising the work and skills of the restaurateur. Likewise, it constitutes a stimulus, for public catering, to be ever more attentive towards quality in the widest sense of the word.
Assuming the position of Symposiarch constitutes one of the duties of the Academician, who should be disposed to take on such a task and expound his own proposals and initiatives to the Delegate. The Symposium, which is the focal point of academic life, is to be prepared with extreme care and in harmony with the academic dictates, as much at the rehearsal, important premise to the creation of an academic menu, as at the convivial reunion itself.