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A Taste of Empire

A Taste of Empire
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Jovanni Sy
Introduction by: Guillermo Verecchia
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 74
Pub. Date: 2017
ISBN-10: 1772011606
ISBN-13: 9781772011609

About the Play:

A Taste of Empire is a full-length comedy by Jovanni Sy. A satiric one-chef cooking demonstration show where a hapless sous-chef cooks an intricate dish in real time while comically deconstructing the dish's provenance. Think "Iron Chef meets Guns, Germs, and Steel." Bon Appétit!

We are what we eat. But where does it come from? How does it get here? Everything we eat tells a story. In A Taste of Empire, delectable samples from a real-time cooking demonstration offer food for thought about colonialism and the ethics of modern-day food systems

"Food and Wine named him Chef of the Decade. In 2016 he was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. Recently Microsoft released the hit video game Maximo Cortés: Kitchen Gangsta. You've seen him on television. You've bought his bestselling cookbooks. Now for a limited engagement … it's the Demon Chef, the Madman of the Kitchen, the Grand Master of Imperial Cuisine … Chef Maximo Cortés."

The premise of the show is a once-in-a-lifetime cooking demonstration by Chef Maximo Cortés, the renowned inventor of his signature-style "Imperial Cuisine." The audience excitedly awaits Chef Maximo's arrival, relaxing with cocktails and complimentary hors d'oeuvres served to their seats. Suddenly their complacency is broken when Maximo's amusing assistant, Jovanni, appears onstage. The celebrity chef in unavailable, but no worries: Jovanni, too, is an expert at preparing the traditional Filipino dish Rellenong Bangus (Stuffed Milkfish), and the audience follows along on a journey filled with humorous banter and a silky milkfish, sharp chef's knife in Jovanni's hand. As he cooks, he deconstructs the dish in humourous and surprising ways, serving up opinions on the European colonization of Asia, the state of modern agriculture, the ethics of food distribution and consumption – only a few of the ideas sampled in this engaging performance piece. When the actual fish dish is cooked and ready to eat, audience members are given tasting plates and even more food for thought. A Taste of Empire is truly a feast for the mind and palate.

A Taste of Empire was first produced in 2010 by Cahoots Theatre Company in Toronto, starring Jovanni Sy, and was nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards including Outstanding New Play. It was subsequently remounted by Boca del Lupo Theatre in Vancouver in 2014 and 2015.

Cast: 1 man

What people say:

"A Taste of Empire is a great success." — Globe and Mail

"Funny, fishy and far-reaching, A Taste of Empire is fascinating international fare. … It's one of the most expansive evenings of Canadian theatre in terms of geographical and political scope. … A Taste of Empire is largely about looking beneath the surface of things … The extent to which Jovanni Sy's A Taste of Empire has anti-racist underpinnings is one of the fascinating aspects of the piece – clowning as a socially acceptable alternative to anger." — BC BookLook

About the Playwright:

Jovanni Sy is a Canadian playwright, director, actor, and the artistic director of Gateway Theatre in Richmond, British Columbia.

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