La Colazione di Leonardo
47 Walker St.
New York, NY 10013
By invitation only.
July 3rd, 1502
I, your faithful servant, understand that it has been your intention to erect a bridge from Galata to Stambul, but that this has not been done because there were no experts available.
I, your faithful servant, know how to do it.
Leonardo Da Vinci
(Excerpt from a letter by Da Vinci to the Ottoman Empire’s Sultan Beyazit II. Archives of the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.
Da Vinci had never been afraid of challenges, nor had he ever got tired of constant relocations. Did he plan to move to Istanbul to become the Sublime Porte's protégé? Unfortunately, we will never know his intentions.
However, the irrefutable fact is that Leonardo da Vinci conceived of the miraculous plan to build a bridge which spanned the Golden Horn of Istanbul, as can be seen in the above illustration from the archives of the French Institute in Paris.
As much as the construction itself would be a ground-breaking project, its conceptual value would even surpass its functionality. Leonardo’s Galata Bridge was to join Ottoman Istanbul, the area of the gigantic mosques, the steamy baths, and the labyrinthine bazaars, with Constantinople, the cosmopolitan part, populated by the Genovese, the Sephardic Jews who fled from the Iberian Peninsula, among other ethnicities such as the Levantines, the Greeks, the Armenians, who, with their free-wheeling lifestyles, constituted a booming area around the Romanesque-style Galata Tower.
As the Renaissance itself is considered to be the bridge where mankind crossed from the Middle Ages to modern times, likewise, Leonardo’s Galata Bridge would connect the two strikingly different but harmonically co-existent parts of the vast metropolis. While the collaboration with the Sultan never came about, Da Vinci’s idea was to become the Holy Grail of architecture, engineering, and the arts, for centuries to come.
La colazione di Leonardo pays tribute to the unsung Da Vinci masterpiece and builds an imaginary bridge between two of the world's most distinctive culinary cultures: the ultra-minimalistic Italian first meal of the day with the exuberant Turkish breakfast smorgasbord.
Buon Appetito! / Afiyet Olsun!
Curated by Angelis Nannos, culinary curator, food writer, and founder of In Food We Trust.
By invitation only.
In Food We Trust has brought together a team of dynamic NYC professionals from the fields of food, art, and entrepreneurship. The goal is to offer the most unique, entertaining and mouth-watering culinary experiences in this modern-day Babylon, which locals are proud to call home and visitors love to visit.
Image credit: Leonardo da Vinci, Ponte Sul Bosforo (Golden Horn Bridge) sketches, 1502, from the archives of the Institut de France, Paris, Manuscript L, Folio 65v and 66r; photo courtesy of Institut de France, Paris.