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Latvian Authors Write Recipes for Restaurants

2017, November 30

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On 28th November, “Latvian Literature” team were joined by writer Nora Ikstena at the Three Chefs Resturant “Tam labam būs augt” in launching the latest #iamintrovert campaign – the Introverted Lunch.  The “Latvian Literature” platform opened the event with a tasting of  “Meža vakte” (“Firewatch”), a recipe adapted from Ikstena's story. Throughout the Introverted Lunch campaign, several restaurants, cafes and bars will be including special dishes and drinks from stories by Latvian authors in their menus.

The “Latvian Literature” platform created the #iamintrovert publicity campaign to promote Latvian literature as part of Latvia's preparation for the London Book Fair 2018, in which the Baltic states will be the Market Focus countries. “Malduguns” brewery recently launched a range of #iamintrovert beers, and artist Madara Botmane designed a T-shirt line with quotes from Latvian authors specially for the #iamintrovert campaign.

This December, the Three Chefs Resturant “Tam labam būs augt”  (Riga, Torņa street 4) is inviting everyone to try their special titled “Meža vakte” (“Firewatch”), a recipe adapted from the story by Nora Ikstena, a Latvian writer announced Author of the Day of the London Book Fair 2018.  “Rātgalds” restaurant (Ventspils, Baznīcas ielā 2) will be offering a dish written by poet Uldis Bērziņš “Cūku pupas ziemā” (“Broad Beans in Winter”) as part of their Introverted Lunch menu. Along with the special meal, guests will be served cards with illustrated stories to accompany the tasting. A greater prize will await those who collect all the Introverted Lunch cards.

Nora Ikstena believes that the process or writing is not that different from cooking: “The kitchen of writing has bits of everything – sometimes there's too much salt, or too much sugar. It is important to find a balance in order to write a delicious text. As my teacher Dzintars Sodums once said: “I taste language like cake.” Representative of the “Latvian Literature” platform Anete Konste revealed that the main purpose of the Introverted Lunch campaign is to celebrate Latvian literature and its success locally for a change: “Although our main focus is promoting Latvian literature abroad, we want to recognize and celebrate it here at home as well. That is why we have launched all the beers, T-shirts, and now the literary dishes. Since chefs are the new rock-stars, we thought we might try and literally feed the readers some gourmet literary works.”

As announced previously, 10th – 12th April 2018, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania will be participating in the London Book Fair as Market Focus countries, therefore our literature will be extensively promoted, translated and published in English. Last year, the #iamintrovert campaign was launched to introduce Latvia as a country of introverted writers. The Latvian exhibition at this year's London Book Fair included the “introverted writer's wardrobe”, a series of video interviews with Latvian writers and poets, and artist Reinis Pētersons' comic strip about the curious adventures of the introverted writer I. You may follow the campaign on the Latvian Literature Facebook page – Facebook.com/LatvianLiterature

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