Myths & Connections

On the 18th October 2018, the artist Inês Neto Dos Santos made a fantastic edible performance. A partnership between Oliva & Co and Illustration School.

A tasting evening for the senses: telling stories and histories of olive oil, it’s hidden myths and wide geographies.

The performance expanded on the Portuguese tradition of olive oil, focusing on its three main regions: Beira, Ribatejo, and Tras-os-montes. The guests traveled through real and imagined tales, starting from the fearless tribe of the Lusitanos and the woman warrior embeding the spirit of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, justice and war, whose symbols included the olive tree, to the region of Ribatejo, through a tale of soup and stone.

And finally, the story of a poor priest, travelling by foot and finishing with Trás-os-Montes, the land behind the mountain; of courageous, daring and hardworking people. A land of self-sufficiency, where whole villages share one wood-fired oven, one mill, the pasture and the herd bull, bringing full meaning to community life.

A tasting evening for the senses: telling stories and histories of olive oil, it’s hidden myths and wide geographies.


Ethos // Beira Interior
Olive tree leaf Kombucha
Quince, Requeijão de Seia DOP, toasted hazelnuts
Casa Anadia // Ribatejo
Gin and white Port cocktail, with olive oil drop
Sage, tomato and stone focaccia
Casa Santo Amaro // Trás-os-Montes
Fig tree liqueur
Olive oil sorbet with rye and olive crumbs

Every dish and drink featured olive oil from these regions. For a ritual commemorating the villages, wood-fired ovens, and mills of Trás-os-Montes, olive ice cream sprinkled with sweet rye and olive crumbs evoked the “land behind the mountains”, and was followed by a glass of fig liqueur to close the evening.

The edible performance provided a beautiful segue into autumn, with seasonal flavors from the Portuguese countryside, accompanied by mood-setting music and enjoyed in fine company.

An edible performance by artist Inês Neto dos Santos, in a partnership with Oliva & Co and Illustration School.

Inês Neto dos Santos is a multi-disciplinary artist, born in Lisbon and based in London. She graduated from MA Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art in 2016. Inês’s work explores the value of spaces, whether architectural or natural, and our relationship to them, investigating their emotional and social value and considering them as vessels for memory. Her practice often takes shape in immersive spaces, experiences or installations and frequently runs on collaborations with other artists and creatives. Recently, Inês has explored the value of food and shared eating spaces, considering the dinner table as a fundamental platform for discussion and conversation. She founded Mesa.

Karen Lacroix is an illustrator, designer and publisher based in Porto, Portugal. She has taught visual narratives since 2009 at Richmond University (UK) and works for an eclectic range of clients such as Bright Ivy, English Touring Opera, Saffron Hall, Bishopsgate Institute, among others. After concluding an MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, she founded Uncanny Editions, an illustration publisher and studio exploring different modes of publication practice, collaborating with institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery and X Marks the Bökship . Her work is represented in collections such as MoMA (US), University College London, London College of Communication (UK), Serralves Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (PT), among others. She is the founder of the Illustration School, a nomadic pedagogical platform that investigates the expanded field of illustration and is co-director of the design research centre Shared Institute.

A special thank you to Oliva & Co for hosting the event, Rita & Teresa for helping during the evening, época for making the beautiful pillow breads, Pão da Terra for the rye breads, and Madalena Marques for making the beautiful ceramic stone.