Marco Gavio Apicio was a Roman chef in the 1st century AD. C. He is the supposed author of the book De re coquinaria, which is a source about cuisine in the Roman world. He lived during the reigns of the emperors Augustus and Tiberius.
Heir of a great fortune, his passion for gastronomy ended with his capital, but what lives on in history is his wisdom and passion for good food and food research. At the foundaon of his best recipes, he always found a place for olive oil or green olives, of which he always spoke of their great benefits. He even le us a recipe to “keep the olives harvested from the tree in perfect condion, submerging them in olive oil, to be able to produce green oil at any me”.
Above all, Apicio was known for his eccentricies and a huge personal fortune that he squandered in his eagerness to obtain the most refined foods, elaborated in complicated recipes. Some were aributed to him, like the foie gras obtained from the liver of geese fed with figs. His excessive Epicureanism earned him the anpathy of contemporary Stoics such as Seneca and Pliny the Elder. The exact date of his death is unknown, but it was probably in the final years of Tiberius’ reign. Tradion says he commied suicide by poisoning himself because he thought that his lifestyle had ruined him completely.
Apicio surrounded himself with chefs, farmers, arsans, calemen, winemakers and all kinds of people capable of offering him the most refined foods, capable of creang with the most convoluted dishes that would melt in your mouth, foods that no other had ever tasted before.
Authors who made him famous, such as Seneca recognized his great gaudeamus, he wrote, “Compeng in wealth with Licinius, in feasts with Apicius, in delights with Maecenas.” Others, like Maral, treated his suicide with a certain irony when he saw his inheritance depleted to a tenth. He wrote, “Desperate to be able to bear this threat of hunger and thirst he has drunk a glass of poison as a last drink. Never have you showed more gluony Apicius.” In the end, his name remained for several centuries in the collecve imaginaon when only the best products on the market were referred to as “de Apicio”.
Book “De Re Coquinaria”: