AN ITALIAN restaurant is celebrating the life of Leonardo da Vinci by recreating his work using food.

Bella Italia, which has restaurants in Market Street and North Street, Brighton, as well as at the marina, has reworked the artist’s famous self portrait with some classic Italian ingredients.

Da Vinci died 500 years ago and so the restaurant chain commissioned an artist to recreate one of his most famous works using pasta, meat and bread.

The portrait was inspired by da Vinci’s passion for both art and invention, particularly in the world of food and kitchen design innovation, including his creation of a spaghetti-making machine and an automated spit that roasted meat.

Food artist Carl Warner was the mastermind behind the new work of art.

It took him and his team more than 20 hours to create the edible painting, as each ingredient was laid out to perfectly reflect the Renaissance masterpiece.

The portrait included: hat and coat made of two artisan breads; eyes made of mozzarella and olives, with fusilli, rigatoni and conchiglione pasta details; Parma ham lips; chicken breast and fettucine pasta face and chicken wing nose; and two types of spaghetti for the beard.

Célia Pronto, chief customer officer from Bella Italia, said: “Given our expertise in pasta, and with our new menu launch coinciding with the 500th anniversary of da Vinci’s death, it felt like the perfect opportunity to celebrate the Italian genius in the way we know best – with delicious Italian pasta and produce.

We’re delighted with the finished product.”

The campaign was run to coincide with the launch of Bella Italia’s new menu, and as part of the da Vinci celebrations customers are being offered 40 per cent off all main courses at the restaurant.

Leonardo da Vinci was the man behind works of art including the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and Vitruvian Man.