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Cambridge eatery Maurizio Dining & Co featured on Channel 4’s Grayson’s Art Club




Clothed mannequins ‘dining out’ at Maurizio Dining & Co pizza restaurant on Mill Road have been featured on Channel 4’s Grayson’s Art Club.

Maurizio and Sweet D’Apollonio with the mannequins in the window of their restaurant on Mill Road. Picture: Keith Heppell
Maurizio and Sweet D’Apollonio with the mannequins in the window of their restaurant on Mill Road. Picture: Keith Heppell

The dressed-up dummies – Billy and Antoinette – were shown on Friday’s episode (March 12) of the programme, now in its second series, which has leading contemporary artist Grayson Perry bringing the nation together through art, with help from his wife Philippa.

On the show, Grayson talks to artists, celebrities and viewers about art and lockdown.

Maurizio Dining & Co owners, Maurizio and Sweet D’Apollonio, borrowed the dummies from Pam at Fantasia, another small business on Mill Road, and then dressed them up in their clothes.

Sweet said: “As you know, at the moment we can’t have customers coming in to eat. It’s deliveries only, so we thought we’d do a little display in the window.

“We’ve called it ‘dinner date’ and it’s two dummies sitting down and having some pizza and sharing a bottle of wine.”

Sweet continued: “The theme on Friday was food – each week he has a different theme, and he invites the public to send in their artwork.

Grayson and Philippa Perry. Picture: © 2021 Richard Ansett/Channel 4
Grayson and Philippa Perry. Picture: © 2021 Richard Ansett/Channel 4

“It could be anything – portraits, fine art, sculptures... so I sent in a couple of photos of our display and I think they liked it.

“We spoke to Grayson and then, on Thursday, they said we’d be included in the show. But we weren’t quite sure in what capacity because sometimes they just show the actual art.

“But it was great, they showed our little interview with Grayson where we told a little story about the dummies and how they met!

“And just how food and the pleasure of eating can be linked to the emotion of love as well – how it evokes all kinds of emotions; it’s not just the eating of the food, it’s the whole ritual around it.

“Also, it was just a fun thing to do for us while we’re waiting to reopen for eating in again.”

Grayson and Philippa Perry. Picture: © 2021 Richard Ansett/Channel 4
Grayson and Philippa Perry. Picture: © 2021 Richard Ansett/Channel 4

Sweet revealed that after their interview, which was conducted via Zoom, had taken place, Grayson said he would like to include the piece in his next exhibition.

“At the end of each series, I think he has an exhibition of all the artwork that’s been chosen,” explained Sweet, “and they’ll exhibit it somewhere once lockdown is over. So it was really fun to be part of.”

For anyone keen to be featured in the series, Sweet said: “They basically ask you to send in three photographs and a little video explaining what the art is about.”

Has there been any reaction from the local community to the couple being on the programme? “Yeah, it’s great,” said Sweet. “We’ve had people just stop and point and smile and say, ‘We saw Billy and Antoinette on Grayson Perry – congratulations!’

“I think it’s just made people smile a little bit with everything that’s going on.”

To watch the episode, go to channel4.com/programmes/graysonsart-club. For more information, visit graysonsartclub.com. Visit Maurizio Dining & Co’s website at mauriziodining.com.

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