what are we going to eat? Behind this sentence, innocuous lies one of the most important decisions that we have to take every day, most of the time without thinking about it. It is this awareness that calls on the museum of art and design london’s Victoria & Albert (V&A). His exhibition “Food: Bigger than the Plate” causes the reflection on this act as trivial as vital. Must we choose between pleasure and responsibility? That is the question. The visitor is put to the test over a route in the opposite direction, from a section called “compost” on recycling, which led to the “table”, passing by the steps, “agriculture” and “commerce”. Each time, the artists offer their personal vision of the challenge of feeding themselves. Solutions to the problems of social, industrial or environmental posed by the power of soon to be 8 billion humans.
In its draft Sausage of the Future, the Swiss Carolien Niebling has worked with a butcher and a cook to imagine a sausage
it All starts with the faeces. The toilet Loowatt, without water, without chemicals or electricity, collect the waste in biodegradable bags which, once collected, can serve as compost for agriculture. The loop is closed. Water bottles edible algae-based to eyeglass frames in the pigment of turmeric and the synthetic leather made from pineapple leaves, alternatives abound. Nothing is lost: the V&A gives an example by using the dregs of coffee in his restaurant as a breeding ground for the culture of fungi that will be used in her recipes. Cheeses are maturing in front of our eyes thanks to the bacteria collected… under the armpits of figures such as the chef Heston Blumenthal and the bassist of Blur, Alex James. In his project Sausage of the Future , the Swiss Carolien Niebling has worked with a butcher and a cook to imagine a sausage, “one of the first food products, which has existed for five thousand years”, based on waste beef. It shows that he is not oblige everyone to become a vegan, but that everyone can put his. His sausage is “realistic, industrial, design and I make art with”. She pulled a picture book.
Save the world by eating
When the farmers do not represent more than a tiny fraction of the active population of developed countries, the culture of food has become an abstract concept for the majority of the urban. The return to the local takes multiple paths. One example of an automatic dispenser of raw milk, Brunimat, to replace the sterilized milk to supermarkets who only has a distant relationship with a cow. In their film Our Daily Bread (“our daily bread”), Nikolaus Geyrhalter and Wolfgang Widerhofer described, as early as 2005, the ravages of intensive agriculture and industrialization, with a lot of scenes of horror now customary programming in prime time, slaughterhouses mechanized to the salt mines or to the factories where the fish are skinned fillets. The genetic optimization of animal breeds for the purpose of productivity can it continue indefinitely? The chicken industry have lost half of their genetic origin. To reverse the trend, the Belgian Koen Vanmechelen student in his farm with 3000 chickens which he aims to recreate the genetic diversity. He is out of a cross between a Bresse chicken French with a belgian Mechelse Koekoek, and then with a chicken English Redcap, for, about twenty generations, to recreate poultry at once strong, sustainable, and tasty. These are now exported around the world, from Chile to Ethiopia. “No one remembers that the plague comes from Asia: we must not forget the generosity of nature, he recalls. I am an artist and I work with scientists. The scientist tells me where to go while freeing the artist that I am. Einstein said that there is no knowledge without imagination.”
The Sausage of the future , Carolien Niebling. Noortje Knulst
For Catherine Flood, curator of the exhibition, “the artists are interested more in the food and are there to ask the right questions.” From the conceptual to the practical, the wink of playfulness to the idea of genius, it is at the crossroads between art, the economy, science, culture and politics. Top Chef the environmental movement, Extinction, Rebellion, food is at the heart of the debate. The choice of what we eat can save the world. “Our legacy system of the industrial revolution should be reconsidered”, argues Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, historian and ex-labour politician. This quest of meaning is summarized by the star of molecular gastronomy, Ferran Adrià, which sets out a series of watercolours. “I realized that, to understand the history of the kitchen, I had to understand the history of humanity”, explains the catalan chef.
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Robert Auton/(c)Victoria and Albert Museum,
it is difficult to avoid guilt, the exhibition does not judge and does not impose anything. She is glad to invite intelligent reflection. At the end of the course, a bar Loci Food Lab challenging everyone to put into practice his priorities. On an iPad, a menu offers to select its preferred values between traditional, affordable, cost-effective, delicious, biodiversity, nutrition, no waste, wild, etc., from these criteria, a chef prepares a small bite on a measure composed of ingredients, respect the choice expressed, to leave with the taste of his own philosophy on this wide subject in the mouth.
Food: Bigger than the Flat , at the Victoria& Albert Museum, London. Until October 20.
Three tables in london in the wind
• Ikoyi, nigerian star
Ikoyi, it is the district of Lagos, Nigeria, where is born Withdrawal Hassan-Odukale, 31 years. Arrived in Great Britain at the age of 16 he became financial of the City before converting to open in London, a restaurant that reminds him of the flavors of his youth. Rather than importing the traditional recipes of the cuisine of west africa itself, it is more a source of inspiration, based on products and / or spices (plantains, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds…) and applied to british goods selected with care. An interpretation entrusted to the chief Jeremy Chan, a Canadian-Chinese who grew up in the north of England where he met Withdrawal Hassan-Odukale to the school. A kitchen that is intuitive and creative, nourished by an in-depth study of the transformations of the raw materials. We don’t always know what to expect, but the surprise and enchantment are waiting for you. This can result for example in a sauce evoking the memory of a delicious cheeseburger. If the nigerian community in London was taken by surprise, the gourmet rushed. The experience is lived in the course of tasting menus (7 courses 75 £, 9 flat 100 £ 35 £ at breakfast). Open in 2017 in the district of St James, close to Piccadilly Circus, Ikoyi has received the consecration a year later a Michelin star. The recognition of the dynamism of the world cuisine in the british capital.
Ikoyi, 1 St. James’s Market, London. +44 2035834660, ikoyilondon.com
• Rovi, the last baby of ottolenghi
The chief israeli Yotam Ottolenghi is a star of the gastronomy in the uk and in the world. Books, tv shows, appearances in magazines, he has led a generation of néogastronomes to criss-cross London in search of spices and rare herbs essential to the success of its recipes. In addition to its cafés-pastry shops to his name, he had already opened his common table in Soho, Nopi. A new place, Rovi, just complete the galaxy. He has entrusted the reins of the kitchens at the Scottish Neil Campbell, ex-chief of Grain Store at St Pancras, known for his work enhances the vegetables. These end up in majesty to the menu of Rovi, which does not exclude also meat, fish and seafood. The attention is put on the fermentation of the plants and the kitchen to the flame, with the mediterranean touch that is signature Ottolenghi, declined on the basis of sumac, tahini or other spices. Among the musts of the card, a shawarma celeriac, bkeila (a condiment of tunisia) and tomato fermented, or tempura of stems and herbs, seasoned with the Sichuan pepper and vinaigrette of tangerine and lime leaf. Skewers of squid and bacon with pepper sauce surprise. Like everywhere in London, the plates, small or large, are to share, in a warm room with a contemporary decor.
Rovi, 59 Wells Street, London. +44 203 9638270 , ottolenghi.co.uk/rovi
• school crossing guards, the officers ‘ mess of the raj
London would not be London without its indians. The chicken tikka masala is the favorite dish of English? The group JKS Restaurants, already known for its very chic Gymkhana in Mayfair, which recreates the cozy atmosphere of a club British right out of the Empire, opened crossing guards in the City. At the foot of the new headquarters ultradesign of the financial agency Bloomberg, what are its journalists who have chosen the restaurants called to serve them in the canteen, as well as to visitors to the area. The challenge is to maintain the life on the weekend, when traders have deserted in their secondary residences in the countryside. At Ranger, we found a side officers ‘ mess, with a pool table and screens to follow the matches of cricket (or football). An atmosphere conducive to a healthy camaraderie among the troops (supposed to meet at the bankers of the City at the time of distribution of bonus?). Meals roboratifs, primarily made rotisseries and barbecues generous in the tandoori, but no less refined. There’s an element of appetite with saint-jacques masala or a wrap of shrimp and lobster. Follow a shoulder of kid roasted with onions or the famous biryani rice to the shank and beef marrow bones. All washed down with cocktails like the Clover Club (gin, lemon, egg white, syrup of raspberry and beer) and a selection of the best gins and whiskies in the uk.
Ranger, 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, London. +44 2033198140.