Art Cookbook Subverts Foodie Craze

Art Cookbook Subverts Foodie Craze

In Bastard Cookbook, two conceptualists collab on ugly-delicious recipes.

In Bastard Cookbook, two conceptualists collab on ugly-delicious recipes.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

Just when you thought the intersection of art and food had been forever reduced to ice-cream-museum froth, Idea Books and Harlem- and EV-based gallery Gavin Brown's enterprise have cooked up a refreshingly PG-13+ alternative. On Saturday, GBE will launch The Bastard Cookbook, a subversive (yet tasteful! get it?) manual cowritten by Argentina-born, Thailand- and Ethiopia-raised artist Rirkrit Tiravanija and Finnish chef Antto Melasniemi. Two globetrotters known for socially conscious techniques, Tiravanija and Melasniemiso comprise a conceptual and disciplinary collision, resulting in around 50 so-called "bastardized recipes," including but not limited to mac-and-cheese pad Thai, reindeer beef salad, and fish-sauce ice cream. If that doesn't deserve a pedestal in the Museum of Ice Cream, what does?

The book is the art-house answer to anti-establishment food culture, recently spurred by TV shows like Netflix's chaotic amateur-bake-off series Nailed It, and David Chang's Ugly Delicious, which highlights fine-dining anomalies like the Nordic pizza craze (one arguably indebted, in part, to Melasniemiso's Putte's in Helsinki).

In addition to a performance by Tiravanija's frequent collaborator Karl Holmqvist, the book's launch, this Saturday at Gavin Brown's enterprise in Harlem, will bring together a vanguard of forward-thinking foodies, with a panel featuring the likes of Ghetto Gastro, moderated by author Emilie Baltz. See a sneak-peek selection from the book below.

Antto Melasniemi and Rirkrit Tiravanija (Photo: Janne Tuunanen)

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