La Mia Casa È La Tua Casa [2014]

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“LA MIA CASA È LA TUA CASA” [My house is your house] is a cooking workshop: about Gastronomy, about Performance Art, about Pop Culture, about Auteur Cinema, about Ambient Music & many other rhetorical questions… The workshop is also an underground dining event and happens in the apprentices’ houses. A project created by the art venue and gallery Velha-a-Branca (Braga, Portugal), featuring Chef Rø and special guests. Each of the 4 working sessions may be attended separately.

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Four working sessions held at private homes, where we’ll be thinking the World we live in through the food we prepare, serve and eat collectively. This is a Conceptual Cuisine™ workshop, featuring recipes that are ideas, or ideas that being shareable are easier to digest. This is also a delicatessen-salon, a round table (or a rectangular one, if that is the only shape available in the house), a home delivered dinner-party, and a very sexy pop-up restaurant! In other words, LA MIA CASA È LA TUA CASA is a laboratory for gastro-performative experiments, aiming to make everybody chew the most contrasting themes of the artistic contemporaneity, to rehearse new textures in the way we relate to food, to come up with new tastes by mixing diverging thinking systems together, and to taste new ways of understanding the ingredients that are part of both artistic and gastronomic lexicons: creation, authorship, style, process, concept, form, method, deconstruction, remix, recipe, performance, aesthetics, relation, (auto)biography, reenactment, personalisation, fiction, authenticity, creativity, originality, history, among other altermodern spices. The 4-sessions model follows the system designed by the well-known Spanish chef Ferran Adrià, who recognises four levels of creativity in the gastronomic practice: 1) following the recipe; 2) adding your ‘personal touch’ to the recipe; 3) coming up with a new recipe; 4) creating brand new culinary techniques that may be applied to numerous recipes. This way:

Session I
BY THE BOOK, The Covers
To follow the “contemporary classics” recipes is the goal of this session. We will taste those sacred dishes as if it was for the first time, simultaneously trying out concoctions that have already been awarded the Molecular Gastronomy seal of approval. We will question the concepts of “tradition” and “modernisation”, which are actually part of the same family. We will rethink, by mimicking, the pedagogical lineage master/apprentice, from the Medieval Age to the Future. We will share those foolproof recipes as if we were in a sort of “tupperware meeting”, listening to an all-crooner soundtrack playing all along. We will revise the basic techniques, the tricky tricks, and the popular pairings, and inn the end, light the candles and eat the whole stuff.
Session II
EVERYTHING IS FUSION!, The Remixes
Everything has already been done, but not by us! In this session, we will add that overrated ingredient called “personal touch” to every recipe we know. That is, we will question the even more overrated concepts of re-creation, re-interpretation and de-construction, along with auto/bio/graphy, identity and personalisation. Can an exact remake originate a brand new dish? We will also rethink the state-of-the-art concept of “gastronomic multiculturalism”, as well as the modern insistence in “seasonal” ingredients, “local” produce and geographical “diets”. The tupperware meeting kind of ambiance will happen again, but this time with a playlist 100% made of covers that became much more popular than the respective original recordings. That is, we will screw up the “culinary copyright” all along a 3-course meal!
Session III
SIGNATURE DISHES, The Hits
Tell me what you cook, I’ll tell you who you are! The first ‘mise-en-place’ of this special session will be to “publish” our own personal cookbook, writing down those recipes that are really close to our life history, just because we invented them, or at least we believe we did, not even caring to Google them just to confirm… It is now time to share our culinary ‘greatest hits’, pretentiously, therefore humbly and passionately. That is, we will question the old tension between Authorship & Authority, by cooking dishes that will have to be thoroughly subtitled (signed) so to be unarguably certain that we are in the presence of “single acts”. We will rethink the concept of cuisine d’auteur, revisiting the signature dishes of some of the most important chefs of all time. In the end, we will be able to taste a menu that is a truly new album of originals!
Session IV
INTERNET KILLED THE KITCHEN STAR, New Material
Today, everybody is a “foodie”: we love to cook, we launch dinner parties, we lunch in fancy restaurants, we go to gastronomic fairs, we get excited with Restaurant Weeks, we enrol in show cookings, we read specialised magazines, we follow popular chefs on Twitter, we don’t miss one single episode of Masterchef Australia… Contrary to what one would suspect, in this session we will not be exploring new “cooking techniques” (sorry, Ferran…); instead, we will try to elaborate “dining situations” that may reflect the social/cultural dynamics of modern world, by exploring some of its most popular food trends: supper clubs, underground dining events, anti-restaurants, dinner theme parties, show cookings, tasting menus, food blogging, food stylism, food photography, and so on… That is: the ultimate gastronomic (and artistic!) technicity is the one mediated by tech displays and social media, but also the one “corrupted” by those radical undertakings that subvert the classical concept of “restaurant”, go against European regulations, and build recreational spaces that are post-capitalist and post-relational in its relation to food consumption and culinary professionalism. In this session, and in a co-creation manner, we will build together a “contemporary” meta-dinner party whose theme is, very redundantly, ‘Dinner Parties’!

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In each session, the participants are invited to intervene in the preparation, presentation and tasting of the dishes, and at the same time to launch 4 different and exciting dining events collectively! From the chef/teacher, you can expect nothing but a crazy mixture of a spiritual guru with a sofa scientist, a culinary dramatugist, a food entertainer, a communitarian artist and, if it is REALLY necessary, a chef! In the end, we will all be able to answer the provocative question: if Gastronomy is Art, can Art be Gastronomy?

This workshop is very portable and easy to launch; the participants can actually borrow their private kitchens and invite their friends to come over for a dinner party which is also a cooking lesson and a performance. If you’re interested in the project, please contact Chef . The pictures below are from the last edition, which took place in the Portuguese city of Braga during the months of February and March 2014. More info here.

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