Look what Olafur Eliasson’s kitchen did this week!
The artist’s innovative kitchen staff learned a natural, healthier way to hang on to a bit of summer's bounty
“A quick glance at a kitchen garden calendar shows that in any cycle of twelve months,” writes Clotilde Dusoulier in our updated version of Ginette Mathiot’s classic book Preserving, “there are times in the year during which certain vegetables are scarce.”
Yet could there be greater advantages to the preservation techniques Mathiot outlined in her book that we’re only truly begin to understand today?
That’s certainly the belief of Sandor “Sandorkraut” Katz, a self-described fermentation revivalist, who advocates the use of wild microscopic bacteria and fungi. The New Yorker believes that wild-fermented food promotes a healthy level of vital microbial cultures in the human body, and even helps eaters become more “interconnected with the life forces in the world around you”.
René Redzepi is a fan of Sandorkraut, as is another progressive Nordic star. A few days ago, the artist-cooks in Olafur Eliasson’s studio kitchen took a wild fermentation class with Sandor at TV chef Camilla Plum’s organic farm in Fuglebjerggaard, Denmark.
Eliasson's kitchen has found a wide range of ways to boost the studio's creativity via tasty, healthy, largely vegetarian food. Now these hand-mixed jars of vegetables and bottles of Kefir with jasmine flowers made by the studio staff should add to this artistic output, as they ferment, alive with whatever microorganisms had the good luck to land on this delicious looking food. Here’s a tasty, healthy bit of summer’s bounty, which should keep well into the winter.
For more on traditional preservation get a copy of Preserving; for greater insight into modern fermented drinks browse through Andre Chiang’s Octaphilosophy, and for more on Olafur Eliasson’s innovative take on vegetarian cuisine get Studio Olafur Eliasson: The Kitchen. And if you just like Olafur's art buy this Contemporary Art Series book.