Share summer fruits, like an artist
In The Kitchen Studio, artists share some unconventional, sweet summer recipes with us
The Kitchen Studio is a pretty challenging cookbook, though not in the way you might imagine. There are precious few mentions of centrifuges and sous-vide cookery in this collection of contemporary artist’s recipes. Instead, these 100 recipes, supplied by world famous artists, including Jimmie Durham, Kiki Smith, Danh Vo and Olafur Eliasson, challenge the way we think about preparing and consuming food.
“In most cases, the artist has not only shared the details of their dish, but also offered a little background as to why they chose it, and provided a fun, engaging illustration of the recipe too,” explains the chef, author and art collector, Massimo Bottura, in the book’s introduction. “There’s plenty of variety, with food to suit every setting, from simple snacks to stunning meals.”
There’s a good few dishes for every season too, including high summer, when fruit grows heavy on trees and bushes in many parts of the world. However, the artists contributing to this book don’t simply set out a decent ice cream or tart recipe. Instead, they make readers reconsider the very uses and pleasures of these summer crops. Consider the work of US artists David Burns and Austin Young, who collaborative together in the collective, Fallen Fruit.
As Fallen Fruit, they’ve created art installations and public art, planted fruit trees in public spaces for everyone to share, and even created the Endless Orchard, a digital project which (among other things) lets users mark and share publicly available fruit trees around the world. Unsurprisingly, their recipe, How to Make Jam (and Share With Others), they advocate a direct-action approach to appropriating wild fruit.
“The best way to make jam,” they argue, “is when you go with friends and pick the fruit from public spaces. There are fruit trees that are ignored along streets, alleys and in public parks in cities around the world.”
Their recipe calls for sugar, pectin (which helps jam set) as well as canning jars, a big saucepan, and a positive attitude. If you spot unharvested fruit in a private garden, knock on the door and see if you can pick it, they suggest, and perhaps offer a jar of the finished jam in return. “Make this an annual ritual,” the artists counsel, “this is definitely most fun with children, friends and family.”
It certainly sounds that way. Though if you’re more of a simple, solitary fruit picker, you could try this near minimalist recipe, from the Swiss-born artist, Nicolas Party. Here’s his recipe, Two Cherries, in full.
“Choose a sunny afternoon in July. Walk around the countryside and look for a cherry tree. Find two Burgundy colour cherries and pick them from the tree. Eat one after the other and keep the stone in your mouth. Spit the stone as far as you can.”
Perhaps they’ll grow into new trees, which everyone can enjoy. For slightly more complicated, though no less engaging recipes from contemporary artists, order a copy of The Kitchen Studio here.