Saturday, August 7, 2010

cooking with park chan kook

The other day we had a lovely afternoon inventing new delicacies with artist Park Chan Kook, a Korean artist whose social practice often involves inviting local people to make a meal together using improvised ingredients and tools. Each participant brought an ingredient: a bunch of bananas, a big jar of miso, a bottle of rice wine vinegar, or several bunches of greens... and then we all worked together to make the meal. It really highlighted the differences between Korean and Japanese cooking and eating styles - whereas Koreans are very comfortable with big, shared meals and experimental dishes, the Japanese typically stick to specific traditional recipes... and shared food (especially food that everyone has been touching) is a little bit squeamish-making for people here.

Still, it was a pretty good time for all, involving a lot of giggling over what to roll up in the Vietnamese spring roll wrappers and Chan's bananas fried directly on the portable burner... and some interesting jellyfish sightings in the water next to the food prep area. Since most of the "cooks" involved were artists-in-residence at BankART, our collective meal wound up being quite a lovely spread, even if not all of it was eaten.

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