Have you ever enjoyed a meal together with friends and strangers alike?
Can you imagine a square hosting a big table that neighbours share for dinner in summer nights?
Is it possible to raise awareness and fight food waste by launching a public banquet prepared out of leftovers?
In recent years numerous initiatives worldwide have arisen using food to challenge the way people engage in urban public spaces. Combining various backgrounds such as art, architecture, activism or anthropology, this interventions have been put into practice without any commercial purpose but holding multiple intentions that range from enjoyment and celebration to education or political protest.
City Cook Book is a collection of initiatives enhancing public spaces by bringing people together through food culture. It aims to explore how food can be an effective tool to both transform our common spaces into sites for encounter and social interaction, as well as to engage with larger issues that shape our everyday urban life. Through its digital platform and its print-it-yourself publication, City Cook Book intents to visualize this phenomena, reflect upon it and inspire other initiatives.
City Cook Book is a non-profit initiative developed by Claudia Sánchez and Íñigo Cornago.
Proyecto financiado por Ayudas Creación Injuve
Project funded by Ayudas Creación Injuve
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The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre has started to organise a thematic dinner series at the intersection of architecture and gastronomy.
One example was the Dinner Dedicated to the White Dove. The event was commemorating the work of Hungarian modernist architect, Csaba Virág (1933-2015). The momentum for this was created when one of its buildings in the castle district of Budapest was threatened by demolition. The currently unused former electrical transformer building is a valuable example of the Hungarian modernist tradition. Even though the architect community joined forces to express concerns against the demolition, the general public did not value the building and it was under serious threat.
Our centre has chosen an unusual format to showcase the building’s significance and to inspire discussion on its potential reuse. We organised 2 walks to the building itself followed by a special dinner party. We collaborated with Hungarian food designer, Angéla Góg to design the menu inspired by the work of the architect. We have asked Angéla as many of her food projects are concerned with collective memory. Each of the 5 courses and the corresponding way of serving was inspired by one of the architect’s buildings. Each course was introduced by a talk exploring the building’s significance, followed by an explanation on how this was translated into the design concept.
The event not only served as a form of remembrance but had a lobby effect as well. Half of the invitees were carefully selected and directly invited. They were partly representatives of the architecture profession but also decision makers able to influence the course of the issue at stake. Among the invitees were the daughter of the architect, private developers, journalists. Throughout the dinner the architect’s oeuvre has unfolded in a very personal way. The event has generated meaningful reflection on the heritage of the architect and contributed to the prevention of the demolition at the end.
The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre (KÉK, kek.org.hu) is an independent architectural cultural centre operated by young Hungarian architects, artists and civilians. The centre aims to open new perspectives in architectural and urban thinking in Hungary through its fresh, provoking and focused programs, relevant also in international context. This organisation is currently the only internationally acknowledged professional platform representing contemporary architecture in Hungary. Its activities of KÉK receive intensive local and international attention and acknowledgement. KÉK also collects data on the Hungarian architectural scenery for international architecture databases.
Project team: Angéla Góg, Daniella Huszár, Rita Keresztesi, Monika Kertész, Samu Szemerey