Bastard Cookbook launched in New York on June 1

Finnish Cured Salmon. Photo: Janne Tuunanen

Finnish Cured Salmon. Photo: Janne Tuunanen

June 1, 2019, 12–6pm
Gavin Brown’s enterprise
439 w. 127th Street, New York, NY 10027

2-6 pm
Bastard tasting with Antto Melasniemi and Rirkrit Tiravanija

3pm
Panel: Bastard Cooking, Antto Melasniemi and Rirkrit Tiravanija, moderated by Emilie Baltz        

4pm
Panel: Pierre Serrao and Malcolm Livingston of Ghetto Gastro, moderated by Emilie Baltz

5pm
Bastard Poetry Reading by Karl Holmqvist, followed by a Bastard Cocktail Hour

Bastard Brothers Melasniemi & Tiravanija. Photo: Janne Tuunanen

Bastard Brothers Melasniemi & Tiravanija. Photo: Janne Tuunanen

The launch of the Bastard Cookbook, a publication by Antto Melasniemi and Rirkrit Tiravanija, waas celebrated at Gavin Brown’s enterprise in Harlem on June 1, 2019! Bastard brothers Antto Melasniemi and Rirkrit Tiravanija cooked recipes from the cookbook for free tasting throughout the day. The program also included panels reflecting on the themes of authenticity and experimental cooking.


190424_Bastard-Cookbook_Cover (dragged).jpeg

After years of making food together in gallery settings and art institutions around the world, ‘bastard brothers’ Rirkrit Tiravanija and Antto Melasniemi release their first collaborative cookbook. The Bastard Cookbook, co-published by Garret Publications and the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, brings together new texts from scholars and journalists in food studies, interviews with the chefs and fifty or so odd recipes. The dishes and their ingredients are illustrated by photographer Janne Tuunanen as he follows the bastards on a culinary adventure from a fish sauce farm in Thailand to the Archipelago of Finland.


The Bastard Cookbook offers a range of bastardized recipes that are both delectable and truly incongruous. The starting point for many dishes, such as Fish Sauce Ice Cream, Panang Curry Pizza and “Kind of Nordic Khao Soi Soup”, are traditional ingredients and techniques (if not Grandma’s own televised repertoire). Through their unabashed, un-precious and unapologetic approach to cooking, the chefs put on a show, and remind us that culture is a process and authenticity is not necessarily the key to identity.

A mix of intermittent texts and interviews open up the topics of hospitality and cosmopolitan thinking. Contributing writer Krishnendu Ray, editor of the critical food journal Gastronomica and Chair of the Food Studies Program at New York University, reflects on the idea of ‘bastard cooking’ through the lens of domestic labor. While Sara Kay, Lola Kramer and Pauliina Siniauer each contribute with texts that are distinctly journalistic in flavour. Tiravanija and Melasniemi have created a collection truly their own, with “exhortations, culinary scenarios – and above all – food to liberate the modern gourmand from essentialism.”

Rirkrit Tiravanija & Antto Melasniemi at the launch event. Photo: Kathryn Ryan.

Rirkrit Tiravanija & Antto Melasniemi at the launch event. Photo: Kathryn Ryan.

The day’s program included panels reflecting on the themes of authenticity and experimental cooking. Photo: Kathryn Ryan

Ghetto Gastro gave an interesting panel talk, moderated by Emilie Baltz. Photo: Kathryn Ryan

Antto Melasniemi and Rirkrit Tiravanija cooked recipes from the cookbook for free tasting throughout the day. Photo: Kathryn Ryan

Speakers and performers:

Antto Melasniemi is a chef based in Helsinki, Finland working at the intersection of food and the arts. He is currently the owner and creative director of five restaurants and has created menus and concepts for events at the Beyeler Foundation, Art Basel, the Venice Biennale, the London Design Festival, and the Milan Design Festival, among others.

Rirkrit Tiravanija is a Thai artist based in New York City, Chiang Mai, Berlin, and Mexico. Tiravanija is on the faculty of the School of the Arts at Columbia University and is a founding member and curator of Utopia Station, a collective project of artists, art historians, and curators. Tiravanija also helped establish an educational-ecological project known as The Land Foundation, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Karl Holmqvist lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Holmqvist’s practice uses various media - including performance, painting, sculpture, film, video, audio, and design, to explore the possibilities of language. Drawing on the histories of concrete poetry and conceptual art, he always set out to destabilize our notions of the spoken and written word, re-contextualizing familiar found phrases – taken from pop culture and literature alike – such that they become alien. Holmqvist has held solo shows at the Camden Art Center, London, U.K.; The Power Station, Dallas, TX; Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Ghetto Gastro is a culinary collective and cultural movement that operates at the intersection of food, design and community empowerment through transformative experiences, narrative-driven content and other tactical techniques. Joining the panel are chefs Pierre Serrao and Malcolm Livingston II.

Emilie Baltz uses food & the senses to create new experiences that foster wonder, curiosity and delight. She is the author of the award-winning “L.O.V.E FOODBOOK”, as well as “Junk Foodie: 51 Delicious Recipes for the Lowbrow Gourmand”. Based in New York City, she works out of the New Lab for emerging technologies. She is founding member of New Inc at the New Museum, founding faculty of the School of Visual Arts Products of Design MFA program, and founder of the Food Design Studio at Pratt Institute.

Artist Karl Holmqvist read excerpts from the book. Photo: Kathryn Ryan

Photo: Kathryn Ryan

Tweet