"Form of Resistance" and Other Praise for Bastard Cookbook

Published in New York in June 2019, the Bastard Cookbook keeps getting press in food and arts media alike. Medias like The New York Times, Frieze and Hyperallergic have featured the book and by the looks of it their editors can’t wait to indulge into the fascinating recipes created by bastard cooks Antto Melasniemi and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Photo: Petter Löfstedt

Hyperallergic’s Laura Raicovich reviews the book with the title “A Cookbook That Relishes the Impure and Adulterated” through which she identifies the search for the authentic food experience “not only de-fetishized but rendered impossible”. The insightful review applauds the thread of essays and interviews that differentiates the Bastard Cookbook from other outdated fusion trends and sees it call for “more intellectual synthesis of cooking methodologies and ingredients”. The core at which Raicovich arrives is that classical dishes are bastard too and she concludes:

“The reality emerges that purity in cuisine (as well as in nationality) is a profound fiction.”

In their Food Issue, Frieze Magazine discusses futurist cookbooks - Bastard Cookbook being one of them. The article features the recipe for Nam Pla ice cream and calls initiatives like these a “feast for the palate and the mind”.

Earlier in the summer, The New York Times’ Sam Sifton pondered upon what to cook during the weekend and recommended the bastard pad Thai from the book which he identified as “wreaking havoc on the notion of authenticity”. “Would eat.” he concludes.

To read more about the project, click here.

Nam Pla ice cream Photo: Janne Tuunanen

Bastard Cookbook is co-published by the Finnish Cultural Institute and Garret Publications.

The book is distributed by Idea Books and is currently available through Gavin Brown’s enterprise, at the MoMA PS1 bookstore, Whitney Museum of American Art, Powell’s Books and Mcnally Jackson at Prince Street among others.