Tabulatopia at Château de la Borie

By invitation of Château de la Borie / Galerie d’Art Contemporain. June 2020. Tabulatopia Collective (Jonmar van Vlijmen and Ronald Boer (together De Onkruidenier), Céline Pelcé and myself).

Tabulatopia was invited for a weeklong residency late June 2020 in order to explore the four different gardens of Château de la Borie. La Borie’s gardens consist of the traditional jardin à la française, a jardin en mouvement to the philosophy of Gilles Clément, a permaculture garden and a forest garden currently undergoing a rewilding process. The results of our research and findings of our residency were shared during two edible exploration walks and a workshop.

During our stay we have focused on the hyper local and have prepared little tasters found in 2m² across the four different gardens. These hyper local tasters were shared during edible exploration walks with visitors. Some elements we have worked with were; dried clovers to become part of a tempura, toasted dandelion root as a slightly bittersweet garnish, fern tops served sautéed as base for a canapé and sticky weed seeds as a coffee-like dust to garnish another little edible garden taster. The plant narratives, the local experiences and recipes we produced during this week will become a small publication.


CONSIDERED Magazine Volume Three, Summer 2020. Photography by Kim Lightbody. Food styling and recipes by me.

CONSIDERED Magazine is an independently published, bi-annual print magazine featuring sustainable and mindful lifestyle and travel articles. For Volume Three Kim and I created a series of vegan recipes with a focus on seasonality, cleanliness, serenity and nutrition and used a selection of locally foraged and fermented ingredients.

In the photos; A simple vegetable broth with rock samphire, wild chervil, green asparagus, British peas, shallots, radishes & radish leaves; Grilled apricots & Mirabelle plums with elderflower drizzle and bay leaf dust; Wholemeal Khorasan bread with tarragon, aniseed and sunflowers seeds; Start of summer salad with purple potatoes, pickled rhubarb, wild Alexander buds, wild pink sorrel, fennel tops and rhubarb vinaigrette.

Kleureyck Exhibition, Design Museum Gent (BE)

Re-table(au), performative installation, Design Museum Gent (BE) 2020

2020 was the year Ghent and Flanders were honouring the Flemish painter ‘Jan van Eyck’ and I was pleased to be invited by The Design Museum in Ghent to create content for two experience rooms for their large scale exhibition named ‘Kleureyck’. In collaboration with the Jan van Eyck academie’s Food Lab, I assembled a fantastic team of artists to develop a concept deeply rooted in the colourful landscapes of the ‘Ghent Altarpiece’ by Jan van Eyck. His unique use of colour was the genesis of our explorations as Céline Pelcé, De Onkruidenier (Jonmar van Vlijmen and Ronald Boer) and myself set about devising a new piece which we named ‘Re-table(au)’.

The realistically depicted scene in this particular painting is an imaginary one, where locations and seasons are innovatively blended. This concept of imagined reality provoked thoughts amongst us relative to our current global food system in which the fiction of van Eyck’s depiction of exotic produce is now very much a non-fictitious reality where almost all edible produce (at least from the Ghent Alterpiece) is possible to source all year round regardless of its natural season.

Re-Table(au) is an endlessly evolving foodscape reminiscent of seasonality; where both established and fledgling exploration/preservation techniques and poetic rituals are presented in a tangible way. Activation moments occur throughout the exhibition in which the evolving tableau is shared physically and internally through a ritualistic experience of colour and flavour in a multi sensory environment including edible objects and other concoctions allowing you to literally digest the landscape.

Photos © Design Museum Gent, Filip Dujardin

Under the Influence of Color

Multisensory dinner performance, Jan van Eyck Academie, 2019
The interactive food experience was co-created with food designer Céline Pelcé. The wider concept and the light and sound installation and experience was co-created with the artists Céline Pelcé, Anne Huijnen, Lyndon Barrois Jr, Ana Guedes, Ed Begley and Addoley Dzegede.

About Color Through Time
As the first event in this series, Color Through Time takes inspiration from Jun’ichiro Tanazaki’s text In Praise of Shadows (1977), and will use food to facilitate dissonance between perception and experience, as the relationships between appearance, taste and texture become complicated and re-adjusted. Approaching the sensorial experience through technological time, the evening will fast forward through centuries of evolving light sources, and transition from handmade to mechanized methods of food handling. The various flavours served over the course of the evening will explore, through a kind or re-enactment, changing environmental sensibilities that redirect the aesthetic experience of the beholder.

The flicker of the flame finds familiarity in the fluorescent tube, but so much has changed in the span of time between them. This first event seeks to offer its participants a time traveling of sorts, compressed into a few hours, towards a kind of atmospheric schizophrenia. Maybe the future is made from the past? Or maybe the past is just a collection of future artefacts?

Under The Influence of Color 
The multisensory experience series ‘Under the Influence of Color’ invokes the distinct sensory elements that contribute to the perceptual soup we call atmosphere (color, smell, taste, light, sound). Light and color can be seen as inseparable entities, as the former makes way for the latter. The manipulation of light leads to the wrangling of color, influencing the degree to which it is suppressed, liberated, differentiated, or assigned meaning. Color functions as an invitation or deterrent; as informant or signifier; and as aid to seduction or disgust. What if these codes were somehow re-framed and remixed? And how does the quality of light precipitate different responses to the same source material? Using food as a primary catalyst, Under the Influence of Color will examine the parallels between bodily ingestion and visual consumption, from the naturally occurring, distilled, and synthesized contexts of food and image, and the mechanisms of production and application that have ensued.

Color through time is a light sensitive tasting in seven stages. Here, we use food to facilitate dissonance between perception and experience, as the relationships between appearance, taste and texture become complicated and re-adjusted. This sensorial experience fasts forward through centuries of evolving light sources, and transition from handmade to mechanized methods of food handling. The various flavours served over the course of the evening will explore, through a kind or re-enactment, changing environmental sensibilities that redirect the aesthetic experience of the beholder.

Stage 1 : Fermented whole cabbage / natural light / end of the natural daylight
Stage 2 : Apples cooked in clay on fire / natural light / dawn
Stage 3 : Salt baked trout and beetroot marbled eggs / candle light
Stage 4 : Steamed dumplings / incandescent light
Stage 5 : Ice cream mochi / fluorescent tubes
Stage 6 : Grayscale icicle from earth to flower / LED lights
Stage 7 : Tonic and Szechuan buttons / Black light

Photos © Sebastien Lauret

Interview with Freunde von Freunden

Freunde von Freunden recently interviewed me as part of their Culinary Encounters series in collaboration with Siemens. The article and video describe how I have spent my first few months setting up and advising the Food Lab at the Jan van Eyck Academie as well as being a resident myself. It also gives a little insight into my general philosophy and approach to food and sharing food.

Mazi Mas

I was so lucky to have worked with the social enterprise Mazi Mas, and more importantly, a wonderful group of women, as Culinary Director and coach between December 2016 and August 2018. Mazi Mas offers training and work for immigrant and refugee women who have a passion for food. Mazi Mas gives these women an opportunity to make a living while showing London their colourful culinary heritage.

Far from being unskilled, these women possess skills which are highly marketable in an increasingly food-inspired London . What they lack are the means, knowledge, and networks to turn these skills into economic opportunity. Mazi Mas gives these women the opportunity to engage with a public which is – quite literally – hungry for their talent.

Mazi Mas works in partnership with small businesses and many fellow social enterprises, and sources their produce from local farms. Mazi Mas is passionate about contributing to strengthen local economies and to support other businesses that are dedicated to providing meaningful, fulfilling, and justly paid work.

Mazi Mas was named one of Britain’s 50 New Radicals by Nesta and The Observer in 2014. This has allowed Mazi Mas to connect with a wonderful group of people who are contributing to positive social change in inspiring and innovative ways, and addressing global problems at a local level. 

A few of the women have started their own businesses; please get in touch if you wish to contact and book them for an event and enjoy their incredible dishes yourself.

Good Together, Drink & Feast with Mr Lyan & Friends.

Good Together, Drink & Feast with Mr Lyan & Friends. Author Ryan Chetiyawardana. Published by Frances Lincoln Publishers (2017). Photography by Kim Lightbody. Food styling of most of the food recipes by me.

Good food, good drink, good company – that’s the recipe for a good time. This original book sees celebrated cocktail creator and man behind White Lyan and Dandelyan bars in London, Mr Lyan, call on his many friends from the world’s best restaurants to share their favourite dishes.

From an enormous summer BBQ to an intimate romantic dinner, it covers an impressive range of occasions and holidays, showing how a great feast and delicious cocktails can easily be part of everyone’s lives and social gatherings. A menu of world-class cocktails are crafted to suit recipes contributed by chefs including Nuno Mendes (Chiltern Firehouse), James Lowe (Lyle’s), Nieves Barragán Mohacho (Barrafina), Roca (El Celler de can Roca), Robin Gill (The Dairy), Isaac McHale (The Clove Club), Tien Ho (Whole Foods) and Richard Hart (Tartine) among many others, in this unique guide to the complete social gathering.

A masterclass in bringing together the very best food and drink to create a home gathering with impact, this book is the ultimate guide to entertaining guests with style.

Book by Pukka teas; Cleanse, Nurture, Restore, with Herbal Tea

Cleanse, Nurture, Restore, with Herbal Tea.

Author Sebastian Pole. Photography by Kim Lightbody. All food & prop styling by me.

Pukka’s founder Sebastian Pole created a book which has been published by Frances Lincoln Publishers (London) early 2017. The book offers a wide variety of herbal recipes and presents more than seventy herbal tea recipes to make at home using botanicals, herbs and fresh ingredients.

Chapters include Cleanse and Detox; Nourish and Digest; Energise and Rejuvenate; Peace and Harmony; Joy and Happiness; Defend and Protect; Man, Woman & Child and Beyond Tea.

Action Against Hunger’s Five Star Burgers

Food styling ‘Five Star Burger’ campaign by Action Against Hunger for Taste of London 2016
Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization which is committed to ending world hunger. The organisation helps malnourished children and provides communities with access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger. For Taste of London 2016 Action Against Hunger created the Five Star Burger campaign, with burgers created by renowned chefs Raymond Blanc, Jason Atherton, Nieves Barragán Mohacho, Gizzi Erskine and Shaun Searley in order to raise funds.

Photo © Samuel Hauenstein Swan

Savage Salads

Savage Salads is a cookbook by Kristina Gusttafsson and Davide del Gatto. Published by Frances Lincoln Publishers (2017). Photography by Kim Lightbody. All prop- and food styling by me.

Savage Salads is about filling up, enjoying what you’ re eating and knowing it’ s good for you. Kristina and Davide have spent years serving satisfying salads from their London food stall to crowds of adoring fans – they’ re experts at creating punchy flavours and exciting combinations. Topped with meat, chicken and fish, these recipes are nourishing, delicious, and packed with protein.