War Gastronomy

Justin Hoover, Chris Treggiari

Location: Mission Street, Outside Yerba Buena Park, San Francisco, California, USA

Project Description:  War Gastronomy is a social sculpture / cultural heritage project, in collaboration with artists Justin Hoover and Chris Treggiari, premised on constructing a food/stories cart that reframes personal histories of dislocation due to war and conflict through the recipes that people took with them in their forced or willful translocation. The cart will sell and prepare food in public space as a performance and as a sculptural installation. This project consists of two parts: the bike cart and a series of custom built crates designed to fit on the bike cart and operate as the central portable kitchen / story dissemination system. These crates are designed to emulate the classic steamer trunk set and open up to unique set ups, one a wet kitchen with sink and electrical stove, another with eating systems and serving systems, and a third with story telling and recipe sharing systems (video screens and writing collection material). The project will be augmented by an online War Gastronomy cookbook as a story and recipe archive.

In addition to the food being sold from the temporary storefront and bike-carts the stories of flight and escape will be contextualized and conveyed through custom designed napkins, food wrappers, placements, etc used to serve the food. Additionally, a limited edition set of serving vessels and utensils will be created as symbolic objects drawn from the stories of the artist/chefs involved in order to more deeply express the personal relationship to these stories.

The War Gastronomy is designed to foster multicultural oral traditions, engage public communities through communal eating, teach about community health through environmental stewardship, and finally, reframe the relationship that refugees have to the physical labor of movement, trans-location, and entrepreneurial/micro-economics. All food will be available for purchase by locals and passers by. San Francisco, on Mission St, Outside Yerba Buena Park.

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