Le Corbuffet: Edible Art and Design Classics is a contemporary cookbook created by chef and artist Esther Choi. The artist herself describes the book as “a conceptual artwork in the form of a cookbook”.
It contains recipes inspired by Frida Kahlo, Barbara Kruger, Keith Harring, and more, all staged in contemporary arrangements. I wondered, where did the concept for this intelligent artwork originate from?
In 2014 Choi found an intricate menu of obscure dishes by artist László Moholy-Nagy created for a dinner in honor of Bauhaus founder and architect Walter Gropius. This discovery inspired her to create her own social experiment which followed with dinner parties at her Brooklyn apartment. During these occasions, she would offer meals to an assortment of guests revolving around the consumption of absurd, pun-inspired dishes. These dishes had one thing in common as they all referred to contemporary artists and designers that she admired.
The resulting book Le Corbuffet provides an intriguing collection, which includes 60 recipes that are inspired by an array of contemporary paintings, sculptures, and design.
Choi’s own work adopts many different formats: from photographs and installations to videos, social sculptures, and essays. However, this Avant-garde-esque cookbook has a refreshing and humorous twist on food design celebrating the culture of creativity.
The cookbook is a reminder for not taking life too seriously and having fun. Currently, we see amusing social media contests copying art by our fellow self-quarantined people. Maybe the book might be a great inspiration for people to step up their game by only using food for their next art contest.