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volume 01 — issue 05

Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

lifestyle Midnight Burning

fashion Gastro Weaponry

Do not throw on the public domain.

belgium Snack Life

— the delectable foodie issue —

design Dirty Dishes

culture Mood Food


MYSTERIOUS Invisible Built-in Switches MYSTERIOUS Invisible Built-in Switches Interieur08 hall 5 /stand 524

www.mysterious.be

Interieur08 hall 5 /stand 524


www.mysterious.be


editor's letter

Why is it that I can already hear Hettie saying “I told you so”?!

The Word is Nicholas Lewis

Indeed, never has Belgium – and our cherished capital city more specifically– seemed so vacant and, well, dead-like. Countless interviews have been cancelled, photo shoots delayed and features re-planned due to our country’s total standstill during the month of August.

Advertising Benoit Berben Editor-at-Large Hettie Judah

She had warned us, but we knew better didn’t we?! The power of learning by personal experience huh? Never again…

Design Delphine Dupont + pleaseletmedesign

Altough we did manage to concoct one mouthful of an issue, so get your bibs out. Our back-to-school issue sees us uncover Belgium’s less tourist-attractive culinary side with an account of radical urban gastro-invasions, doing a day’s worth of rounds with the country’s highway-bound fi sherman and get our grease-fi x at some of our favourite snacks around.

Lithography Olivier Dengis @ Mistral Photography / Illustration Geneviève Balasse Jean-Baptiste Biche Ulrike Biets Pierre Debusschere Arnaud De Harven Kris De Smedt Sarah Eechaut Sven Laurent Denis Meyers Sarah Michielsen @ Outlandish Opération Panda Yassin Serghini Sam Sisk Gaëlle Sutour

We attend to our bad conscience with a look into Europe and Belgium’s shameful waste record whilst very contrarily have ourselves one futurefantastic food fight for our fashion pages. Hum, we wondered about this obvious confl ict of directions but, hey, everybody is human. Our slightly more light-hearted and lifestyle-led pages see us having loungeshaped cakes made especially for us courtesy of Belgian Master pastry-makers Wittamer and Fabrice Collignon, setting ourselves a misty-eyed night shop challenge with larger-than-life food buff Hughes Belin whilst we team up with photographer Arnaud De Harven for a trip around the world’s tastiest streets – all this from 1000 Brussels. And this isn’t to mention our spice-induced Showstoppers selection, our study of the link between food and colour and our winked reference to the country’s love affair with chocolate spreads.

Writers Alex Deforce Collette Hutchinson Hettie Judah Laura Vannerom Karen Van Godtsenhoven Geraldine Vanhout Randa Wazen Nicholas Lewis

We weren’t about to do it Ready, Steady, Cook-style now were we?! Before we leave you to get grease stains all over the following pages, allow us to remind you of the need to re-subscribe on our website if you want to continue receiving the magazine at home as of January 2009. At a mere €18 for six issues, you really don’t have any excuses not to, if you ask us. In the meantime, enjoy your meal.

Thank You’s Melisande McBurnie Phuong Nguyen Coralie Rutten Séverine Vaissaud Mum, AJ & UK

© Fred Bastin

The Word is published six times a year by JamPublishing, 107 Rue Général Henry Straat 1040 Brussels, Belgium. Reproduction, in whole or in part, without prior permission is strictly prohibited. All information correct up to the time of going to press. The publishers cannot be held liable for any changes in this respect after this date.

Nicholas Lewis

On this cover Bubble Black

THE FIFTH WORD — 7


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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

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Cover The Delectable Foodie Issue Ad Mooi Ad Mooi Ad Niko Ad Niko Ad Absolut Editor’s letter No5 Contents Page N°1 You’re Looking at It Ad Saab Contents Page N°2 The Page After This One Ad Bombay Sapphire Contributors It’s A Word’s World Ad Aspria The Diary Fridge Post-its The Diary Our Pick of Agenda Fillers – Belgium The Diary Our Pick of Agenda Fillers – Belgium The Diary Our Pick of Agenda Fillers – Belgium & UK The Diary Our Pick of Agenda Fillers - UK The Diary Our Pick of Agenda Fillers –Holland The Diary Our Pick of Agenda Fillers – France & Gifts Galore Ad Interiors 08 The Foodie Papers Title Page The Foodie Papers Guerilla Cuisine The Foodie Papers Fritter Fashion The Foodie Papers Getting Chippy The Foodie Papers Mama Said Eat It Fresh & BBF As Seen by Gaelle The Food Fantastic Adventure Now Before The Biennial Now Before The Biennial The Word On Snack Culture The Word On Snack Culture The Institution Mister Fisher Man The Institution Mister Fisher Man Three of the Best Kitchen Scales Three of the Best Kitchen Scales I’ll Take Mine To Go Showstoppers I’ll Take Mine To Go Showstoppers I’ll Take Mine To Go Showstoppers Worldclass Ad Waste Full Living It Waste Full Living It Waste Full Living It Amnesty International Ad Night Shop Dining The Challenge Night Shop Dining The Challenge Dinner Table Belgium The Photo Album Dinner Table Belgium The Photo Album Food Wars The Fashion Word Food Wars The Fashion Word Food Wars The Fashion Word


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The Fashion Word The Fashion Word The Fashion Word The Fashion Word The Fashion Word Pastryesque Pastryesque I Want to Eat You Up I Want to Eat You Up I Want to Eat You Up Ad Pencil Perfect Pencil Perfect Design Design Food and Design Food and Design Shelf Absorbed Shelf Absorbed The Study The Study Diner’s Check Diner’s Check Diner’s Check Ad Eye-Opener Eye-Opener Eye-Opener Eye-Opener Eye-Opener Eye-Opener The Word on the Street The Word on the Street The Word on the Street The Word on the Street The Word on the Street The Word on the Street The Word on the Street Ad Our Playlist Ad Stockists Ad Advertisers’ Advertisers’ The Last Word The Last Word What’s Next Ad Back Cover

Food Wars Food Wars Food Wars Food Wars Food Wars Piece of Cake Piece of Cake At The Candy Shop At The Candy Shop At The Candy Shop Burberry The Chocolate Bunch The Chocolate Bunch Dish Out The Dirt Dish Out The Dirt The Non-Conformist The Non-Conformist Book Bites Book Bites United Colours of Food United Colours of Food Hawkers’ Food Hawkers’ Food Hawkers’ Food Lufthansa Sugar Fix Sugar Fix Sugar Fix Sugar Fix Sugar Fix Sugar Fix The Taste of Paint The Taste of Paint The Taste of Paint The Taste of Paint The Taste of Paint The Taste of Paint The Taste of Paint Subscribe to The Word Songs We Eat Superdry …And Others We Love The RUG Company Round Up Round Up The Demise of The Grocer The Demise of The Grocer The Essential Luxuries NDC Delvaux


contributors

Pholoso Selebogo Stylist

© Olivier Donnet

It’s a Word’s World

Poor Pholo. We had asked the unimaginable in terms of timing and knew the pressure was well and truly on her to deliver. She went into overdrive and did more than deliver, much more. We even had such a laugh on the day of the shoot itself that it seemed as though we had known her for years. Well, she’s family now.

Ulrike Biets Photographer

Although it took us close to three weeks to actually meet up – erroneous emails, cancellations, don’t ask – we fi nally hooked up with Ulrike one summer afternoon at Brussels’ Roi des Belges. We knew we wanted her to shoot our Night Shop Challenge and weren’t disappointed with the result. We can only hope it is the shape of better things to come.

— Pages n° 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55

— Pages n° 44, 45

— Pages n° 64, 65

© Sam Sisk

We had heard of Jean-Biche’s talent for some time now, had promised ourselves that we would eventually contact him, and fi nally did. With commissions by the likes of Another Magazine and The New York Times, Jean-Biche has carved out quite some niche for himself. We asked him to illustrate our Chocolate Spread feature and he hit the spot just right. Expect to see more of him in following issues.

© Pierre Debusschere

Jean-Baptiste Biche Illustrator

Karen Van Godtsenhoven Writer

Brussels-based freelance writer Karen was bursting with ideas right from the fi rst email she sent us. Resourceful and persevering, we’re glad we asked her to look into old-age grocers for our Last Word column. The going most defi nitely was tough – grocers are a dying breed – but she came through. One you’re also sure to see more off in issues to come.

Pierre Debusschere Photographer

Pierre is another one of those photographers we’re taking every chances to work with whilst we still can as this here kid is sure to be off for bigger and better prospects anytime soon. He had already contributed to our Secret Society issue’s Eye-Opener series and we knew it would only be a matter of time before we asked him to shoot our Fashion ones. A delight.

Page n° 96, 97

Pages n° 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55

12 — THE FIFTH WORD


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the diary

14 — THE FIFTH WORD


the diary

The Next Few Weeks’ Agenda Fillers

Belgium,

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© Rauschenberg

Turkish Delight

British artist Gavin Turk examines the meaning of being an artist, whilst at the same time explores issues of authority and originality. Be it his revisited Warhol serigraphy, his bronze-cased everyday items or his installations, Turk always manages to make reference to modern realities without glorifying them. His exhibition at Brussels’ Aeroplastic, the closest one gets to a retrospective, brings together his work focusing on waste as well as presenting work, on the second floor, of four up-and-coming artists championed by Turk himself. A welcome initiative and an exhibition we’re looking forward to.

© Peter Downsbrough Courtesy Erna Hecey Gallery, Brussels

The Designers’ Trail @ Centrale Electrique, from 24th to 26th October 2008 The fashion pack comes out in force for this 3-day long jamboree showcasing Brussels’ tight-knitted fashion scene.

 www.zeno-x.com

The in-betweeners

Saved by the Bell

For Whom the Bell Tolls Marlene Dumas À Until 11th October 2008 ☞ Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

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 www.ernahecey.com

 www.muhka.be

One of the grandees of contemporary painting, Marlene Dumas’ heavy-hitting yet oddly disturbing work often depicts the under-represented classes in a chillingly blunt and unassuming manner. Often referred to as an “intellectual expressionist”, this Amsterdam-based South-African has made raw and uncut paintings her forte. Dumas’ striking and sometimes violent brush strokes, unashamedly frank portraits and hidden sociological meanings make for a powerful and disconcerting overall visual aesthetic. Make sure to catch this one before it closes.

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Peter Downsbrough À Until 11th October 2008 ☞ Erna Hecey Gallery, Brussels

De Orde Der Dingen À From 12 th September 2008 until 4th January 2009 ☞ Muhka, Antwerp

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Visually Precise

It is sometimes difficult to place Peter Downsbrough’s work in any particular category or school as he so seemingly (and easily) crosses the boundaries between video art, photography and typographic installations. Often of intense geometrical precision, his work contains a somewhat soothing element, continuously using lines, planes, negative spaces and delimitations as frameworks within which to work with. Also very much interested in the use of space and the way in which we engage it, his shows are as much about the art work itself as they are about the actual invasion of the space.

© Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

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Pixel Perfect

The Order of Things begins with photo-artist Roy Arden’s web-based project The World as Will and Representation, a body of work comprising a mind-boggling 30,000 (and more) jpegs. Used as a departing point for the rest of the exhibition, Arden’s work seeks to explore the use – and wider meaning – of archival imagery in today’s visually-saturated contemporary art world. Though the exhibition further looks into the use of archival images through other works of art such Thomas Ruff’s iconic jpeg, it is the prospect of witnessing Arden’s phenomenal project fi rst-hand which has us growing impatient.

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Gavin Turk – You Known I know He Knows We Know ☞ Aeroplastic, Brussels

© Gavin Turk

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 www.aeroplastics.net

THE FIFTH WORD — 15


the diary

© 5-5 Deisgners

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Design Clash

A mishmash of symposiums, conferences, talks, events, awards and exhibitions, Brussels’ Design September brings together more than 100 designers and architects during the month of September for what always promises to be an intellectuallystimulating, full four weeks. Sponsored – among many others – by that oh so design-conscious blue drinks (that would be Bombay Sapphire), festival highlights include a speciallycommissioned show on food design, a talk given by Jurgen Bey, an exhibition (COI) showcasing contemporary practices in graphic design with the object as central theme as well as the notto-be-missed Brussels Design Market on 14th September.

Hella Jongerius À Until 12 th October 2008 ☞ Design Museum, Ghent

© Ann-Mie Van Kerckhoven

Design September 2008 À From 7th until 30 th September 2008 ☞ Various venues around Brussels

 www.design.museum.gent.be

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© Hella Jongerius

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The Drawing Board

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work spans countless mediums, from painting and photography to computer-generated imagery and video. For her first major survey exhibition in Belgium, Brussels’ Wiels chooses to focus on the medium which Van Kerckhoven has favoured since the mid-seventies: drawing. Psychologicallycharged, slightly in-your-face and full of wit, the drawings offer a peek into the diary-like world – and thinking process – of this highly accomplished multimedia artist. Showcased in what is quickly becoming Brussels’ answer to London’s Tate Modern, the exhibition does a fine job of presenting Van Kerckhoven at her best and most intimate.

© Julien Oppenheim

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven Nothing More Natural À Until 2nd November 2008 ☞ Wiels, Brussels

 www.wiels.org

16 — THE FIFTH WORD

Brussels Affordable Art Fair @ European Training Institute From 23rd October 2008 to 26th October 2008 – second edition of annual art fair showcasing reasonably-priced art sold directly from the artists themselves.

 www.designseptember.be

Š

True School

A graduate of Eindhoven’s famed Design Academy, Hella Jongerius is one of the most exciting and innovative designers of our time. Although she began producing – and still does – many editions for the likes of Droog Design and design powerhouse Vitra, Jongerius today produces her work through her own Rotterdam-based Jongeriuslab. With pieces such as her vases for Ikea and her renowned Rotterdam Chair on show, Ghent’s Design Museum’s exhibition promises to be an invigorating one. We covered her in our Getaway issue’s Wrappers’ Delight so this is simply homecoming for us.

Royal Homecoming

There’s fashion and then there’s Maison Martin Margiela. Renowned as much for his deconstructed approach to fashion as for his understated demeanor, the Belgian fashion designer celebrates 20 years in the business this year for which he is given a fitting exhibition at Antwerp’s Fashion Museum. Cutting short of a full retrospective, the show highlights those themes which Maison Martin Margiela has made its own in the conception of its various different collections over the last 20 years. Curated and organized in close collaboration with the Maison itself – a small selection of limited-edition items will go on sale during the exhibition - this one is sure to be an office favourite. Maison Martin Margiela 20 The Exhibition À Until 8 th February 2009 ☞ Momu, Antwerp

 www.momu.be


the diary

United Kingdom, The Butterfly Effect

Mexican photographer Erika Harrsch uses the human body as a central element to her work, utilizing it as the harnessing factor for her many creations. For her exhibition at Charleroi’s Photography Museum, Harrsch presents Eros-Thanatos, a visual and audio canvas representing the cycle of life on earth. The photographic installation comprises a carpet of more than 60,000 paper butterfl ies which exhibitiongoers must walk on to get to a video projection of a huge flock of butterfl ies actually flying off into the Mexican wilderness.



……

© Erika Harrsch

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Erika Harrsch – Eros-Thanatos À From 20 th September 2008 until 18 th January 2009 ☞ Photography Museum, Charleroi

Million Dollar Pixels

German artist Gerhard Richter, one of the most important artists of the post-World War II period, has developed a series of 49 paintings especially for this exhibition at the Serpentine. 4900 Colours is made up of brightly coloured monochrome squares randomly arranged in a grid that can be reconfigured in different variations to create patterns of kaleidoscopic colour. Richter’s early background took him from advertising apprentice to stageset painter before studying at the Dresden Art Academy. His paintings now sell in the auction rooms for millions. (CH) Gerhard Richter 4900 Colours: Version II À From 23 rd September until 16th November 2008 ☞ Serpentine Gallery, London

 www.museephoto.be

 www.serpentinegallery.org

Willem De Kooning À From 25th September until 8 th November 2008 ☞ Xavier Hufkens, Brussels

© Willem De Kooning

Paper Weight

One of the most respected painters of the 20th century, Willem de Kooning’s work embraces several mediums, from ink and charcoal to oil and pencil. Renowned for his distinctive paintings of the female figure, the master’s brush stroke breathes a certain sense of urgency, one which maximizes the expressive power of paint. The exhibition at Xavier Hufkens focuses on the artist’s work on paper, revealing Willem’s overzealous work ethic, one which is able to leave a simple stroke as it is. Less is more we say, less is more.

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© Gerhard Richter

Ž

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Bottling Art

A fi rst generation immigrant, Goicolea feels somewhat detached from his homeland – a place he’s never truly known but one which he is whole-heartedly aware of. Through drawing, photography, sculpture and installation he explores his family history and identity as well as looking at wider themes such as ritual and alienation. Using old family photographs taken in Cuba and reinterpreting them through drawing and painting, Goicolea layers them onto glass and Mylar which are then inverted to create positive images. Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s exhibition follows. (CH) Anthony Goicolea À Until 4th October 2008 ☞ Haunch of Venison, London

 www.xavierhufkens.com

© Anthony Goicolea

 www.haunchofvenison.com

THE FIFTH WORD — 17


the diary

© Francis Bacon

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© Collection Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA

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Art World Behemoth

Despite having died sixteen years ago, Francis Bacon remains one of the world’s most famous artists. His figurative images, often grotesque and austere, remain in the minds of all those familiar with the great artists of the twentieth century. This exhibition brings together the most important paintings from throughout Bacon’s life. The raw emotion of his work seen through the contorted images of people and animals make his some of the most powerful images in art. Including his famous portrait of Pope Innocent X and his renowned triptych Three Studies for a Crucifixion - this exhibition is a must. (CH) Francis Bacon À From 11th September 2008 until 4th January 2009 ☞ Tate Britain, London

Cold War Modern: Design 1945-1970 À From 25th September 2008 until 11th January 2009 ☞ Victoria & Albert Museum, London

 www.tate.org/britain

© Hesser Schmitt

…Š

Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms À From 7th October 2008 until 18 th January 2009 ☞ Hayward Gallery, London © Robin Derrick

 www.haywardgallery.org.uk

18 — THE FIFTH WORD

 www.vam.ac.uk

Pop King

One of the most iconic figures of the second half of the 20th century, Andy Warhol made his mark on popular culture in a wholly unique way. His massive contribution to the Pop Art movement and his mixing in diverse social circles make Warhol a seminal figure of his time. This exhibition showcases works from the 1950’s through to the 1980’s, presenting his fi lms, installations, paintings and general creativity in a way that sheds new light on a fl amboyant yet somewhat mysterious character. Essential viewing for any self-respecting Warholites out there. (CH)

…Š London Design Festival from 13th to 23rd September 2008, London Packed full of design-led events throughout the second week of September, the London Design Festival is as extensive as it gets.

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Glaciers of Ice

During the Cold War era, East and West competed over nuclear arms, the space race and world domination. But those days were also heavily marked by another type of rivalry: modernity. So imagine our joy when we found out that the V&A will reunite for the fi rst time various art forms from both sides of the Iron Curtain during that period. Expect countless modernist treasures from paintings by Picasso and Richter, fashion by Paco Rabanne, Kubrick fi lms, the Eameses and Dieter Rams designs, architecture by Le Corbusier, Buckminster Fuller and Archigram, to a Sputnik and an Apollo Mission space suit. (RW)

Floral Beauty

It was instant love from the minute we fi rst set our sights on Robin Derrick’s photographs of floral arrangements. A former Vogue Art and Creative Director, Derrick examines the role of beauty in photography, using his unique studio – and, more particularly, lighting – techniques to create exquisite prints. This one only runs until 8th October though so make sure to fi nd an excuse to hop across the channel for a weekend in the next few weeks. Robin Derrick – Cut Flowers À From 18 th September until 8 th October 2008 ☞ The Old Train Depot, London


the diary

Holland, De Luis Graphic Society, founded in Utrecht in the 1960’s, was essentially created as a counter force to the era’s preference for the avant-garde. Indeed, the group – which comprised of painter J.H Moesman amongst many others – had as a main purpose the promotion of interest in what they regarded as the undervalued modern graphic arts. Preferring poetic and sometimes frankly bizarre themes, the collective carved a distinctive niche for itself, going as far as creating a distribution network, running graphic workshops and organizing exhibitions throughout the country to further their agenda.

Nik Christensen Better Spectacles À Until 11th October 2008 ☞ Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam

 www.foam.nl

 www.rembrandthuis.nl

…ˆ Eastern Promises

The 15th edition of the Fries Museum’s International Photo Festival sees it focusing on Eastern Block photographers. It seems to be often forgotten that, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, most of the visual aesthetics developed during the repressive years were buried away so as to not have any uncomfortable memories resurface. This is made right with the Photo Festival, which focuses on the works of over 35 photographers whose pictures were banned during the regime’s years. Essential viewing for those keen to get a glimpse of what surely is one of the most historically fraught periods of this century.

© William D. Kuik

Frieze Art Fair from 16th to 19th October 2008, London The one responsible for making of art fairs celebrity-studded affairs, Frieze is most definitely the grand daddy of them all.

Miyako Ishiuchi Photographs 1976-2005 À From 19 th September until 16th November 2008 ☞ Foam Gallery, Amsterdam

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© Miyako Ishiuchi

Beautifully Human

Japanese photographer Miyako Ishiuchi’s work essentially pays tribute to the beauty of the human body and the traces it might leave behind it. She fi nds beauty where others wouldn’t even think of looking for it, such as empty houses and their abandoned interiors. The fi rst retrospective of its kind of the artist’s work in Europe, the exhibition showcases ninety photographs spanning her career’s last thirty years and makes a fi ne job of representing Ishiuchi’s different look on the world surrounding her. Not to be missed.

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De Luis Graphic Society (1960-1980) À Until 16th November 2008 ☞ Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam

 www.gabrielrolt.com

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Groundbreaking Graphics

© Nik Christensen

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Visible Improvement

Put simply, Nik Christensen’s work is brutal and intense. Choosing to work with paper and sumi ink, his work exudes a soothing black-and-whiteness about it, injecting a repetitious element to add to the paintings’ overall sense of urgency. Be it an upside down bucket, an umbrella or a rowboat, Christensen often uses simple, everyday objects in a militarylike discipline, making for an eerie yet often witty portrayal of the absurd. We like them tilting towards the surreal and this one most certainly does.

15th Nooderlicht International Photofestival À Until 26th October 2008 ☞ Fries Museum , Leeuwarden

 www.noorderlicht.com © Füles

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THE FIFTH WORD — 19


the diary

& France. †…

© Aaron Bondaroff

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The New York City Timeline by Aaron Bondaroff À From 29 th September until 1st November 2008 ☞ Colette, Paris

© Miro

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Big City of Dreams

If New York had a muse or brand ambassador, Aaron Bondaroff (better known as A-Ron to his downtown peeps) would most defi nitely be it. Not part of any particular scene nor affi liated to a particular genre, Aaron is modern day New York at its best: quick-witted, ideacrazy and culture-mad. Which is why he was asked by Colette to curate its New York City Timeline showcase. Meant as a visual history chart of the city, A-Ron was asked to represent at best what his childhood city meant to him. Made up of collages, original works and products, Colette is about to do it Big Apple style for the month of October.

 www.colette.fr

Fiac Art Fair from 23rd to 25th October 2008, Paris Internationally-reputed contemporary art fair held every year in the heart of Paris. A definite agenda blocker.

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All Rounder

Jose Berardo is one of Portugal’s most important and successful entrepreneurs, trading everything from gold to wine. The immense fortune he has been able to amass has also allowed him to indulge in his beloved passion: modern and contemporary art. With more than 860 works of art – with everything ranging from Mondrians to Kleins and Stellas – the collection is a jewel which only just recently was made available for the public to feast their eyes on. The Musée du Luxembourg’s exhibition showcases 70 works revolving around surrealism, abstractionism and pop art and provides a concise yet extensive account of one man’s curatorial vision. From Miro to Warhol The Berardo Collection in Paris À From 16th October 2008 until 22nd February 2009 ☞ Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

 www.museeduluxembourg.fr

What We’re Giving Away Two pairs of tickets to the following concerts Primal Scream at L’ Ancienne Belgique on Tuesday 23rd September 2008 Elephant Man at L’Ancienne Belgique on Saturday 25th September 2008 Matthew Herbert at L’Ancienne Belgique on Wednesday 1st October 2008 The Herbaliser at Botanique on Wednesday 8th October 2008

What you need to do. Email your full name, postal address and date of birth to wewrite@thewordmagazine.be, specifying which concert you wish to go to in the subject line. The fi rst readers to do so will each win a pair of tickets. Conditions. Until tickets last. Applies to Belgium only. Normal conditions apply.

20 — THE FIFTH WORD


the foodie papers

— This month’s Papers see us carry out a culinary high-jacking of some sorts in remote urban quarters, get a lesson in deep fried fashion with master style chef Mr Lespagnard and question a certain ad’s not-so-thinly disguised reference to our supposed national taste heritage. Writers Laura Vannerom, Randa Wazen and Hettie Judah Photography Pierre Debusschere and Yassin Serghini

22 — THE FIFTH WORD


© Feldküche

Guerilla Cooking the foodie papers

Guerilla Cooking Feldküche is a nomadic restaurant project that revisits the city, setting up camp in abandoned and unusual places. Behind this project are two passionate culinary types: Michael and Christophe. They both met in the early 90’s while studying contemporary music in Amsterdam. Christophe then moved to Berlin where he started an experimental kitchen whilst Michael came straight to Brussels to join the Ictus Ensemble with whom he plays the clarinet. Christophe followed suit a bit later, when he started working with a Brussels-based performance collective. The two got together again and started experimenting with food, and so it is that their field kitchen (FK) was born. The idea’s main goal is to create a platform of social events bringing together art and food for no more than 50 people. Every event has a theme and the basic format is an experimental four-course meal at €12. The menu, the invite, the design as well as the audio set-up is made according to the very place chosen, a totally unique and one-off experience. I was lucky enough to attend the opening of

their field activities in Brussels. It took place at l’Elephant, which used to be an old welding warehouse, now converted to a cultural space. They wanted to celebrate the shortest day of the year, featuring the 194 day anniversary of the anarchic republic of Belgium. The aim was to rekindle traditional Belgian dishes, resulting in meatballs in chocolate sauce and vegetable fries marinated in Kriek, followed by stoemp glacé. A surprisingly original and tasty menu. And true to the duo’s fresh and far-fetched approach, Schubert’s Winterreise was played and projected. At another one of their FKs, the menu consisted of 12 ingredients on a list, each item with 4 to 5 different preparations. “Feldküchers” had to assemble their own menu using each ingredient only once. A mind-boggling brainteaser for the kitchen as well as the participants. Their most memorable FK however was themed “Funeral”. It exceptionally had 120 guests and 5 courses for a remarkable €12. They decided on cooking a pig in an earth oven following a modernised Māori hāngi method (i.e. cooking food using super heated rocks buried in the ground in a

pit oven). Getting this right was pretty challenging to say the least. Luckily for all the guests Michael and Christophe are good at developing their own master plan. Picture everyone sitting at long wooden tables in the garden of an old empty hotel in Ixelles when suddenly, just before the main course is to be served, the pair starts digging the tomb (remember the theme, hence buried food) where the pig was slowly cooking since the morning and which they conveniently omitted to tell the diners. Needless to say mouths were watering and eye-balls wide-open. What the future holds for our two enthusiastic cooks is anyone’s guess. There have been talks of a Feldküche on a bus driving through the city and two FK’s are planned in Berlin for this Christmas. But for those of you keen to find out more about the events or to get invited to their next guerrilla-style fest, subscribe to their mailing list to get invited. You’ll just need to make sure to reply in time as numbers are limited, although they do claim to be very democratic so first come first served. Literally that is. (LV) feldkuche@contrepied.be

THE FIFTH WORD — 23


© Pierre Debusschere

the foodie papers Fritter Fashion

Fritter Fashion Food and fashion are not normally considered the most usual of bed fellows but JeanPaul Lespagnard sees things differently. Indeed, this Belgian fashion designer recently took the Festival of Hyeres’ audience by storm when his models - 6.5 feet tall Dolly Parton lookalikes clad in bright German and western-inspired outfits - strutted down the catwalk sporting the most patriotic of accessories: bracelets, sunglasses, earrings and –wait for it– Belgian fries-shaped high heels. The collection winning him two of the three awards, Jean-Paul’s brand of ‘Belgitude’ had the fashion pack yearning for more. Yet for someone who’s never been afraid of delivering radical work, the show was somewhat nerve wrecking. “I slightly freaked out when I was admitted to the contest, but even more so when I found out I was the only Belgian! Talk about a cliché: here comes the Belgian guy stomping in with his Belgian fries!” But the audience loved it and reacted just as he would have wanted it to, with a big smile. “I don’t want people to look sad or too concentrated during my shows. Fashion should be fun. Or at least

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refl ect the designer’s personality. I am a happy person and enjoy humour”, and his latest collection most certainly exuded this. “Ich will nen Cowboy als Mann” focuses on Jacqueline, a hysterical young girl who runs a fritkot. Her dream: to go to Texas. Her aim: to marry a cowboy. Jean-Paul drew his inspiration from various places: “It all started with a piece of fabric which reminded me of the paper wrapping fries. You know, the way it gets transparent as the grease smudges… Then I saw this documentary about Gitte, a Danish pop star who sung ‘I want a cowboy husband’ and Jacqueline was born”. Don’t be fooled by the bright colours and her blonde locks though, for she is obsessional and slightly demented. His next collection will evolve around American hero Sylvester Stallone. “I would like to create a mix of Cliff Hanger and Rocky Balboa”, he reveals. But Jacqueline won’t be too far: “We still have a long journey ahead of us! To be honest, she serves as a good medium to materialize my wildest thoughts” As for the food, it will remain, but in a more subdued way. “The line I designed for 1.2.3 evolves around climbing. I want it to have the same feeling as an After Eight. The

jumpers, for example, might seem warm like the chocolate, but because they’re so thin, are just as fresh as mint”. No more fries then? “The fries could come back. It’s all about phases. Klein, for instance, had his blue phase. Well I have my fries phase and my Stallone phase!” He also confesses to being obsessed with food ever since he could remember. “One of my great fantasies is to style a photo shoot in a restaurant with food everywhere and women table-dancing the sirtaki!” Jean-Paul reckons his life radically changed since Hyères. He’s since been appointed artistic director of a multi brand boutique in Paris and French electro sensation Yelle wore his creations in her latest video Ce Jeu. Yet despite his growing success, Jean-Paul makes it clear that he is intent on keeping things real. “What moves me the most is popular culture at its core. I’m not interested in working for the fashion elite. They already have all they need and honestly, what difference would I bring?” (RW)


© Yassin Serghini

Getting Chippy the foodie papers

Getting Chippy Coming into the holding pattern over Zaventem airport at the end of the summer holidays, many of us wondered whether Belgium would still be there, in one piece, when we touched down. It was, by the skin of its teeth. But in place of internal strife, we were greeted by apparent evidence of an invasion from North America. A large billboard just outside the airport hailed us in local style; “Welcome to Belgium, Home of French Fries”. Lovely, thanks. Good to be back home. But before we could get excited about dunking our chips into curry-banana sauce, we noticed that this call to national pride was brought to us by the frozen food giant McCain, and illustrated with a packet of the company’s Home Frit’. It was enough to make us drop our waffles. What on earth were those pesky, lobster-eating Canadian types doing hijacking our national heritage? Was this but the thin end of the wedge? What next? Beavers in the Bois de la Cambre? Mounties on Boulevard Anspach? Celine Dion in the Royal Palace? Alas, such nationalistic spluttering showed us up to be the kind of scum who only

ever buy frites late at night from greasy snack bars. Had we had more of a balanced home life (one that actually involved cooking) we’d probably have known that McCain has long been flogging frites made in Belgium, by Belgians, artfully constructed from Belgian potatoes and designed to match Belgian tastes. McCain have had factories here since 1986, and according to Nielsen studies, the company currently has a 27% share of the retail market for fries in this country. The Home Frit’ is a chip created by the Belgian research and development team in 2003 and has been, according to Heidi Verheyen, the company’s head of marketing “very, very successful.” The secret, it seems, is in the uneven slicing pattern, “it’s not an industrial cut, it’s a home-made cut. This is our artisanal frite,” explains Verheyen. “A lot of people in Belgium still make fries at home themselves, and this answers that need. It has the look and also the taste of home made fries.” As well as the billboard outside Zaventem, Veryheyen has been overseeing a push on fries throughout the summer months, with television advertisements and in-store promotions. “People come back from holiday and they want to eat French fries. Our

Home Frit’ are just the kind of frites that you want to eat when you get home.” The McCain ads may seem pretty rough and ready, but they display precisely the kind of local market sensitivity that global brands currently consider gold-standard practice. At the same time that McCain was developing its Belgium-only home fries, PepsiCo. Inc was launching Turkish corn chips under its Doritos label. The A La Turka chips came in flavours like white cheese and sesame that referenced familiar dishes, and the company made sure that Turkish consumers knew the chips were ‘not available in the rest of the world’. The idea that companies could produce and market products according to a single, globally applicable template is being replaced by post-global marketing. Also known as ‘glocal’ brand development, the idea is to take a company’s core product and adapt it just enough not only to fit in with local tastes, but also to appeal to local sensibilities and even national pride. Instead of feeling invaded by a foreign brand, consumers will consider their country to have merited special attention. (HJ)

THE FIFTH WORD — 25


© Yassin Serghini

the foodie papers Mama Said Eat It Fresh

Mama Said Eat It Fresh Exclusively and religiously specialized in seasonal produce only, Fresh Mama offers a contemporary alternative to bland supermarket vegetables and SUV-friendly farmers’ markets. This grocer-cum-restaurant, situated in Uccle’s Brugmann area, celebrates taste in its entire splendor and gives a new twist to what being a confirmed veggie means. Its innovative concept is articulated around three goals: shop, eat and learn. Which means

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you can either sit down and enjoy a healthy meal from the ever-evolving seasonal menu or just grab something ready to eat out. You’ll also learn all about seasons (yes, they do exist) and the impact they can have on your palate through cooking lessons and an interactive screen which contains extensive nutritional information on the available products. And if cutting a pineapple isn’t your forte, the cooks at the open kitchen will be delighted to split it open for you. Just don’t expect to find strawberries in September or tomatoes

in the winter. But then again we’d rather eat them fresh and tasty once in a while, rather than see them looking sad all year long! (RW)

Rue Xavier de Bue Straat 65 1180 Brussels

www.freshmama.com


as seen by gaelle

The Food Fantastic Adventure


now

Before The Biennial — Like the corsage on a girl on her way to the prom, Brussels’ first Biennial represents the city’s creative coming-of-age. Now we get to play big art with the other new Biennial boys; Moscow, Shanghai, Istanbul and Abu Dhabi. Writer Hettie Judah Photographer Sarah Michielsen @ Outlandish

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Before The Biennial now

03.

02.

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Curator Barbara Vanderlinden sees Brussels as the heart of a European area that takes in the Netherlands, west Germany and northern France. In a novel example of architectural development via lack-of-consensus, artistic control of the Biennial exhibition sites - a derelict postal sorting office near Gare du Midi, and part of the Aneessens Metro station – has been divided between curators from across the region.

01. 02. 03 - 06.

The National Bank Brussels’ Tri Postal The Anneessens Metro Station

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THE FIFTH WORD — 29


© Sarah Eechaut

the word on

01.

— We’ve made no secret of it, our nation’s countless purveyors of fried goodness and overmayonnaised sauces are as close to our hearts as the late Bernie Mac was. And although we’ve probably spent one too many nights in their vicinities, we’ve actually never been behind the counter. Until today that is…

© Sarah Eechaut

Snack Culture

02.

© Yassin Serghini

Photography Sarah Eechaut and Yassin Serghini Writer Nicholas Lewis

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© Sarah Eechaut

© Sarah Eechaut

Snack Culture the word on

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© Yassin Serghini

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© Sarah Eechaut

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01. 02. © Yassin Serghini

03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08.

Dude, Where's my "Cornet / Hoorn" Daily Reading Material You Know You Want One The Essentials Red Dots & Oil Going Hand-in-Hand American Beauty Rony The Fritman

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THE FIFTH WORD — 31


the institution

Mister Fisher Man — Both Shirley and Steven, Brussels’ two remaining mobile fish trucks, have been crisscrossing the country for more than 20 years now, hawking fresh fish to Brussels’s seasidestarved masses direct from Ostend. The pair have an immaculetly-planned and well-served network of routes, enjoying a firm hold on Brussels’ neighbourhood fish trade. We catch up with them in between two rounds, keen to find out all there is to know about the fish trade... Writer Alex Deforce Photography Geneviève Balasse

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SHIRLEY, or How Alfons Zeebroek Set Out Selling Fish

To be crowned an institution doesn’t necessarily mean one is the sole purpetrator of long-forgotten customs and tradtions. Some institutions we choose merely represent a certain way of life – a much simpler way of life - and a refusal to bow-down to 21st century pressures. Take Alfons for example, who has been bringing fresh fi sh to the urban quarters of our capital city for the past 20 years and whose demanding daily grind we recently got word off. We had grown up seeing hordes of old ladies anxiously awaiting for the weekly arrival of thier beloved fishmobile, and wondered who exactly were the people behind the businesses – be it Shirley’s or Steven’s - , the truck and the man. A couple of linguistically-challenging phonecalls later, we arrange to meet the early-morning bird and get the lowdown on this most fishy of businesses. The business of selling fish is a particularly tiring one. Alfons usually starts his round at seven in the morning. Living in the quiet Flemish town of Eernegem (between Torhout and Bruges), this means getting up at five and arriving in Brussels an hour and a half later, just in time to make the truck spotless and display the fish in a sales-friendly manner. Tuesday’s round starts around the neighbourhoods surrounding Ganshoren’s Avenue Marie de Hongrie / Maria Van Hongarijelaan and its Koekelberg cathedral. By noon, Alfons will already be on Etterbeek’s Place Jourdan Plaats. With about nine fi xed selling points, this is a reasonably calm day as far as traffic movement is concerned. Thursday’s schedule, a much busier one, is showing a solid run of over forty checkpoints, all situated in and around Jette. Roughly calculated this comes down to 15 minutes per location. Except for Tuesday mornings, when he moves to the surrounding neighbourhoods of Overijse and Hoeilaart, Alfons solely operates in Brussels. Friday morning brings another round in Etterbeek and with that, he calls it a week, and returns to his hometown to give his faithful Mercedes 608 a good three hour scrub-and-clean. As you’ll probably have guessed, this business isn’t one you’ll see advertised amongst the job vacancies in your local newspaper. Having been brought up with parents doing exactly the same daily routines, buying and selling fi sh on-the-road seemed – and still does – like a perfectly normal thing to do, and was a natural progression for him. His brother also followed

in the parental footsteps, today selling fi sh in the Ardennes. A familly affair indeed. When we leave Alfons, we cannot help but notice the little mermaid painstaikingly airbrushed on the side of his truck. ‘That’s my daughter,’ he proudly states. He stops short of saying he’d like her to follow in his footsteps though: ‘It’s hard work and it’s more of manly job if you ask me. It’s up to her to choose what she’ll want to do as a job.’ STEVEN, or How Dirk Blondeel Became an Institution

As we mentioned, Shirley is not the only fi sh-hawking van parading the streets of our capital, but it most surely is the city’s longest serving one, especially since Alfons took over the renowned poisonnerie Steven some three years back. Just like Shirley, Steven “the truck” is named after the offspring of its owner, in this case Dirk Blondeels’son. Before selling his business to Alfons, Dirk originally hailing from Middelkerke, on the Belgian coast - had also been selling fi sh in Brussels for twenty years and is most probably the fi sher man most mothers and grandmothers most fondly remember. The year is 1985 and without any experience in the fish business at all, this (very oddly) seemed like the most guaranteed of paths to success. Predecessors had proven there was a vast public for the product, one which appeared to be an extremely loyal one as well. It was quite a step into the dark at the time though. Living in Nieuwpoort, this meant twice-daily, hour-long drives down to Brussels. In other words, a weekday’s schedule started at 3h30 in the morning, getting up, preparing the truck, going to Brussels, starting his round at 7am, only to fi nish after 7pm, go back to Nieuwpoort, go to bed, and start again the next day: “Not once did I miss a round, never ever, in all those years,” he exclaims, “except for that one time when I was hospitalised. Apart from that, I always was there, no matter what”. Every business has its critical aspects. And in both Steven and Shirley’s case, this undoutably is the truck in which they keep their fi sh: “Over a period of twenty years I drove fi ve different trucks” Dirk remembers: ”Each new one was a drastic improvement compared to the previous one. Every new truck saw a remarkable jump in turnover. Seriously. Not that I was moving any faster - new truck or not, you’re still dealing with the same traffi c - but a new truck seemed to attract a bigger public.” When asked about the secret of his succes, Dirk isn’t one to mince his words: “I was


Mister Fisher Man the institution

Serving it up: Alfons Zeebroek at work

simply delivering quality goods.” Although he wouldn’t be the fi rst salesman to state so, he insists: “I had my principles. The most important one being: never order fi sh by phone. You have to see the fi sh, smell it and feel it. How else can you know it’s fresh? You’d be surprised though, the few amount of fi sher salesmen that work like that. Most just order by a simple phone call, without any regard for the quality.” Asked about this Summer’s mussel troubles - they were removed from stores after tests showed they contained the toxic DSP matter - Dirk is clear: “I never liked mussels. Never sold much of them, you can’t see what they look like on the inside, I don’t like that.” Dirk also remembers the year 1999, when the dioxine crisis shook Belgium’s entire food industry. The meat industry was in tatters after an investigation found toxic dioxine in various sorts of meat. The minister responded heavily: seven million chickens and sixty thousand pigs were brought to

the slaughterhouse. Almost two thousand farms were ordered to stop their activities for months. Belgian meat caused mass hysteria, making people literally run for fi sh as Dirk recalls: “People were running behind the van to catch me and buy some fresh fi sh. A lot of people didn’t trust meat anymore, so from one day to another they completely switched to eating fi sh. During that period I sold three times as much fi sh as in normal times. It only is temporarily though, as after a while the buzz calms down and people return to their customary habits.”

fresh fi sh, if there are fi sh quotas that doesn’t mean there won’t be any more fi sh at the auction in Ostend. As for foreign fi sh like pangasius, which comes from Vietnam, that particular type of fi sh is so cheap, the price to ship it is simply to high to get it to Ostend. So what happens is you’ll only fi nd it frozen, in the supermarkets. In the end, fi sh is at its best when eaten fresh, people will always prefer that.” Now ain’t that the truth ruth.

On The Same Wave Length

In times of fi shing quota and new exotic fi sh species entering the market, one might get the impression the fi sh business is a particulary unstable one. Japanese are eating global supplies of tunafi sh away while new far-fetched names like “pangasius” are being introduced on the market. All this seems to leave the pair unfased though: “I only sell

Alfonse and Steven’s schedule is available on demand by emailing

n.lewis@thewordmagazine.be

THE FIFTH WORD — 33


three of the best

Kitchen Scales — We’re not exactly pros when it comes to kitchen matters, but one thing we do know is that it is all about getting your quantities right, or so we’ve been told. And although we do enjoy our regular culinary antics which most often than not end with a trip down to the local snack, we thought it was high time to master the art of culinary mathematics. Hence our search for the best in weighing utensils – although we must admit we got slightly carried away with the aesthetic side of things. Say hello to our little friends The Imposing Master, The Elegant Mistress, The Functional Servant and The Smooth Operator. Writer Nicholas Lewis

1. Scale and Clock by Bengt Ek Name We Gave It

The Imposing Master Description

Two-in-one kitchen scale and analog clock

2. Uma Electronic Kitchen Scale by Casa Bugatti Name We Gave It

Designed by

The Elegant Mistress

Bengt Ek

3. Funky Scales Buik Red by Typhoon

Description Weight

Suspended weighing recipient

4,500gr

Name We Gave It

The Functional Servant Designed by

10gr

Lorenzo Ruggeri and Innocenzo Rifi no

What We’d Weigh On It

Weight

Herbs

3,000gr

Accuracy

4. SG66 Scale by Alessi Name We Gave It

Description

The Smooth Operator

Precision-balanced, featuring a fi ne zero adjustment

Description

Designed by

Stainless steel-cased and electronic kitchen scale

Lynda Carpenter Accuracy

1gr

Designed by Weight

Stefano Giovannoni

1,500gr What We’d Weigh On It

Chocolate

Weight Accuracy

1,600gr

10gr Accuracy What We’d Weigh On It

1gr

Coffee What We’d Weigh On It

Flower

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Photography & Styling: Opération Panda - www.operationpanda.be

Kitchen Scale three of the best

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showstoppers

I’ll Take Mine to Go — Believe us when we tell you we had one feast of a day when shooting this issue’s Showstoppers. We started with the priciest apple of them all, went on to munch on a couple of sneezeinducing peanuts and watered the whole thing down with the most aw-inspiring of teas and purest of chocolates. And we even had the sounds to go with it all. Writer Nicholas Lewis Photography Opération Panda

01. When Delphine told us to check these guys out, we were at first skeptical at the thought of a supposedly food-led music compilation. You see, we didn’t want to end up with another one of those Buddha Bar-type “lounge” compilations more suitable to elevators than the world’s funkiest eateries. We contacted the guys at Heya Hifi nonetheless, asking them to send us a copy of their Music and Food compilation. Deep house antics and minimal electro delights it is, elevator music it definitely isn’t. The compilation even comes with a mini-recipe book of dishes concocted by the label’s artists themselves. Heya Hifi's Music & Food Compilation.

www.heyahifi .com

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I’ll Take Mine to Go showstoppers

02. You know the kind of bars where they strategically place bowls of peanuts you desperately try to move away from in an attempt not to end up with a massive tab? Well, they finally have found a guaranteed deal-clincher: Wasabi peanuts. Spicy as hell and as addictive as ever, you’ll be damned the minute you pop the first one in your mouth. Lien Ying Wasabi Peanuts Available from Rob

www.robfi nefood.be

03. This one started off as an inside joke, but quickly saw us trawling the streets of Brussels for what would most certainly be the priciest apple in town. And, in our humble opinions, at €6.98/kg this Royal Gala Extra apple is it. We never were good at maths but worked this one out to be about €0.25 a crunch. Ouch! Royal Galla Extra Apple Available from Rob

www.robfi nefood.be

THE FIFTH WORD — 37


showstoppers I’ll Take Mine to Go

04. We’re already full-blown converts to anything remotely tea-scented so you can imagine this one caught our eyes the minute the first leaves started blossoming. Drop one in a vase-like cup, pour boiling water and patiently wait for it to open up. We guarantee kids won’t mind staying at table after desert now just to catch these underwater wonders spring to life. Jasmine Tea Balls Available from Nong Cha 4 Rue Antoine Dansaert Straat 1000 Brussels

05. We’re not usually the kind to go all mushy for chocolate, but this here beast of a bar had us from the word coco. Its naturally occurring nuts and spices characteristics make for reddish yet intense inside textures which we could spend hours gazing at. Make sure to pick a slab up next time you’re in London as these little goodies aren’t available in Belgium or online just yet. Venezuelan Black’s Carenero Superior

www.venezuelanblack.com

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living it

Waste Full — Months ago, when we first started planning the food issue, waste was one of the first subjects to hit the page plan. We’d been following the campaigns of bloggers like Jonathan Bloom of Wasted Food and My Zero Waste. At that point it felt like a subject that no one really talked about outside the environmentally aware fringe. Writer Hettie Judah Photography Sven Laurent

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Waste Full living it

On July 7 that all changed. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown chose the G8 summit in Japan as a platform to highlight the results of his government’s Waste & Resources Action Program (WRAP). Studying the contents of dustbins from over 2,000 British families, they had discovered that one third of food purchased was thrown away, much of it edible, untouched and still in its packaging. As the British government issued some old fashioned advice about how households could save themselves money (and do the environment a favour), waste became front-page news. Much of this waste was caused by the kind of disconnected relationship with food that writers such as Felicity Lawrence in Britain and Michael Pollan in the US have identified within their societies. People’s eating patterns were unpredictable, families didn’t plan meals properly and those doing the shopping found it hard to judge how much they actually ate. Lawrence suggests that Britain lost its indigenous food culture as far back as the industrial revolution, when families moved off the land and into poor living conditions. Pollan describes North America’s problem as that of a country that has no one single food culture, but many clashing ones. It is a country that does not know what or how to eat. Watching the anxieties and food waste concerns of the messed-up English speakers across the water is fi ne continental spectator sport. In a country where people still sit down for family meals, and most employees take proper lunch breaks rather than eating at their computer, it’s easy to give a smug little smile as we tuck into our plate of nonprocessed cheese. 02.

" ‘ Bruxellois ’ throw away on average 15kg of perfectly edible food every year – spread across the region that amounts to 15.000 tonnes " In fact last November, the Brussels Environment agency published its own report, and it didn’t offer much to be smug about. ‘Bruxellois’ throw away on average15kg of perfectly edible food every year – spread across the region that amounts to 15.000 tonnes. 42% of what we put into our white

rubbish bags is organic waste; 12% of white bag waste is edible food. The figures were relatively constant across the social profi les, no matter what kinds of fi nancial straits the householders might have been in. The “chic” households were responsible for 29kg of waste; the “pas-chic” threw out 31kg. Those questioned for the study were concerned and aware about the issues of food packaging, but had worried little about the food itself. This is perhaps because we assume that our discarded food, once safely tucked up in a nice and warm landfi ll site, will gradually turn into kilos of delicious compost. There’s a thriving trade in books about compost these days, but few (in fact none) recommend

burying organic waste in plastic then cutting it off from air and light. Food waste in landfi ll sites generates methane in large quantities – rather than nourishing the earth, it’s contributing to global warming. In March, Brussels’ Energy and Environment Minister, Evelyne Huytebroeck, published a 65-point plan for domestic waste reduction, with tips about how to freeze tomatoes, why you should wrap mushrooms in newspaper and stern instructions never to go shopping when hungry lest you stray from your list. It seems surreal that the cleanliness of the family fridge, or the bowls of cornflakes abandoned during the morning rush have sudden-

THE FIFTH WORD — 41


living it Waste Full

03.

ly become a political issue. It also feels a little wrong that politicians should have an opinion about how to stop lettuce leaves wilting or what to do with leftovers. The implication is that we have been behaving like children, and that there is political justification in addressing us in strict parental tones. No doubt we have all been very naughty, but beyond all headline-grabbing admonitions, it’s hard not to feel that the general population is taking the heat for issues with wider implications. While we are being instructed on how to microwave leftover rice, who is talking to the restaurants, canteens and bulk transport caterers about what they do with their un-eaten food? Is anyone putting pressure on the supermarkets to reduce package sizes and stop offering the buy-one-get-onefree promotions that not only encourage shoppers to buy more food than they need, but saps the profits of their suppliers? After homes and schools, the remaining 39,650 tonnes of food waste in Brussels breaks down thus: 1% from the Heysel exhibitions and recreation sites, 3% from markets,

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3% from small shops, 7% from supermarkets, 25% from wholesalers and distribution agents, 29% from hotels, restaurants and cafés and 32% from office canteens. The office canteens of Brussels, which, unlike most restaurants and cafés, have largely predictable clientele numbers, produce 12,600 tonnes of food waste, not far below the total amount produced by Brussels households. While households are sternly being advised to eat their leftovers, food hygiene issues prevent the environment agency being able to make such suggestions to large-scale caterers. What needs to change is not just the way we deal with leftovers, but the way large organisations cater. Those big office canteens in Brussels are the ones connected to the European institutions and all the international companies that have taken the city as their European base. These are the places where many of us have lunch every day. We need to get used to the idea of having less choice. That shocking wastefulness comes from allowing for every person to choose the

same thing on the same day. This could be largely eliminated with closer studies of consumer tendencies. Companies also need to study how the way things are presented affects what gets left behind. The way they purchase raw materials can also be better moderated to cut down on excess food production. None of this will happen without external pressure. Instead of feeling guilty, it may be more constructive to get irritated, and to demand the same kind of thoughtfulness from the food industry that many consumers are already applying at home. At base, though, we need to start thinking about the real cost of food – not only the label price, but what we pay for its transport and disposal, and the corners that are cut by the food industry that allows us to imagine food to be virtually free. If some of these real costs were visible at purchase, individuals and larger organisations might pay more attention when their money starts getting scraped away into the bin. Previous Pages + This Page 01.-03.

Organised Waste


40.000 set free in 47 years


the challenge

Night Shop Dining — When brainstorming the foodie issue, we thought about the countless amounts of people who regularly go to the night shop for more than just toilet paper, rizla’s and beer. Indeed, we started thinking of all those people for who night shops actually were a source of food, and thought it’d be a nice idea to show you what treasures where hidden in the depth of night shop freezers, and what could be done with them. So we asked co-founder of Karikol, Hughes Belin, to take up the challenge and whip us up a night shop-sourced dinner. The resulting dinner was nothing short of amazing… Writer Nicholas Lewis Photography Ulrike Biets Host Emmanuelle Truffin

The Challenge To cook up a meal for four using nothing but night shop produce, with no more than €40. The Night Shop On the corner of Rue de L’Etang / Vijverstraat and Rue GrayStraat, in Brussels’ Etterbeek.

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The Grocery List • New Echo d’Orient’s “Arachides en Coque” • A tin of Bonduelle’s Chickpeas • A pack of Everyday’s pre-packed half-baguettes • A pack of six fresh eggs • A 1kg pack of Savory’s Pattiserie

• 800gr of Quaker’s Oat Meal • Mondelice’s Yog-Fit Yogurt (500gr) • Iglo’s 300gr frozen pack of mushroom mix • 2x Bananas • 1x Lemon • 1x Cucumber

Hughes’ Cook Up 01. The Hummus Blend one can of chickpeas (01.1) (removing the water), two spoons of olive oil, one crushed garlic clove, one spoon of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stick in the fridge for an hour in air-tight Tupperware. 02. The Tzatziki Slice cucumber then put in a bowl with two teaspoons of kitchen salt. Leave to soak for


Night Shop Dining the challenge

Hughes Belin

Food critic Hughes Belin is currently reviewing every single restaurant, eaterie and snack in Brussels' Eurozone quarters for his forthcoming book. He can also be read on his blog http://les-nouvelles-dugout-du-monde.over-blog.com/

01.1

02.

03.1

04.1

04.2

half an hour. Rinse then squash cucumber to extract remaining water. Mix in 500gr of yogurt with one clove of crushed garlic, pepper, salt, two spoon of olive oil, one spoon of lemon juice, one spoon of dried oregano (or dill) and one teaspoon of wine vinegar. Stick in the fridge for an hour in air-tight Tupperware. 03. The Quiche Mix 150gr of fl our with 50gr of oats and knead with three

03.

spoons of olive oil, one teaspoon of salt and fi ve tablespoons of water. Once you get a homogeneous ball leave it for half an hour before rolling out and placing in pie dish. Lightly fry your choice of fi lling (broccoli, spinach, mushrooms or whatever takes your fancy) and spread evenly on to the pastry (03.1) . In a bowl, mix two eggs, a can of cream and ten cl of milk. Then pour and spread evenly into dish.

Spread 100-150gr of grated cheese then stick in a pre-heated 180°C oven for 30 minutes. 04. The Banana Sorbet with Ganache Slice half a banana per person and put the slices onto a plate, covering it, as well as the slices, with cling fi lm (04.1) . Leave for up to an hour in the freezer. Ten minutes before serving, bring a little block of cream to boil in a saucepan, add 100gr of

chocolate in pieces and stir well until you obtain a thick and dark cream. Mix the frozen banana slices in a blender to a thick paste and serve in cups. Yet even more scrumptious when topped with a spoon of chocolate ganache in each (04.2) .

THE FIFTH WORD — 45


the photo album

Dinner Table Belgium — In the following on our series celebrating archival wonders, we’ve dug out some prints sure to remind you all about what Belgians do best: eating, drinking and… falling over. From family get togethers to picnic escapades to the country side and beers among the boys, they manage to recapture what dining the Belgian way meant.

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Dinner Table Belgium the photo album

Picture chosen with the help of a 33cl.

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the fashion word

We’re back in the studio this month with a space age-like food fight sure to give George Lucas a run for his money. Whoever said we can’t play with food? Photography Pierre Debusschere Fashion Pholoso Selebogo

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Necklace Daniel Von Weinberger, Shirt Dries Van Noten, Trousers Bruno Pieters


Zipulater Giles, Trouser Dries Van Noten


Jacket Dries Van Noten, Gilet Bruno Pieters, Trousers Boudicca, Shoes Prada, Necklace Daniel Von Weinberger


Rainman Jumper Giles, Skirt & Shoes Dries Van Noten


Rainman Jacket Giles


Jacket La Petite Salope Left. Bodice Giles, Shoes Pierre Hardy / Right. Gown Didier Ludot, Skirt Proenza Schouler, Shoes Balenciaga


Food Wars the fashion word

Photographer Pierre Debusschere www.pierredebusschere.com

Assistant Frederic Ameel Stylist Pholoso Selebogo

Hair & Make Up Florence Samain for Chanel & Kerastase

Models Charlotte @ Dominique Models & Charlie With thanks to Melisande McBurnie & 254 Forest Crew

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pastryesque Piece of Cake

Piece of Cake — You could argue they’d be a great many reasons we’d want to do such a shoot but let us reassure you that this was always going to be about the cakes themselves. And sofa-shaped ones at that. We sat on Mr Collignon’s divine Chesterfield whilst we had the pleasure of lounging on a specially-made creation courtesy of venerable Maitre Patissier Wittamer. Writer Nicholas Lewis Photography Ben Dover Styling Glen De Block

Fabrice Collignon's Chesterfield Made of chocolate biscuits, Manjari chocolate mousse, raspberry jelly and fresh raspberries. Available from www.fabricecollignon.be

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Piece of Cake pastryesque

Wittamer's Lemon Cake Covered with soft icing and natural marzipan. Available from www.wittamer.com

Pink Shorts American Apparel, Champagne Tights Falke, Shoes Hugo Boss Black & Gold Undies American Apparel, Black Transparent Tights Falke, Shoes New Look

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i want to eat you up

At The Candy Shop — If you’re a woman, chances are you’ve felt like a kid in a candy store when walking into your favourite beauty shop. Well, wait until you feast your eyes on the following beautyliciousies... Writer Stéphanie Duval Photography Opération Panda

If Blueberries Are You’re Thing, Try… Dr. Brandt’s Water Booster.

Just add a few drops of this wonder juice to your daily water bottle, and enjoy the feeling of getting beautiful from the inside out. www.drbrandtskincare.com

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At the Candy Shop i want to eat you up

If You Can’t Resist a Bounty When Offered One, Try… Bumble and Bumble’s Crème de Coco Masque.

Thanks to coconut and avocado oils, botanical extracts of olives, mango, shea and murumuru butters, this is the single most luxurious thirst quencher for your hair. www.bumbleandbumble.com

If You Think an Apple a Day Truly Does Keep The Doctor Away, Try… Rituals’ Eve’s Kiss Lip Balm . A credible alternative to having to carry a piece of fruit with you wherever you go, this lip balm will combat the most tiring of sugar bouts.

www.rituals.com

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i want to eat you up At the Candy Shop

If You’re Looking For The Ultimate Unexpected Dessert, Try… Jimmy Jane’s Afterglow Massage Candle,

because once the wax melts, it turns into a scrumptious massage oil made out of 100% natural ingredients. Kinky… www.jimmyjane.com

If Chocolate is Your Favourite Sin, Try… Estée Lauder’s Limited Edition Swirl Gloss, because the yummy scent and rich

texture will make your lips smell and look like candy. www.esteelauder.com

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pencil perfect

The Chocolate Bunch — Belgium’s love affair with all kinds of chocolate spreads – from supermarkets’ own brand to the organic or luxury types – is a well-known fact. So we thought we’d give you an insight into the personality profiles of these serial spreaders… and couldn’t help giving in to some oh-so delightful clichés along the way. Illustration Jean-Baptiste Biche

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The Blue Collar

The Retired Hippie

His day usually starts at 8.45 am. He most often can be seen riding around on his Honda Camino sporting the latest Kappa sweat pants and Bikkembergs trainers, although he will take public transport (or better yet, his souped-up Seat Ibiza) when it rains. He holidays in Blankenberg’s Camping Cosmos except when he’s just had his end-of-year bonus then lives it up in Torremolinos. He goes out at Lokeren’s Cherry Moon. Our man buys supermarkets’ own brand chocolate spread.

Her day usually starts around 6.30am (when she has to do her Yoga). She goes from A to B by foot or on her Mobiky bicycle. She’ll go clothes shopping at Oxfam and Les Petits Riens, although she might indulge in some Katharine Hamnett T-shirts and Campers nowand-again. She escapes to Goa, Tibet or Burkina-Faso when the going gets tough and she needs to ‘reconnect’. She doesn’t do clubs, but instead prefers to go to ‘gigs’. Our retired hippie buys organic chocolate spread, the type to be found in those ever-so-present communal table bakeries.


The Chocolate Bunch pencil perfect

The Designer Rebel His day usually starts at 10.00 am (with a strong cup of coffee and a cigarette). He gets around on his childhood bicycle wearing his 10 year old American Apparel hoodie, ripped Filippa K trousers and Veja sneakers (add to that a five day old stubble of course). He’ll be found trekking across Norway or road tripping it through France during summer. He goes out at Brussels’ Beursschouwburg or Recyclart. Our man buys that quintessential of chocolate spreads: Nutella.

The Agency Director

Disclaimer: Any ressemblance to us, you, a friend, colleague or familly member is in no way coincidental.

Her day usually starts around 6.00am, with an hour-long jog or her Pilates session. She drives a Range Rover and fashions the latest Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Delvaux collections. Holidays for her mean a Blackberry and a Caipirinha by the pool in Bora Bora or the Maldives. After having dined at Le Chalais de la Foret or Belga Queen, she is most likely to go out at Brussels’ Jeux d’Hivers (or La Terrace de l’Hippodrome in the summer). Our director only eats the luxury types of spread, preferably from Pierre Marcolini or Wittamer.

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design

Dish Out the Dirt —When we discovered Ralf Schmerberg’s book Dirty Dishes, we knew we had stumbled upon a Pandora’s Box of inspiration for our food-themed issue. Having recently taken somewhat of a liking to some Belgian designers’ tableware and cookery accessories, we thought what best than to photograph these ‘in situ’. Dirty dishes never looked so beautiful and serene if you ask us… Photography Sarah Eechaut

Jean-François D’Or A product designer with his own Loudordesign agency, D’Or is functional design at its best. With works edited by Droogdesign and Ligne Roset, his is a lessis-more approach to design.

From Left to Right: “Marie” (Water Carafe and two Tumblers for Covo), “Bird” (Vase for Serax) and “Iron” (Dish Pad for Loudordesign Limited Edition).

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Dish out the Dirt design

Roos Van de Velde Spontaneous and expressive, Van de Velde works with everything from porcelain, paper, flowers and wood, although ceramics is really what gets her going.

From Left to Right: Bonsai Scissors, Porcelain Plate (Van de Velde), Poplar Cortex (Van de Velde), Japanese Bread Knife, “Slinger Apero Bowls” (Van de Velde), Teacups in Felt Scale (Van de Velde), Japanese Cherry Tree Plate, Raku Breakfast Plate (Van de Velde) and Yew, Flax and Metal “Usual-Unusual” Cutlery.

Sophie Lachaert An artist as well as a product designer, purist Lachaert threads a thin line between plastic art and design, revisiting everyday objects with her quirky interpretations and light-hearted strokes of genius.

From Left to Right: “Marcell” Sugar Cage (Lachaert Dhanis), Sugar Me (Lachaert Dhanis), Piet Stockmans White Cups, Plate (Lachaert Dhanis), Spoon (Thalia Georgoulis), Picnic Bowl with Lid (Thalia Georgoulis), Muuto Flow Jug (Lachaert Dhanis).

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food & design

— Food is an oversaturated subject. Such space, cash and energy are dedicated to writing, broadcasting, photographing, theorising and investigating food that it feels as though there is nothing left to say. Yet Martí Guixé is not interested in food in any of the ways that fit into the current culture of the subject. He is not nostalgic, he is not anxious, he is not interested in questions of novelty or authenticity. Writer Hettie Judah

On a professional level he doesn’t give a fig whether consumers are victims of a faceless global conspiracy to eat unhealthy junk with high profit margins. He doesn’t even know much about cooking. Martí Guixé is simply interested in what happens to food as a product when you subject it to the considerations of design: ergonomics, usability, aesthetics and function. Guixé’s interest in food design came eleven years ago partly as an extension of his interest in mass consumption, and partly because his interest in design was shifting away from tangible objects towards ideas and functions. “I believe that we are in a world where all moves, morphs and changes continuously,” he explains. “Possessing material things makes you solid, and therefore not fl exible to move and change.”

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© Imagekontainer, i-cakes, Prototypes 2001 Foodwork. La Sala Vinçon, Barcelona 2001

The Non Conformist

01.

He approached food design from all angles; there was food that was free to eat because its price was covered by corporate sponsorship, food that could be eaten on the go, edible wallpaper, party fog that got you drunk, a restaurant with no kitchen that only served food from local takeaways, a café that only served candy and even post-it crisps for emergency consumption. At best his ideas were taken as daffy or cute – at worst they were simply dismissed. “Gastronomy critics said it was neither tasteful nor gastronomic,” Guixé recalls “And the design world said it was not serious. At that time - and still now -design is too dependent on shape and material. To consider a tomato fi lled with bread a design was sacrilege for the academic design world of the time.” When Guixé talks about food being fun, he is not trying to sell you an amusing product, but making a sociological point. Cooking has become a form of entertainment, a recreational activity, and yet we still go about it in an environment little modified since the time when cooking for a large family was closer to a full-time occupation. Guixé felt that there was a divide within the world of food without much thought going on in the middle. The way we had come to attribute value to food was everything to do with the way it was produced (or imagined to be produced), and little to do with the thought that went into it.

“A chef makes things with his hands, and the value is completely in the craft. So there is no value in ideas, but in making it by hand. This is why they copy themselves, and they cannot think conceptually,” he explains. “On the other hand we have the food industry which is afraid of not being accepted. It is doing everything artifi cially, but making it look handmade and homemade, in other word: kitsch.”

" Our food habits are still in the middle of the last century " Marti Guixé

For Guixé, kitsch sums up our unreal relationship with food – all the thought within the food industry is being put into making things look as if they haven’t changed. “In 2000 the food panorama compared to design like this: on the one hand craft, making chairs by hand, following traditional methods but without knowing anything about ergonomics, or usability, or the contemporary, just doing it without thinking. On the other hand we have the food industry that makes plastic chairs that look like basket weaving. Our food habits are still in the middle of the last century.”


© Imagekontainer, Post-it Chip, Concept 1999

So far most of his food projects have taken place in the context of galleries, or as art-style happenings. In the last five years Guixé says that things have woken up a little on the industry front. In 2004, through his long-running association with Camper, he created FoodBALL in his native Barcelona; a food facility with raked seating areas designed to feel as though you were outdoors in a sports arena. They served spherical stuffed rice balls – modern looking handmade foods that could be eaten easily and informally and matched contemporary concerns about speed, health and convenience. If Guixé’s ideas still sound impractically futuristic to the consuming public, the industry is fi naly starting to think along the same lines. This year at the Alimentaria food fair in Barcelona he saw food artist Nir Adar present Pizzacono - cone-shaped pizza to be eaten on the go. “In 1997 I presented the snack you can eat in front of the computer, or in extreme conditions of contemporary life. In 2008 some company presents a piece of pizza you can eat walking like a ice-cream as a incredible new thing.” He should not grumble, since it is evident that his interest lies more in conceiving the ideas than spending years in a laboratory creating industrially viable products. And as with the FoodBALL, his interest expands to the whole concept of how and where a thing is eaten, not simply in what format. This autumn he is being given a full platform to expand his ideas by the Museo d’Arte di Nuoro museum in Sardinia where he is creating a café from scratch, right down to the menu.

© Imagekontainer, Plato combinado. Concept 2001 Foodwork, La Sala Vinçon, Barcelona 2001

The Non Conformist food & design

02.

03.

Previous Page i-cakes: When Decoration Becomes Information

© Marti Guixé, Camper FoodBall Berlin, 2006

01.

This Page 02.

Post-it Chip: Potatoe Chip Which Can Be Sticked Anywhere And Removed Whenever Wanted

03.

Plato combinado: System Which Combines Food Ingredients Along Generic Theories

04.

Camper FoodBall Berlin, 2006 04.

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shelf absorbed

Book Bites — Trust us, you are not about to get a list of the best cookbooks around. That wouldn’t be very “us” now would it? Instead, we’ve handpicked a couple of delights sure to make you look at food in a fresh and unobstructed manner. Just the way we’ve come to think of it for this issue… Writer Nicholas Lewis Photography Yassin Serghini

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Eat London! All About Food (2007) By Peter Prescott and Terence Conran Conran Octopus

Two things make London a world class city. Number one: more than enough ways to spend your money in its countless boutiques and department stores. Number two: the wide – and excellent – variety of foods it has on offer. From noodle joints tucked away in the back streets of the West End to East London’s pie and mash shops and the pricier crop of establishment eateries, this city truly has it all when it comes to gastro-delights. Far from being a restaurant guide, Eat London is above all a book about a city, its food and the people making, selling and taking care of it. A visual and literary treasure-throve.

In Defense of Food (2008) By Michael Pollan Allen Lane

“Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” The central tenets of Pollan’s manifesto for eating well are simple enough, but this companion piece to The Omnivores Dilemma is consistently surprising and provocative. Plunging into nutritional, anthropological and sociological research from across the last century, the devastating effects of the western diet on human health make unpalatable reading. Attempting to rescue food from ‘nutritionism’ – the quasi-scientific tendency to discuss food in terms of nutritional building blocks – Pollan argues for a return to eating for pleasure and the meal table as a site for sociable glory. (HJ)

From Left to Right:

From left to right: I’m a Real Photographer by Keith Arnatt (Boot), Eat! All About Food (Conran Octopus), In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (Allen Lane), Arttaste (Toohcsmi), The Pendant in the Kitchen by Julian Barnes (Guardian Books), The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain (Bloomsbury), Salt – A World History by Mark Kurlansky (Penguin Books), Face Food The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes by Christopher D. Salyers (Mark Batty Publisher) and Ou est le Garlic by Len Deighton (Penguin Books) pictured in Delecta.

< —


Book Bites shelf absorbed

Jan Hoet’s preface to Arttaste – an initiative of Ghent’s Hoet Bekaert Gallery – perfectly lays the ground for fully comprehending the book’s meaning: “…food forms a bridge between mind and matter, between consumption and culture…ketchup and blood, bones and donuts or mussel-shells are just some of the food that have written contemporary art history”. We couldn’t agree less, and with specially-commissioned work (and recipes) by the likes of Guillaume Bijl, Wim Delvoye and Dirk Braeckman, this guaranteed coffee-table keeper might very well be dictating – or at the very least entertaining - our next foray into the kitchen.

Face Food (2007) By Christopher D. Salyers Mark Batty Publisher

It is sometimes too easily assumed that everything Japanese-originated is intrinsically cool and cute. This book about the creativity of the country’s love of bento boxes definitely is though. Although the usual Nippon culprits Hello Kitty and Sailor Moon are present, it is the beloved Piglet made out of crab meat, the office favourite yellow-riced Pikachu or better yet the world’s most popular children show Sesame Street decked out in seaweed salad, quail egg and yam potato which really had us wishing we lived in Tokyo’s Harajuku district.

©Yassin Serghini

Arttaste (2005) Toohcsmi

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the study

United Colours of Foods — When we asked friends to come to a party with a plate of coloured food, we received yellow sushi, green vegetable rolls, pink melon, intense jelly sweets, fiery red chilli crackers and blue potato chips, but no one turned up with that most edible colour - brown. Writer Hettie Judah Photography Yassin Serghini

Brown is the colour of the shoe polish painted onto meat and the tops of pies for food photographs, often supplemented by a blast with the blowtorch and a spritz of mineral oil for that just out of the oven look. Brown is the colour of bread, casseroles, pulses and muesli. It’s the fi rst colour that comes to mind when you hear the word whole: wholemeal, wholefood, wholegrain, wholesome. Brown food can apparently keep us healthy and alive, but despite our fashionable interest in healthy eating, it’s still not sexy. Nobody wanted to bring brown to the party; it’s too goody-two-shoes. Intensely coloured foods suggest intense flavours – studies published in the Journal of Food Science record test subjects identifying fruit drinks with more concentrated colours as tasting stronger. Test subjects given ‘normal’ coloured and uncoloured samples of margarine, raspberry gelatine, soy bacon, orange drink and cheese identified the ‘normal’ coloured samples as having better and more intense aroma, and better and more intense flavour than identical but uncoloured samples. In such processed foods, of course, ‘normal’ colour is the result of lab work rather than nature. The natural colour of margarine is grey. When margarine was first introduced in the US in the late 19th Century, individual states passed laws banning colour in margarines under pressure from the dairy industry, which hoped that the unnatural shade would deter consumers. Processors colour food because the consumers prefer it that way; adding artificial

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colours persuades us to eat things that we might otherwise view as unpalatable. We are evidently drawn to brightly coloured things, but over a century of colorants in industrially processed food have skewed our perception of the edible.

" …over a century of colorants in industrially processed food have skewed our perception of the edible " Blue is naturally the least appetizing colour for food. Diet tips involve wearing blue-tinted spectacles while eating, installing a blue light in your refrigerator and even adding blue colouring to your food. But we have learned to find blue acceptable – few now baulk at blue toothpaste, blue mint sweets, or a raspberry flavoured blue ice-pop. Finding blue edible has even become a mark of sophistication; we pay a premium for blue corn chips or potato crisps despite a negligible difference in flavour. A grand meal in Beijing featured large ovoid mounds coloured half white, half violet blue. They turned out to be pureed yam with preserved plum. Tasting like mashed potato dipped in jam, the dish could only have been conceived for its dramatic colour. In his novel Leviathan, Paul Auster presented a character called Maria who he based

on the artist Sophie Calle. As well as giving Maria Calle’s back catalogue of artworks, he invented a few of his own, including the Chromatic Diet in which the artist eats food of a single different colour each day. Calle’s riposte was to live as Maria and carry out the art projects Auster had written for her. She photographed her Chromatic Diet against identically coloured plates and cloths; pink one day, yellow another, white a third. The results look revolting. Calle described the experience as ‘unpalatable’. The foods Calle chose were largely natural and unprocessed – steak tartare, tomatoes and pomegranates for red, fish, potatoes and fromage blanc for white – arrogant logic suggests that they should look more appealing to us than unwholesome, artificially-tinted processed foods. Yet their uniformity of colour is off-putting. Our attraction to colour in food seems modified by an attraction to contrast and variety. Artificial colourants are often added to achieve consistency of colour in a product – dye is sprayed onto the skin of oranges to cover up patches of green, for example. Whatever pseudo-scientific nonsense is presented to justify the theory, in the even more pseudo-scientific lab conditions of The Word’s colour food party we too, whether by conditioning or instinct, were drawn to contrast and variety. Even if none of us wanted to appear prudent enough to admit our appetite for the colour brown.


United Colours of Foods the study

Porcelain Cup and Plate by Porcelain ID, Red Plastic Table Mats, Part of the 'Orchid' set by Charlotte Lancelot, 'Chopizz' Chopsticks by Pascal Koch and Tablecloth all from Septante Sept. Coloured Ceramic Porcelain Plates all from Lucien Cravate.

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diner's check

Hawkers’ Food — What, we wondered, do people eat on the streets of some of the world’s major cities – and how? Short of heading off to them ourselves, we thought what best than to bring them back to life right here in sunny Brussels. And with a little inspiration from master film director Lars von Trier, we actually recreated the world, Word-style of course. Photography Arnaud De Harven Writer Nicholas Lewis Production Geraldine Vanhout Assistant Photographer Jagiello Stanislaw

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Hawkers’ Food diner’s check

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diner’s check Hawkers’ Food

01.

01.

02.

On the Streets of Kinshasa

On the corner of Oshwé and Kanda-Kanda, in Kinshasa’s bustling Matongé district, Bébé’s barbecue can be found bursting with clients – and laughter. Sit down, have some Cabri together with some Chickwangue and a fresh bottle of Congolese beer – Tembo, Primus or Skoll. For those preferring to eschew alcohol under the hot African sun however, Vitalo is the drink of choice. The place where business is done, where friends meet, and where neighbourhood gossip is set straight. Cabri - Marinated goat meat grilled on a homemade barbecue, seasoned with dry pili-pili. Cabri is eaten straight from the barbecue. Chickwangue - Fermented tapioca bread.

Roots of tapioca are peeled and fermented for several days. They are then kneaded to form a paste, which is wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed cooked or boiled for several hours. Chickwangue is sold and served in banana leaves. 02.

On the Streets of Mumbai

In and around Mumbai’s Crawford Market, countless hawkers and wallahs can be found lingering around, waiting for their next customer. These mobile stalls have it all: Roti Channais served together with a light dhal curry and a sliced onion salad and the quintessential Pani Pooris. Drinks of choice, depending on the time of day: Lassi or beer (Kingfisher or Cobra). Colourful and immaculately kept, these stalls often provide a brief respite from the chaotic Mumbai city life. Pani Puri is fresh wheat puffed bread,

stuffed with cooked green lentils, chopped potato, onion and coriander. The purees are dunked in light, cumin-infused tamarind water. Popped into the mouth as soon as they are made, this is a fresh, crunchy and nutritious snack.

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03.

Roti Channais are wafer thin pastries, tra-

ditionally rolled by being fl icked in the air. Similar to streudel pastry, individual pastry is fi rst pulled to stretch as far as possible, before folding either into a circle or square and griddled-baked. Roti channais (or Kerala rotis as they are sometimes called) are served with a light lentil curry and a raw onion salad. 03.

the day’s mood. Drinks-wise, expect strong Turkish coffee or Galatasaray’s energy drink – the neighbourhood’s unofficial drink from its (very official) football club. Simit – Circular bread, with a whole in the middle, covered in sesame seeds. Simit’s characteristics vary by region, but they generally tend to be preferred slightly on the chewy side.

On the Streets of Istanbul

Outside Galatasaray Lisesi, on Istiklal Caddesi in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district, is where Mehmet and Kamal can be found hawking their Simit. "Taze simit!” meaning fresh Simit, is what you’ll hear them shout out all day. When they are not playing chess that is. They’ll either be pushing their custom-made trolley down the road, or will be carrying a stack of Simit on their heads, depending on

With thanks to Caterer Olivier Monkisheme Marie-France & Arnaud Vodikulwakidi Mr Asslan & Arran Cynthia & Jessie Lewis (and UK) Tour & Taxi Set design based on a design by Ephameron


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eye-opener

— Be it his pristine light or his finger-licking good use of food props, we’re not quite sure whether we wanted to frame Fred’s prints or munch on them for dessert they seemed so yummy. Photography Fred Bastin

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Sugar Fix eye-opener

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eye-opener Sugar Fix

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Sugar Fix eye-opener

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eye-opener Sugar Fix

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Sugar Fix eye-opener

With thanks to: Karina @ Touch (Make Up) Clara @ New Milka

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the word on the street

— We meet artist Florimond Dufoor at the crossroads between his paintings and the gastronomy of chef Damien Vanderhoeven of Le Coriandre. The pair have been bouncing off each other to produce visual and culinary delights sure to find their way in a gallery near you very soon. Not before we lay our hands on them. Painting Florimond Dufoor

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The Taste of Paint the word on the street

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the word on the street The Taste of Paint

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The Taste of Paint the word on the street

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the word on the street The Taste of Paint

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The Taste of Paint the word on the street

THE FIFTH WORD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 87


the word on the street The Taste of Paint

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88 — THE FIFTH WORD


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our playlists

Lettering: Denis Meyers

Songs We Eat

90 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE FIFTH WORD


stockists

Stockists… and Others We Love

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Giles Deacon  www.mocomunnications.com

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Conran Octopus  www.octopusbooks.co.uk Allen Lane  www.penguin.co.uk Toohcsmi  www.iets.be Mark Batty Publisher  www.markbattypublisher.com Septante Sept  www.septantesept.be Lucien Cravate Rue des Chartreux/Karthuizersstraat 24 1000 Brussels Ephameron  www.ephameron.com Florimond Dufoor  www.florimonddufoor.be Denis Meyers  www.denismeyers.com


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THE FIFTH WORD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 95


the last word

The Demise of the Grocer — Aliceke (‘Little Alice’) was my hometown’s local grocer. She used to give me little rolls of ham with koala-shaped faces over the counter when I went grocery shopping with my mom. She was my favourite shopkeeper. Writer Karen Van Godtsenhoven

Nowadays, shopkeepers such as Alice are hard to come by and, although I maintain very good relations with my local White Night branch and buy whatever I want whenever I want at my local city supermarket, I still often wonder where Brussels’ authentic and muchloved grocers have disappeared to. This being our foodie issue, the timing was perfect to dig deep and fi nd some of these old school grocers and their vanishing corner stores. And after countless hours spent in some of the cities’ most rundown areas, being met with closed shop fronts, rusty weighing scales and retired grocers, we were slowly coming to terms with the fact that these former staples of community living simply weren’t to be found anymore. Until we stumbled upon Georges De Smul, a grocer for over thirty years from Brussels’ WoluweSaint-Lambert / Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe who had just recently converted his grocery store to a Carrefour branch. Needless to say this grocer of thirty years had a lot to reveal about the grocery industry, as well as telling us why the much-reviled supermarket chains weren’t as bad as they were made out to be… Our man Georges has a lot to say about the why and the how of the demise of the grocer: it’s a generation issue, a class issue, a gender issue and a globalisation issue. He tells us that Brussels has had two generations

96 — THE FIFTH WORD

of grocers: the post-war countryside immigrants who often were unsuccessful because they weren’t reactive enough to the changes in the big, industrialized, post-war world. And the second, more confident generation of May 68ers (like Georges himself), who came from farms and factories wanting to be independent, worked hard and above all gave their children a better future. And that is where the seizure happened: by slugging it out twelve hours a day every day of the week (stocking up on fresh produce at the morning market, selling it, renovating and cleaning the store, bookkeeping, etc) the grocers were able to send their children to university. This in turn made sure their offspring got a better life and better prospects for themselves, thus turning them away from the grocer way of life. So much for the generational aspect. The class issue is not just about not being able to make a lot of money out of fruits and milk, it’s also about the grocer’s status amongst and within his community. Indeed, Georges says that, although they’re harder to come by than before, there still exist real butchers and bakers for example, and they have more standing than a grocer because their trade is perceived to be more of a specialised craft than that of the grocer: the baker and butcher in their white aprons get more respect than the grocer in his blue apron. It’s bit like the white versus blue collar class struggle. Which brings us to the gender issue: women used to be fi rm fi xtures in the family businesses that were groceries, often forgoing usual pay, insurance and pension funds. This meant a cheap labour force which allowed more fi nancial breathing space to the grocer. ‘But it also made the women very dependent upon their husband and the shop they worked in,’ adds Georges. This, luckily, has changed over the last decade, although it also means more wage taxes, pension and social security has to be paid, which tends to have a lasting effect on the monthly balance sheet. Another effect of female emancipation - women now fi rmly part of professional working life - has changed customers’ behaviour yet further: shops have to be open longer hours and should preferably sell more ready-made foods and small sized packs, instead of, for example, leeks and potatoes by the bulk. ‘Innovation is key,’ says Georges, ‘and so is staying up-to-date with changes in consumption behaviour.’ He renovated his store twice in thirty years and it actually needs to be done every ten years. ‘EUnorms, insurance and hygiene rules have become so strict that it’s a real challenge to

play it clean and safe. Supermarkets make people used to new technologies, and local stores need to implement these too in order to stay competitive. Renovating every ten years means you have to work hard in order to be able to renovate. Global markets, oil prices and distributors keep changing, and a grocer can easily be a victim of that when he raises the prices too much.’

" EU-norms, insurance and hygiene rules have become so strict that it’s a real challenge to play it clean and safe " Georges De Smul

That’s why Georges is more than happy for his store becoming a Carrefour branch. ‘I was at fi rst offended, as I had worked so hard to stay independent just to fi nd, or so I thought, the new generation leaving my store to the supermarkets’ mercy, who destroyed it in the fi rst instance. Now I think about it differently: the world has become a much more complicated place, and although these branches are ‘locked in’ with one vendor, they also get a lot of good things out of it. Statistical and research-based formulas make sure that they have less overstock. Their deliveries are stable, and their prices are pre-formulated. The working hours are significantly less and allow staff more time for the important things in life, like running marathons for charity.’ Indeed, our man has run over 140 of them, mainly for his daughter’s charity for homeless children in South Africa. Leaving Georges with his memories, I grab a freshly-squeezed orange juice at my nearby proxy Delhaize and think, well, you can’t have it all: a friendly lady giving you koala-faced ham rolls or an impersonal but perfectly-stocked and well-run store. Although we’d obviously prefer to see the return of Aliceke, we’re happy to settle for efficiency at this stage…

These Pages 01. 02. 03.

Ex-Grocer Georges De Smul A Sad Sight What It Should be Like


© Sam Sisk

© Kris De Smedt

The Demise of the Grocer the last word

02.

© Kris De Smedt

01.

03.

THE FIFTH WORD — 97


what's next

What, essentially, is luxury?

The best seats at the Opera (bar the Royal Box). Your 24-hour lawyer. The spot-removing dry cleaner. Knowing about sample sales (before the actual sale). Sleeping in fresh bed sheets every day. The best offi ce view in the country. Getting art commissioned. Croissants and the FT on a sunny Sunday morning.

For some its scarceness. For others it is availability.

The Essential Luxuries Issue A kind of 1,000-luxury-things-to-do-before-you-go-bankrupt list

Out 31st October 2008. Afford it if you can.

98 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE FIFTH WORD


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The Word Magazine - September, October 2008