Eat the Problem Cookbook

Food is art in our social media-driven society, and eating cows seems increasingly unsustainable for the planet. So why not eat our unwanted pests and turn it into an art exhibition at the same time?

In Eat the Problem, chefs such as Tetsuya Wakada and Heston Blumenthal transform invasive animals into art, challenging ideas about sustainability and cooking. It is the latest by the underground, and often controversial, Mona museum in Tasmania, Australia, lead by artist and curator Kirsha Kaechele.

Described as a surrealist compendium of food and art, by Kaechele whose lifelong quest is to ‘turn flaws into features’ the 544-page cookbook collects recipes by celebrated chefs along with ‘recipes for life’ in the form of poetry, essays, musings and interviews by artists of Mona’s permanent collection.

Rabbit saddle, potatoes, cauliflower comté, turnips by Vince Trim. Photo credit Rémi Chauvin. Courtesy Mona Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tastmania, Australia

There is a recipe for possum with salt-baked vegetables, rabbit with potatoes and cauliflower comté, crispy-skin cane toad and feral camel toes. Then comes an overview of the Kangaroo Island Catman’s war on feral cats, and an interview with a Tasmanian pest-control expert.

In case you are unfamiliar with cane toads and rabbits in Australia, they are invasive pests that cause havoc on the native flora and fauna, some more than others. As for the camels? They were introduced by European settlers and there are hundreds of thousands of them roaming free in the Aussie outback. Bizzare, but true.

Possum, salt-baked vegetables, hazelnut, wild rice by Vince Trim. Photo credit Rémi Chauvin. Courtesy Mona Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. 

Contributors of Eat the Problem include Marina Abramović, chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz, Germaine Greer, Heston Blumenthal, Mike Parr, Pablo Picasso, Enrique Olvera of Pujol, Laurie Anderson, Tetsuya Wakuda of Tetsuya’s, Tim Minchin, Jorge Vallejo of Quintonil, Peter Gilmore of Quay, Yves Klein, George Monbiot, Seth Shostak, Tim Low, Matthew Barney, Timothy Morton, Kevin Kelly, Salvador Dalí and many more.

The book, released 24 March, also forms part of the exhibition at Mona, which will run from 13 April-2 September, 2019.

Mona, the Museum of Old and New Art, is a private museum in Tasmania, Australia, opened in 2011. It displays the $110m private collection of the eccentric collector David Walsh who is known for describing his museum as ‘a subversive adult Disneyland.’  The museum is also home to the Moorilla winery, Source Restaurant, bars, cafe and an off-site brewery, which serve as locations for special events and parties.

Photo credit: Jesse Hunniford. Courtesy Mona Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

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