Please Sir, I Want Some More!

Food and art – two of my favorite things. I was therefore extremely excited when I heard about Zagreus Projekt, a twelve year old venture by German chef Ulrich Krauss. Germinating from his love of creativity and cooking, the space hosts different artists every two months who respond to the space with their artwork. Krauss then formulates the food based on the artwork, whether it be aesthetically or conceptually. He explains, “The aim is a symbiosis of food and art, some exhibitions get closer to this and some not. It's a project with artists I often don't know so well, so it's an adventure to develop something, and you never know what's coming!”

Combining Ceramics and Food 

The latest artist at the space is sculptor and interior designer Christina Bunk, who works with a special type of pure black ceramics in her project entitled "SchwarzWeich." Krauss explains, “This material is the theme of the exhibition, so we created a few situations for the menu. We started by bringing the same tiles [as the artwork] as plates and the food is a design work. The material itself and the form is the theme of this exhibition, the food is just reacting on the color and material – it's an aesthetic thing; it has no philosophical background.”

Food at Zagreus A taster of the delicious food on offer at Zagrus Projeckt in Berlin. Photo: Chris Phillips

I'm eager to sample some of the menu, the antithesis of my usual donor diet, and am not disappointed when tucking into the first course: “a field of green leaves, different herbs and salads with colored dots, vegetables. The second course is with mussels, fish, crustaceans and seaweed, and there's a white sauce with stock which you have prepared directly onto your plate. The orangey-red of the crustaceans and the green of the seaweed contrasts with the ceramic materials and makes a good, powerful plate.” 

I agree this sounds delicious and wish that my own cooking skills were up to par. I wonder if cooking has always interested him, many children preferring to pretend to cook rather than practicing the act itself when they're older. Food has always been an important part of his life though – “I grew up in a butcher's family, so with a lot of meat around me. It was a big theme in my household to cook, and my mother cooked always every day for 30 people. When I was a child (up to 19) I wasn't so interested in this butcher's business, but later after my parents closed the shop it came up for me that I missed something. I had to learn something more about my origin.”