The aim of Designmonat Graz is to turn the city into an urban design zone. Design is the combination of creativity and aesthetics, individuality and spontaneity. The Bildungshaus Schloss St. Martin was part of this idea and we took the Urban Diversity project as an opportunity to transform the teaching kitchen of the St. Martin into a design zone.
For this purpose, we enhanced cooking in two courses on food design, enriched with innovative approaches both in terms of content and in terms of method. Both courses referred to the St. Martin cookbook, which is part of countless kitchen shelves throughout Austria and represents a harbor for the first and recurrent culinary explorations through traditional home cooking. On the basis of this cookbook, it was therefore necessary to expand and reinterpret the recipes.
In the first part we asked Sonja Rohrbacher to create a versatile menu together with the participants. As Warming Up, a salmon yoghurt terrine was prepared on fresh lettuce with fig vinecotto, before a classic clear beef broth was designed with parmesan and herb pancakes. The meat lovers enjoyed cooked beef with wasabi and apple horseradish sauce, for the vegetarians a curry vegetable strudel with carrots and green asparagus was prepared as a main course. Those who still had appetite, enjoyed curd dumplings with pumpkin seed chocolate filling on strawberry mango fruit slices and chopped pumpkin seeds. Sounds delicious? It was too. And nice to look at. This is food design: The way the meals are presented, which color accents are set and which form language is expressed on the plate.
For the second part we have piloted the Cooks of Grind to St. Martin. Cooks of Grind are a men’s cooking club from Graz, a self-proclaimed “collective of bad boys”. Like no other they combine the culinary with art, they live cooking as a performance, which means: to eat is an art experience for internalizing creativity. For the urban diversity project, the classic recipes of alpine cuisine were altered. The Cooks did not only rely on their own cooking skills, but encouraged the attendees to participate; a fair division of labor. So half of the Cooks team singed up for the galley at St. Martin on a Saturday in June and with energetic support of the enthusiastic participants tried to use the brand new school kitchen to full extent.
It started with a light – one could almost say Mediterranean – starter in a typical Austrian way, if it weren’t for the carp– the „Punschkarpferl“. In the Cook’s version, this culinary delight of unusual habit consists of carp farce on sponge cake and a deliciously tasty beet and cream cheese glaze. Thereupon, of course, had to be something more hearty on the table and so it was obvious that the main course was a sauerkraut stew with „Blunzenbuchteln“ (black pudding doughnuts) as a side dish.
This elegantly road trip was finished with an ice parfait “Hawaii – Captain Nuri Style” with the Cooks all time favorites – the Nuri sardines.
Both parts were photographically accompanied by the advertising agency „graphiczone, so would benefit from the collection of recipes. We are looking forward to what is yet to come.