C Magazine

Cooking the Books: Recipes by Artists

A marriage of ingredients and instructions, recipes seek to standardize. They translate how hands fold and pinch and how temperatures heat and cool. Cooking’s mother tongue is a physical one and recipes translate these acts into words. They sort through the messy and often improvisational practices of turning plants and animals into food. They’re time based and relational. Written in second person, a recipe is a script. To follow is to trust, sometimes blindly. Other times, a cook wanders off course. And sometimes, a recipe even requests such wandering, as artworks often do. Either way, a recipe’s author pulls and pushes our bodies like each limb is attached to a string. Playing these strings, its author has intimate control. Knead this, taste that.

Pork adobo and Coca-Cola in Guelph. Maruya—battered banana fritters—in Mexico City. Pancit—both the Filipino word for noodles and the name of a noodle dish—in Berlin, and, most recently, “Swedipino” shrimp lumpia—spring rolls—with vinegar dipping sauce in Malmö. Under the title of Kitchen Codex, multidisciplinary artist Patrick Cruz has been cooking Filipino fare at galleries in exchange for visitors’ recipes since 2015.

It began with the impetus to share recipes: a trade between Cruz’s cooked food and the instructions to make someone else’s signature dish. It’s telling that ’s debut bore the subtitle .1 Between stewing pork in vinegar or deep-frying spring rolls, Cruz asks visitors for their favourite recipes, or ones

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