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Mark

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Featured in the first issue of @guzzle.ie, a new art and food publication.


Comestibles High Series


The interest to innovate when cooking and ultimately create home made dishes that are memorable has always been a thing among foodies. Though, I think that greatly enhanced lately with the help of the internet as well as, more recently, with the fact that people are spending a lot more time at home. This combination has more than ever put food back as a central subject, touching many aspects of our lives, the way we eat, how we see ourselves, where we shop for groceries, what we want to know about the food we buy, where we travel to and so forth.

The interesting aspect of that to me is how we cook, look at, and present food. Mixing traditional ways of preparing food with completely afresh ones brings about a certain curiosity to try new approaches in the kitchen. As we increasingly experiment with a broader variety of ingredients and cooking processes in the domestic environment, the development of personal interest to diversify not only our ordinary cooking techniques but also how to present food to the table also becomes more frequently part of our day to day in the kitchen.

This could sometimes be because we might have seen a culinary tip or a photograph of a nice dish on a social media food channel, or simply because we came across something unfamiliar in our favourite grocery shop and decided to bring it home and google ‘how to prepare it’. Or because we came back from a holiday away where we tasted a delectable dish that looked nice and left us wondering how it’s made and wanted to try preparing it at home, not to mention have our dear ones around in the kitchen to eat it too.

My first attempts at cooking were in my early teenage years, when my mother began to expose her cooking process to me and my siblings. She would get us involved in tasks in the kitchen such as consulting her handwritten recipe book, mixing and seasoning, and even going down to the shops with a list of ingredients to buy. Eventually, I started making things in the kitchen by myself whenever I had a craving for something, and, as the time passed, I realised I didn’t need the recipe book anymore.

As I began to understand what the right consistency was for things such as batters, sauces, pasta, grains etc, when in the make or ready, I started to just mix ingredients together and cook. That was liberating even though sometimes I would end up with something too salty, too sweet, too bitter, not cooked properly or overcooked, burnt! Through that process learnt and discovered a lot, and the best thing was that my mother always made sure to try whatever strange thing was going in the kitchen and never discouraged me to keep going – they tasted great at times!

I still mostly go by those notions, and although I have a lot more knowledge today, still, not always things go as planned! specially when trying new things out or using unknown ingredients. Nonetheless the sense of confidence, knowledge and ownership in food and of the kitchen space increases a tad more every time, and it’s always a lot of fun!

This series of images illustrates just all that, a playful process of cooking and mixing of ingredients, the experimental side of home culinary, what’s done and presented in the kitchen as well as the play with ingredients and dishes around the domestic environment.