As discussed previously, for me art is more of a way at looking something than a something itself.
Conventionally cookery is more craft than art, so I don’t know if cooking as standard counts so much. Also, consumption to me is kind of opposed to artistry. But it’s still a way of experiencing the world. Cooking and eating is a learning opportunity. It’s an angle on the world we’re in. Everything is. Everything reflects everything else, in some way or another.
Let’s look at cooking.
The act of cooking is an irreversible demonstration of entropy in action. It is rock solid proof of time’s arrow. You can’t uncook an egg.
As your breakfast cooks in a pan, you get to demonstrate the delicate art of balance and timing. There’s a precision to it, but when doing it, it’s largely instinct and guesswork. Things tend to work out, especially once you’ve had some practice.
Cooking is best practiced with loved ones. You can learn a lot about someone by cooking with them. You get to see how they deal with situations, how they take control and take instructions. How they work with people. How a person cuts their vegetables tells you plenty about how they see the world and how they deal with the world they see.
Art tells us about life. So does cookery.
End results are important too.
I’ve been to restaurants where the food has been so carefully and immaculately plated that I find it desperately difficult to make a start.
A perfect structure of colour and texture, laid before you, crashing up and down in Kandinsky tower’s and Pollock swirls.
And that’s not even the end result.
Bursts of flavours, contrasting and complementary. A colour wheel made visceral on your tongue. The feel of crunch and softness breaking apart between your teeth. Piles of satisfaction building up within you.
And still that’s not quite the end product.
Nothing in reality ever is.
So there’s definitely meaning, aesthetics, beauty and learning in cookery (and the eating thereof), so the answer kind of has to be yes. Whether you could get it in a gallery is a different question entirely.
But an irrelevant one.
I have to return to my previous conclusion (again); art is a way of looking at things, an art gallery just makes it easier to step back and look at things in that way.
Art is everywhere, it just takes a little bit of looking for.
And occasionally a bit of cooking.
I find Da Vinci’s are better fried, but I’d gladly bake a Rothko. Picasso should always be eaten raw though.
It’s definitely possible (though gallery staff may object if you crop up with a camping stove unexpectedly). It may even be probable.
If you look at life from the right perspective everything is.
Now I’m hungry. I’d better go downstairs and art myself some breakfast.
Illustration by Lucy.