Behind the White Curtain – a Culinary Wintertale
Behind the White Curtain – a Culinary Wintertale was a dining event consisting of a fairy tale-themed room installation and a four-course-menu. The event took place in winter 2011/12 at the Eat-Art-Gallery Zagreus Projekt, Berlin-Mitte. Every course was based on a different well-known fairy-tale, represented throughout the evening by the installation and its ambience, the crockery, the food itself, and in the overall dining experience. Hence, the guests were actively involved in the theme and its development; they became part of the installation, experiencing their own version of this culinary tale by chatting with one another, sharing and discovering, eating and savoring, maybe even slipping into character.
Guests were welcomed into The Enchanted Forest: the aperitif was served in corked glass bottles, reminiscent of a bottle of magic potion. A wide variety of hors d’oeuvres hung suspended in translucent orbs in the trees, waiting to be plucked and eaten.
The second course revealed the secret behind the white curtain: an unusual setting was presented to the guests – a long table in the middle of the room, decorated with colourful secondhand tea-sets, tiers of small pastries atop, embroidered napkins and playing cards functioning as a menu. Welcome to The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland! It was truly a »mad« one, as the sweet and colourful image of a table set for afternoon tea played with perception and expectation: a mushroom consommé was served in tea and coffeepots (it was the magic mushroom, which made Alice grow and shrink); the pastries were small, savoury bread rolls shaped like cookies. A choice of delicious spreads completed the starter menu. The image was magically illuminated by a chandelier made of white meringues.
The third act and main course invited the guests to have a seat at Prince Aladdin‘s wedding feast from 1001 Nights: Middle-Eastern-inspired dishes were served on golden platters. The guests were invited to share food family-style, as is the tradition in countries from this region. The golden plates and platters, originally secondhand wares, were gilded with real gold lacquer. At first sight, the shimmering »golden mask« beguiled the guests, but at a second, closer glance the marks of previous usage – visible only through the process of gilding – could be seen. Just like the poor boy Aladdin who became a prince, the plates – now precious and valuable – were once also quite ordinary.
The Snow Queen sweetened the fourth and final act: the dessert combined the contrasting seasons of summer and winter – the rose, snow and (the main themes in Hans-Christian Andersen‘s winter tale) – turning them into one delectable and beautiful image to behold on the plate. It consisted of three kinds of »snow«: a lemon sorbet on an orange yoghurt icecream was topped by powder sugar, served on a transparent glass plate. Delicately, the image of summer blended in with rose petals and rose oil spread on top.
- food concept
- room installation
- interior design
- crockery design
- textile design
- creative direction