The black gold cookbook

auteur: Barbara Prada

Edible Library was an art project by Barbara Prada, following her three-week-long residency in Genk and culminating in an immersive art installation, produced within the scope Petrichor (13.09.20-08.11.20), curated by Lucie Ménard.

In the labyrinth of shelves, the artist brought together a selection of objects and stories: organic ingredients, family recipes, cooking utensils, poems, and cookbooks, contributed by local food producers, inhabitants, and insittutions. Prada applied an eclectic array of preservation techniques and turned the selected ingredients into sculptural but still edible objects. Like a collective mind map, the work traced the evolution of gastronomy in Genk before and after the arrival of the mines, which attracted many migrant workers, bringing with them new ingredients and recipes, and enriching local cuisine. The visitors were invited to write their memories down with squid ink on rice paper. They could then choose to either contribute their memories and recipes to the library, expanding its collection, or to offer them to the boiling water where they would vanish — to be reborn into steam.

The menu presented below was composed by the artist for the last part of the project, a Lunch Performance, which had to be cancelled due to epidemiologic situation.

Prada’s menu is an artistic reflection on the evolution of the gastronomical culture and identity of Genk, inspired by her research into the local ingredients, stories, and private collections of culinary archives. It is now made virtually accessible for everyone interested in rediscovering those stories in their own kitchen. 
If you want to contribute to the evolution of the Edible Library's virtual collection (DISCUSS),
send your own culinary experiences and memories, in a preferred format (images, audio files, or texts) to