Performative cooking by Monika Varšavskaja at Palette's kiosk and in the Gardens of Sporta Pils, Riga

2022 09 17
Author Echo Gone Wrong
Published in Events in Estonia

Roots to Routes is delighted to invite you to ‘The Treat’ – an afternoon of performative cooking by Monika Varšavskaja at Palette’s kiosk and in the Gardens of Sporta Pils, Riga on 17 September from 16:00.

It is the first time Estonian chef Monika Varšavskaja, who often draws inspiration from her northern-Slavic roots, is performing a cooking session in Riga.

Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food,
For wisdom and guidance, for all these are good,
But don’t forget the potatoes.

T. Pettee, ‘Prayer and Potatoes’

The gastronomic intervention ‘The Treat’ assumes a stance from the book ‘How to Cook a Wolf’ by M. F. K. Fisher, which was published in 1942 when food supplies were at their worst and the recipes were meant to encourage people daunted by wartime shortages. Although eighty years have passed since the book was first published, the need to reconsider our everyday consumption habits has not ceased to exist.

With the recent shortage of essential food ingredients and the increasing cost of everyday life, the performative cooking highlights ways to nourish souls with limited resources, particularly when income and other supplies are scarce. It encourages people to experiment and invent adventurous meals from the depths of their cupboards. Most importantly, the event wishes to savour the pleasures of simple everyday cuisine while proposing ways to stay inventive and cherish seasonal ingredients.

Taking place in the communal Gardens of Sporta Pils in Riga, the performative cooking also questions the many ways to engage a community and encourage people to act collectively. It embraces the idea that everyday essential food could be grown in the midst of a lush urban meadow often with limited resources at hand.

‘The Treat’ invites participants to take part in a non-formal gathering to embrace the upcoming autumn together. It is the second episode in the series called ‘Lazy Afternoon’ taking place at Palette’s seasonal kiosk and the surrounding communal Gardens of Sporta Pils. Palette’s kiosk, created by Latvian artist Daria Melnikova, was inaugurated in summer 2022.

The event is open to everyone, free of charge and without registration. It starts from 16:00 and lasts until 21:00, till the closing of the Gardens of Sporta Pils.

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, How to Pray for Peace – How to Cook a Wolf, Daunt Books, London, 2020. First published by Duell, Sloan & Pearce, New York, NY, 1942.

Co-produced by Roots to Routes and Palette, in collaboration with Sporta Pils Gardens.

Graphic design by Viktor Gurov.

Special thanks to Mario Nurmelaid.

Supported by Cultural Endowment of Estonia.