#1.1. FRIED RICE & FRIED BREAD

A Decade of Nowhere Kitchen, An Introduction

A meal based on fried rice and fried old bread. Found fabrics as dress for the table. , The photos in this essay are taken by Jonas Ziedler in the context of a Nowhere Kitchen residency and workshop in Potsdam and made possible thanks to the organizing team of fabrik moves Potsdam, September 2022.

In 2012, Pepe Dayaw began a practice in Madrid where he made meals in private houses out of what was found in people’s fridges. Since then, this practice has traveled to four continents and evolved into a fluid form of social theatre; a way of art and hospitality that can migrate and collaborate with different places, stages and contexts.

Recent Description of Nowhere Kitchen, 2022
Wholewheat bread hardened by time (from Prague), softened by water, and fried with onions and spices. Tastes like tofu.

Potsdam, 2022

To remember ten years, is to remember a decade. Ten decades make a century, and ten centuries make a millennium. While it is arguably impossible for a physical body to remember a millennium, a decade seems like a century in the realm of someone’s personal life. In cooking terms, this could translate as slow cooking or fermentation. Think aged cheese or century eggs, where enough time has to take place for things to mature and arrive at a special taste. In anthropologic terms, a decade is a considerable ethnographic work, where one has committed enough time to observe a certain culture evolve. Ten years ago, having just recently moved to Europe, I was naive, excited, curious and crazily falling in love with someone while having an internal personal crisis of starting a new life. Finishing with my Master’s scholarship in Amsterdam, and with my visa slowly reaching its limit, I resolved to ‘start from scratch’. This meant for me to leave behind old skins, try things out and learn new skills while still remembering where I came from. To stay where you want and to find what you can do flirted with two deep internal fears: the fear of rejection and the fear of not finding one’s place in the world.

Schlaatz, Potsdam, September 2022

I concluded this very eventful summer with an amazing experience of doing residency in Potsdam where I gave workshops to different groups of publics. The workshops allowed for the participants a unique experience of creativity through cooking with found food and fabrics. It has been ten years since I started leftover cooking as a fashion of art and as a style of life. What started as a performance game of ‘what’s in your fridge?’ dinners has, now here, turned into my choreographic calling. I have learned many things about the choreography of cooking. I have come far.

Cooking is a theatre of a thousand acts and many minute decisions.

To come up with something out of ‘nothing’ or to improvise with simply what is there, a state which I have learned to call ‘states of emergencies’ always bring me back to where I came from. There is a word in my mother tongue, ‘pakikipagsapalaran’, which means to embark on one’s journey. It’s rootword ‘palad’ or the ‘palms’ of your hand, entails that one’s journey is already written in the palm of your hands and that each individual person has their own journey to tell. One just has to Do-it-Yourself. This is mine. The story of Nowhere Kitchen, my cuisine, my country.

Spiced mixed grains and nuts in a foraged edible leaf.

Welcome to PEPE’S RESTOrant, the blog series and time travel restauration program that recounts how Nowhere Kitchen came to be as told from the auto-ethnographic perspective of me, Pepe Dayaw, as I re-member anew a decade of an exciting creative practice and life cycle that can be best reduced, for now, into two words: leftovers and serendipities. For you dear reader, it’s a blog about cooking filled with stories of travels and spices. It is a blog about the taste and experience of DIY life in these times. For me, it is an inner space exploration into the archives, recipes or leftovers of the past, where I remember many ingredients and cook something new. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Eating together after cooking together.

To cook with leftovers, or make something with what is there. This workshop allows us to become artistic using two of the most present elements in our daily life, the food that we eat and the clothes that we wear. Bring some leftovers from where you come from and we will create something together.

Most recent description of workshop provided by Nowhere Kitchen

Leftovers do not really exist, or,
it’s all there is.

Pepe Dayaw, an earlier blog from 2014

ABOUT THE BLOG

PEPE’S RESTOrant is a blog series created by Pepe Dayaw and launched on October 2022. It creatively chronicles the migrant experience and decade long research of Nowhere Kitchen as a nomadic cooking project and artistic way that evolved by doing and has inspired many lives and has been traveling around the world. PEPE’S RESTOrant is made possible also thanks to the research and documentation grants #takethat and #takeheart from the Fonds Darstellende Künste in Berlin.

To follow the blog, check this site’s blog index page, or follow Nowhere Kitchen on instagram. To book Nowhere Kitchen for a workshop / performance / residency, please go to book & contact page. To collaborate with Nowhere Kitchen’s ongoing research and new projects, please consider donating and visit our support #page.

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By Pepe Dayaw

performance artist and choreographer from Manila, based in Berlin / Brandenburg

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