For MDRW students, Monday kicked off the week with the Intermediate Research and Methodology course with professor Hiie Saumaa. After class, certain students who had been previously elected by their department chair met and discussed the graduating students exhibition. Along with the department chairs, they broke into groups and started to plan the exhibition. After the meeting, MA students had their thesis writing course.
For MDRW students, this week’s collaboration course was highly anticipated. Tuesday afternoon Véronique asked students to set up the studio to create a large dining table and a work space for Celine Pelce, a food artist based in Paris.
Celine arrived shortly after with bags of fresh produce, spices, and cooking utensils. She set up her workspace in the empty art studio down the hall from the MDRW students, and began to prep and cook. Around 5pm, she moved into the MDRW students studio and began melting beeswax. She asked students to cover the tables with thick, white paper. She proceeded to pour wax onto the table, creating a plate-like surface for food to be eaten off of. She then placed tiles next to them, which she explained came from her old job as an interior designer. This tile was also intended to be used as a plate. She set out chopsticks, a spoon, and knives. The knives resembled artists’ palette knives, which she worked on with a silversmith to create into silverware. She also made beeswax cups to drink infused water with.
To start off the dinner, Celine served a yogurt-coriander dip to be eaten with an array of raw beets and radishes. She also soft-boiled eggs and pickled them. She arranged these foods in the center of the table on a gold, reflective dish. She stated that she enjoys setting food in this way as you are eating double due to the reflection.
The main course Celine prepared was a parmesan risotto, placed directly in the center of the table, so that students could take as much or little as they wanted. On the beeswax plates, Celine poured a red sauce which was smokey and complimented the risotto perfectly. The last course to be served was dessert. Celine gave each student an individual ceramic vessel she shaped herself. Each piece was different, and formed to the shape of the hand. The vessels held passionfruit, whipped heavy cream and crumbled meringue.
Wednesday morning, students arrived for the second portion of the workshop with Celine. This morning, they experimented with the scraps left over from the dinner the night before. There were onion peels, beets, cabbage, eggplant, spices and more. Around lunch time, Celine and the MDRW students agreed to have another meal together, so they went to the Marché Saint-Quentin and picked up more vegetables and bread. Some students saw florists trimming flowers and asked to have the pieces which had fallen to the ground and were of no longer of use to the florists. With food and flowers in hand, they headed back to PCA to prepare lunch. Celine prepared the MDRW students hummus with black sesame, eggs, leftover risotto, crudités, and fresh bread from the bakery.
For the remainder of the workshop, students experimented with all kinds of foods, spices and even with the beeswax. Some students used the vegetables as stamps, others to create molds with the beeswax, and others extracted the colors from spices and vegetables to be able to paint with them. At the end of the class, students helped Celine pack up her materials and thanked her for a great, eye-opening session.