Last Friday night I attended the opening of Berlin’s first annual Taste Festival. The festival is billed as “10 days of food and creativity.” In the few hours I spent wandering around the Direktorenhaus, I certainly discovered the creativity bits of the festival. Weird shit.
About the Taste Festival
Food is a central topic for cutting edge design today. At the same time chefs and producers are experimenting with various aesthetic and conceptual approaches that are relevant in contemporary food. They are not only innovating culinary techniques but are also reflecting on our daily food philosophy.
The Taste Festival is a 10-days-Festival in Berlin introducing outstanding designers, artists, food curators, chefs and producers. Aimed at all food enthusiasts as well as industry professionals, the Festival is an unprecedented opportunity to learn more about taste, the sourcing of ingredients, the experimentation behind the dishes and the cultural significance of dining
Reservations are required for the daily workshops and “experimentation sessions.” During each day of the festival, everyone is invited to the daily Mini-Markets alongside the pier of the River Spree where artists will present rare products and futuristic street food dishes. In the evening, dinner events (reservation required) take place at the Direktorenhaus. Each dinner event is dedicated to a certain food and design-related topic, moderated by a designer or a group in cooperation with a cook.
On Friday evening, I caught a dessert performance by pianist Sasha Pushkin. While he was playing the piano in a corner of the hallway, a woman slowly decorated the top of his piano with sugary sweets. It was called Flavor Bouncing, which if you could see what happened, makes perfect sense. The melodic music was captivating, and watching a woman slowly make a mess of a work of art was strangely engrossing.
Other highlights from Friday evening include: drinking grappa out of test tubes, chocolate covered strawberries (with a fried grasshopper on top) and an exhibit which required you to look in a mirror while you ate the snacks on the table. There was an illustrator from southern Germany who had some pretty unique (and political) cartoons on display, as well as some other random food-related art.
If you’re any sort of food enthusiast then an event like this is probably right up your alley. I liked some of the conceptual art but it’s probably something I wouldn’t go out of my way to experience again. If you’re interested, the Taste Festival runs until June 10th.
And just for some food-related fun…have a scanwich!
Interesting. I suspect you need to have a good meal before attending such an event.
Hey Adam, fantasic post and amazing photographs. Looks like I missed the event this year but hopefully they’ll be something similar next year. Of course, I do like conceptual art but I’m not sure about the grasshopper-strawberries :) I think I’d probably spend most of my time admiring the iconic wooden ceiling at Direktorenhaus.
We were in Berlin last year in winter and we had an amazing time, food-wise. In addition to all the standard German yummy stuff, and of course the kepabs, we splurged on one night of fine dining which was more an experience for our eyes and my husband’s wallet, than it was for our stomachs! We spent a lot of time at the Berlin Christmas markets too, and the food there was like nothing I’ve every tasted. So many different kinds of meats and baked goods, and the absolute yummiest mulled wine ever.
I really hope we can visit again next year and maybe see more of the artier side of the city. I might try something a little more accessible than the strange taste festival in this post, just to get my husband to forgo a pizza or kebap for once. Thanks for sharing this post!
Hey Emma, Thanks for the comment (and sorry for the delay in replying!)
Berlin has a strange mix of good, high quality food…and cheap boring food. This Taste Festival was pretty cool because it was sort of high-brow (well, as high-brow as Berlin can get…) but not too pretentious.
Hope you make it back to Berlin to check out the culinary scene again :)