The Video “Cooking with Leftovers—Pepe Dayaw—A Live Cooking Show,” is a product of many unpredictable and completely improvised happenings, encounters, guests and many other layers that have merged together.
Just like cooking with leftovers—a host of unknown foodstuffs, flavours and quantities—the video has been filmed without any “plan” or script. We were all improvising.
“Cook with what there is.” Making something new with what is already there is a living philosophy of Pepe Dayaw, a performance artist from the Philippines, currently living in Berlin. Pepe sees himself as a leftover of past lives that gets renewed each time he performs. He started cooking out of nostalgia for island tropical memories and has since been utilising this practice as a research tool for rehearsing democracies through cooking leftovers.
Nowadays, we are all quite fixated on recipes. If we can’t find or remember a recipe that fits with the leftovers in our fridge (we all have some lying in there) we quickly throw them away. Using some basic cooking skills and trying new combinations, there are plenty of options to revive the forgotten edibles. Learning how to cook with the help of recipes makes sense. But once you know how to handle the groceries, you can use your creativity and cook without recipes.
This video aims to inspire you to consciously look at the whole process of our food consumption. Fortunately, more and more people pay attention to buying greens at the markets and preparing them properly. But what happens with the “not so nice looking veggies” far behind in the fridge? In this video, Pepe shows how undesirable veggies, rice, fish stock and some leftover strawberries can be made into an extraordinary meal for guests—using an ordinary cooking method.
Taking the idea from this artistic event to our homes is a good choice. We can all be artists in our daily lives and transform “the old and forgotten” into something new—with creativity and awareness towards ordinary things.
Author: Jutta Damer
Editor: Travis May
Image: Video Still