Le Corbuffet
October 01, 2019
Brooklyn, New York
Artist’s Book, Social Sculpture, Chromogenic prints
Overview

Le Corbuffet was a series of Fluxus-inspired participatory events (2015-17) that used food as a medium to explore how cultural canons are consumed and reproduced.

An artist’s book in the form of a cookbook, inspired by these events, was published by Prestel in October 2019.

Le Corbuffet

Le Corbuffet (2019) is an artist’s book that subversively appropriates the format of cookbook publishing to explore the relationship between historical narratives and cultural consumption.

In 2015, Esther hosted the first in a series of “Le Corbuffets” in her Brooklyn apartment, a project which carried on until 2017. Offering meals to an assortment of guests, these Fluxus-inspired social gatherings revolved around the consumption of pun-inspired dishes that referred to canonical artists and designers, and their heralded works, in the histories of art, architecture and design. As a commentary on the status of art, food and design as commodities to be "gobbled up" by the market, the project deliberately twisted idioms to explore how historical narratives influence what we choose to create, consume and reproduce.

An artist’s book in the form of a cookbook was published by Prestel in October 2019. The book continues its Fluxus aspirations with sixty recipes written as participatory "scores" that parody common interpretations of art and design works, while prompting the reader to generate new interpretations. Recipes are paired alongside photographs of sculptures that position food as a multi-sensory medium, while re-situating domesticity as an active site for cultural critique. In so doing, the project hopes to encourage participants to engage in what anthropologist Marshall Sahlins has referred to as “consumptive production”– as a means to produce alternative cultural narratives outside of neoliberal market valuation.

Credits

Graphic Design: Studio Lin

Commissioning editor, Holly La Due,
Prestel Publishing

Lectures and Interviews

Artist Talk, "Trojan Horses," The Glass House (July 13, 2020).

Radio interview with Cathy Erway, "Le Corbuffet," Eat Your Words Episode 382, Heritage Radio Network (April 6, 2020).

Radio interview with Frances Anderton, "Create an artful dinner party with ‘Le Corbuffet’, DnA, KCRW, Los Angeles (Nov. 26, 2019).

Lecture, "Rem Brûlée and Other Hits: Social Alchemy as Spatial Practice," Sci-Arc, Los Angeles, (Nov. 14, 2018).

Recognition

AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers Winner 2019
Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winner 2019
James Beard Cookbook Award – Photography Finalist 2020

Press

"The 2020 James Beard Award Nominees," James Beard Foundation (May 4, 2020).
Mona Bavar, “Rethinking Our Neoliberal Society Through Edible Art,” (Interview), Dlish Magazine (May 2, 2020).
J.J. Charlesworth, "All you can read," Art Review (March 2020).
Emily O'Brien, "Ink on Paper," Modern in Denver (Spring 2020): 58–59.
Chris Cohen, "10 Things We Learned from the Season's Best Books," Saveur (March 20, 2020).
Whitney Mallett, "Meet Esther Choi, Artist and Author of Subversive Cookbook 'Le Corbuffet'," PIN-UP (February 24, 2020).
Daniel Beatty Garcia, "Punishable: Esther Choi Eats Our Idols," 032c, Issue 37 (Winter 2019/20): 292–93. Print.
Kay Schadewald, “Le Corbuffet: (Koch-)Kunst und Kritik,” Architectural Digest (Germany) (Jan. 19, 2020).
Eleanor Gibson, "Le Corbuffet cookbook includes recipes for Rem Brûlée and Denise Scott Brownies," Dezeen (Jan.10, 2020).
Bryan Hood, "10 Gorgeously Illustrated Coffee Table Books That the Readers in Your Life Will Love," Robb Report (Dec. 20, 2019).
Joshua David Stein, "The Best Gifts for Cooking Dads of All Levels," Epicurious (Dec. 13, 2019).
"Lina Bo Bacardi Cocktail," Avery Shorts (Dec. 12, 2019).
Ashley Tibbits, "9 Coffee Table Book Gifts that Double as Beautiful Decor," The Zoe Report (Dec. 3, 2019).
"AN rounds up our must-reads for this fall," Architect's Newspaper (Nov. 15, 2019).
"41 of the Year’s Most Giftable Coffee-Table Books," New York Magazine (Nov. 12, 2019).
Margaux Krehl, "Art de vivre : « Le Corbuffet », le livre de recettes qui cuisine les stars de l’Art," Vanity Fair (France) (Nov. 9, 2019).
Peter Smisek, "Food for thought: Le Corbuffet brings architectural history to the dinner table," Icon Magazine (Nov. 1, 2019).
Todd Plummer, “11 Fall Cookbooks for Every Type of Foodie.” Vogue (Oct. 16, 2019).
LinYee Yuan, “Le Corbuffet is a riotous homage to the art and design of cooking” Interview, MOLD Magazine (Oct. 5, 2019). Web.
Kelly Caminero, "Edible Art: A Menu of Satire and Photography with a Culinary Twist" (Interview), The Daily Beast (Oct. 5, 2019).
Anne Quito, "'Le Corbuffet': A new recipe book affectionately skewers culture snobs," Quartzy (Oct. 4, 2019).
Alexandra Alexa, "This Conceptual Cookbook Riffs on Art, Design, and Taste (Literally and Figuratively)," Core 77 (Oct. 2, 2019).
"Le Corbuffet: Edible Art and Design Classics" (Book review), Creative Colour (Oct. 1, 2019).
Angie Kordic, "An Art Cookbook Like No Other: Le Corbuffet's Esther Choi in an Interview," Widewalls (Sept. 30, 2019).
Pamela Thomas-Graham, "Best New Books in October 2019," Dandelion Chandelier (Sept. 22, 2019).
"Esther Choi’s Book of Satirical and Playful Recipes," Design Milk (Sept. 26, 2019).
Emma Orlow, "A Salad for Frida Kahlo, and Other Artist-Inspired Recipes," T: The New York Times Style Magazine (Sept. 20, 2019).
Alegria Olmeda, "‘Le Corbuffet’ o cómo comerse el arte," FUET Magazine (Sept. 9, 2019).
Holly Black, "Let’s Eat! Delicious Art-Inspired Recipes," Elephant Magazine (Aug. 25, 2019).
Valentina Tanni, "Arte e cibo. Arriva Le Corbuffet, il ricettario concettuale di Esther Choi," Artribune (Aug. 25, 2019).
“A Conceptual Cookbook Makes Food Into Sculptures,” Artnet News. (Aug. 23, 2019).
Kate Sierzputowski, “Le Corbuffet: Conceptual Cookbook Presents Art-Inspired Recipes as Contemporary Sculptures,” Colossal (Aug. 22, 2019).
Le Corbuffet, Kottke.org (Aug. 20, 2019).
"Critical Connoisseur," Interview. Block, issue 18 (Spring/ Summer 2019): 16-17.
Kristina Ljubanovic, "A Large Brooklyn Loft that Looks Like a Dream," The Globe and Mail, (November 2, 2017).