FRICOT EXPERIMENTAL KITCHENS

Community organiser Alice Fortes in a fish shop on West-Kruiskade,
the Rotterdam street of a thousand flavours


INTRODUCTION 

For many years we have been engaged in primary research on artisanal and small-scale food production, looking at the business of farming and fishing, processing and selling, baking and cooking in the context of sustainable food security with the emphasis on traditional foods, recipes and methods.

We have identified and interviewed beef, pig, and sheep farmers, cheesemakers, chocolatiers, freshwater, inshore and offshore fishers, fruit and grain farmers, legume farmers, vegetable farmers and horticulturists. We have also interviewed bakers, chefs and cooks, chefrestaurateurs, food educators, food innovators, grocers and food coop collectives, foragers and herbalists, patissiers, and assorted people working in small-scale artisanal food production.

Specifically we have looked at the bioeconomic and eco-social impacts, the dynamics of the value-chain system, the reasons for success and failure of artisanal food businesses, the role of the state in small-scale food production, innovative marketing, promotion and selling, the benefits of EU policy, the significance of grant-aid, the necessity for educational support, co-operative systems, strategic applications (such as centralised distribution – from small-scale producer to small-scale grocer) and the benefits and implications from small-scale food activity on sustainable food security.

Our research combines techniques from ethnography, journalism and sociology, with recorded interviews, observational descriptions (including photography and video), note taking, field science, primary and secondary documentation providing other material.

Our specific study areas are Anatolia and the Caucasus, the Atlantic Fringe, the Baltic Sea basin, the Black Sea basin, the Mediterranean basin, the Alps and the Carpathians.

Because three-quarters of the world’s food supply is dependant on 12 crop species, the focus in each country is indigenous produce, artisanal products and traditional foods in the context of sustainable food security, food waste and food poverty.

The material is being collected into a series of large-format and pocket-format books, numerous podcasts and an online database.

Since 2015 we have looked at the “live” elements of traditional food cultures in most of the 55 countries featured in the Fricot Project. This is largely manifest in fairs and festivals, in street markets and mobile activity like the food trucks that criss-cross Italy.

With few exceptions it is largely commercial, albeit with functions that combine societal norms beyond the mundane. Almost every fair and festival has communal activity in the form of baking and cooking classes, demonstrations and competitions.

The advent of “show cooking” has added a different dimension to the usual free tastings of traditional foods. Food quizzes come and go, an indication that the knowledge element is generally poor. What is missing are open discussions on traditional food in the context of sustainable food security. Marketeers and their customers live busy lives and don’t have time to spare to attend workshops on producerconsumer relationships or on short food chain dynamics, to name two of the cornerstones of sustainable food security systems.

Implementing SFS systems at local level, through “shop local” and “shop traditional” branding involving all indigenous produce, all artisanal products and all value-added products at specialised outlets including food hubs, food market spaces and supermarket chains prepared to apply “shop local” and “shop traditional” branding.

Understanding the relationship between indigenous produce and sustainable food security is paramount, some would argue crucial because it signifies an age-old tradition. When this restaurant in Dingle on the west coast of Ireland opened it started a trend in restaurants serving locally-caught fish, bringing employment and a sense of place to the people who had lost their fish tradition. OOTB remains a “seafood-only” restaurant but it is no longer the only fish gig in town!

In the heart of Lausanne old town, a few steps back from the pebblestones under an archway, La Ferme Vaudoise sells the indigenous produce and value-added products of the canton. These include Farines Vaudoises d’Yverdon-les-Bains {flours}, Flûtes Vaudoises {bread sticks}, Pâté Vaudois {pork pies}, Saucisse aux choux Vaudoise {white cabbage sausage} and Viandes Séchées Vaudoise {dried meat} among a range that is fabulous. Sisters Brigitte Grossenbacher and Maggy Berti of Le Petit Encas in Etagnières won the competition for the best meat pies in Vaud. The Vaud Farm Shop is one of their outlets. As the competition judges affirmed not every Pâté Vaudois is that good. The shop is an example to every town to ensure that artisanal foods are available.

FRICOT KITCHEN EXPERIMETNAL – FXK

Therefore Fricot Kitchen Experimental will attempt to introduce educational elements to the existing entertainment elements. With “live” show cooking at the heart of its activity, each FXK will showcase traditional foods and seek to introduce the complicated systems and educational elements that ground sustainable food security in the community.

Using indigenous produce and artisanal products to make popular foods, FXK will serve to combine traditional home cooking with professional baking and cooking.

SPACES AND FUNCTIONS

Large venues with amble kitchen space to create the traditional foods of the area, region, country and continent, with a capacity of up to 900, 2-course mid-day meal (x-drinks) fixed at the lowest possible price, 4-course evening meal (x-drinks) also fixed at the lowest possible price, based on daily menu with multiple choice of at least ten main dishes (example menus below).

  • Visible kitchen area (with some interaction)
  • Standalone cookers in dedicated floor space
  • Standalone ovens in dedicated floor space
  • Standalone food preparation units in dedicated floor space
KITCHEN ACTIVITIES 
  • Baking Demonstrations (small breads and iconic breads)
  • Baking Classes (small breads and iconic breads)
  • Baking Competitions and Tastings (small breads and iconic breads)
  • Cooking Demonstrations (popular traditional foods)
  • Cooking Classes (popular traditional foods)
  • Cooking Competitions and Tastings (popular traditional foods)
  • Artisanal Produce and value-added Products on Display
  • Featuring on a seasonal rota the produce and value-added products of the area, region, country and continent.
KITCHEN EXPERIMENTAL REVENUE
  • Ticket sales from classes and demonstrations.
  • Ticket sales from specific events.
  • Mark-ups from sale of artisanal products.
  • Profits from sales of Fricot pocket books in English, French, German, Italian and Turkish.

FXK SAMPLE MENUS – MAINS
featuring local ingredients

FRANCE

Cassoulet Languedoc aromatic country casserole with herbs, meats and vegetables

Clafoutis de Fromage aux Fruit
cake with cheese and fruit

Diots avec Pommes de Terre et des Sarments de Vigne
sausages with potatoes


SWITZERLAND

Älplermagronen Klassiker
traditional macaroni, cheese, potatoes

Bratwürst mit Zwiebelsauce und Rösti
sausage and onion sauce with fried potatoes

Brötli Assortiert assorted bread rolls

GERMANY

Apfel, Rhabarber und Ingwer Streusel
apple, rhubarb, ginger crumble

Bratkartoffeln mit Speck und Zwiebeln mit Bratkartoffelgewürz
spiced potatoes with bacon, onion

Grünkohl
kale with bacon, onions, sausages


TURKEY

Balık Ekmek
fish sandwich

Hamsi Diblesi
Black Sea anchovies with kale and rice

Icli Köfte
beef and bulgur meatballs

ITALY

Canederli al Tastasal
bread, bacon, cheese and pork dumplings

Frico con Pecorino / Montasio e Patate e Cipolla
potato, cheese and onion fritters

Risotto Primavera
spring risotto with asparagus, courgettes, peas, saltwort, shallots, cheese


CONTINENTAL

Banitsa
BULGARIAN
cheese, egg and yoghurt filo pastry

Gulyásleves
HUNGARIAN
beef, vegetable, paprika soup

Курник с курицей и картошкой Kurnik s Kuritsey i Kartoshkoy
RUSSIAN
chicken pie




FXK SAMPLE MENUS – MAINS
featuring local ingredients

FRANCE

Escalivade de Légumes aux Anchois
summer vegetables with anchovies

Flamiche / Flamique cheese custard tart

Gratin de Chou-Fleur aux Lardons et Fromage Aromatique cauliflower, bacon in cheese sauce


SWITZERLAND

Fondue
cheese with bread cubes

Gommer Cholera
puff pastry pie with apple, cabbage, cheese, pear, potato, onion

Kalbsgeschnetzeltes au Champignonrahmsauce
veal slices in creamy mushroom sauce


GERMANY

Frikadellen fur Kinder
meatballs for children

Grünkernsalat
green spelt salad

Häckerle
minced herrings with eggs and onions





TURKEY

Ahtapot Salatası octopus salad

Düğun Pilavi
rice with chickpeas and meat

Yogurtlu Yahni
lamb with yoghurt


ITALY

Focaccia Panino / Focaccia Farcite
filled flatbreads

Involtini di Melanzane e Prosciutto
aubergine and ham rolls

Orecchiette alle Cime di Rapa
pasta with turnip tops


CONTINENTAL

Judd mad Gaardebounen
LUXEMBOURGIAN
smoked pork collar with broad bean sauce

Костица Kostica
MOLDOVAN
barbecued juicy pork on the bone

Mamaligu cu brânza si Smântâna
ROMANIAN
creamed cornmeal, smoked bacon, sour cream


FXK SAMPLE MENUS – MAINS
featuring local ingredients

FRANCE

Petits Farcis Sardines et Thon
stuffed tomato with sardine, tuna, sweet pepper, courgette, rocket

Pissaladière
anchovy, olive and onion flatbread

Tartiflette
bacon, cheese and potato gratin

GERMANY

Bayerischer Leberkäse
Bavarian meatloaf

Rheinischer Sauerbraten Rhineland soured meat

Schwäbische Kässpätzle
Swabian cheese noodles with spelt flour

ITALY

Agnello all’acciuga lamb with fresh anchovies

Paniscia / Panissa
rice with beans and salami

Tortellini di Valeggio in Brodo
filled pasta in meat broth


SWITZERLAND

Mischleta
apple, cheese, corn and potato gratin

Pôchouse Suisse freshwater fish stew

Roggenvollkorn Walnuss Brot
walnut rye bread






TURKEY

Mahmudiyye
sweet chicken stew with fruit and orzo

Siyez Ekmeği
einkorn wheat bread

Sütte Levrek ve Pazılı Patates
seabass with milk sauce, sauteed potatoes and Swiss chard



CONTINENTAL

Merluza en Jamón
SPANISH
Serrano hake in ham

Pecená Kachní Prsa
CZECH
roast duck breasts with honey

Xocalı As Qarası
AZERBAIJAN
Khojali rice with apricots, chestnuts, cranberries, lamb, onions, raisins


FXK SAMPLE MENUS – SIDES ≠ SNACKS ≠ STARTERS featuring local ingredients

FRANCE

Mâche et de Roquette dans l‘écrou Vinaigrette
dressed rocket leaves and valeriana leaves

Oeufs à la Pipérade sweet peppers with eggs

Quiche avec le Maquereau Fumé et la Bettes
custard pie with smoked mackerel, chard


SWITZERLAND

Bircher Müesli
Bircher berry, flake,
fruit, nut and seed breakfast

Brunsli
almond and chocolate brownies

Bündner Bohne und Gerstensuppe
Grabünden bean and barley soup


GERMANY

Äädäppelschlot
potato salad with bacon, cutlets, meatballs, sausages, fresh bread

Bärlauchknödel
wild garlic dumplings

Wirsingwickel
filled savoy cabbage leaves




TURKEY

Halep Dolması
stuffed dried aubergines, Gaziantep style

Jajik
manzoon / yoghurt with cucumbers, garlic and mint

Muska Böreği
triangle pies with cheese and spinach



ITALY

Cantuccini
almond biscuits

Castagnaccio / Baldino
chestnut cake

Insalata di Radicchio e Finocchio
chicory and fennel salad





CONTINENTAL

Chicons au Gratin
BELGIAN
chicory in cheese sauce

Chowder
IRISH
thick fish and potato soup

Holländische Frikandel
NETHERLANDS
Dutch minced meat sausages



TEXT & PIX FRICOT 1997-2020