Make Bake Cook Book

David McDiarmid, director of Artists’ Tuck Shop, shares a taster of our latest project an artist-made cook book!

I launched Artists’ Tuck Shop in 2019 as an initiative to encourage Scotland-based artists’ dual interests in food and art, supporting them to increase income generation from art-related activities.

With ongoing cuts being made to arts organisations and artists struggling to juggle their creative careers with jobs in other sectors, especially in the current crisis, I wanted to help make things a bit easier! We aim to enable artists to reduce time spent working in unrelated employment and thus focus more time on developing their creative careers.

We do this by commissioning artists to make unique, affordable art objects for us to sell on their behalf at markets, events, festivals and pop-ups via our tuck trolley, wholesale and online shop. We also produce homemade snacks with artists using responsibly sourced ingredients and packaged using environmentally friendly materials to sell at markets and pop-ups or via wholesale and catering services.

10% of all sales and wholesale orders go to Artists’ Tuck Shop’s art commission fund to keep the project running by enabling us to commission artists on an ongoing basis.

Earlier this year, Artists’ Tuck Shop received National Lottery funding administered through Creative Scotland enabling us to undertake the ambitious project of producing Make Bake Cook Book, featuring the artworks and recipes of 25 artists and collaborations based in Scotland. It is hoped that with the funds we raise from sales of Make Bake Cook Book that we will be able to commission each of the 25 artists and collaborations involved in the project to produce a new artwork to be stocked and sold via Artists’ Tuck Shop.

In a time where the new norms of long queues at supermarkets, food stockpiling and distribution issues and the temporary closures of places to dine out, have made home cooking a greater necessity than ever before, cookbooks have been providing an important creative outlet during these times of lockdown. Furthermore, with the current crisis posing a huge threat to the future of galleries and opportunities to exhibit work, I hope Make Bake Cook Book will enable readers to engage in a physical art experience from home, with artists enjoying the challenge of creating and sharing physical artwork remotely for a familiar but unusual format.

However, as you might expect with artists at the helm, this is not your run of the mill cookbook. Some recipes are simple to follow such as Sarah J Stanley’s favourite emergency snack – a potato waffle ham and cheese sandwich – while others are deeply impractical, as in the case of Saskia Jae Singer’s attempts to recreate one of her ‘Squiggle Series’ screenprints using various molecular gastronomy techniques.

Left: Sarah J Stanley | Right: Saskia Jae Singer

In some cases, artists have subverted the brief by supplying readers with additional instructions to follow in order to make their own origami forms (thanks to Emma Rogers and salt collective) or glaze recipe from home, as in the case of ceramicist Kevin Andrew Morris, who also contributes a recipe for a Clay-Baked Trout dish!

Make Bake Cook Book compiles a fantastic array of creative responses from 25 artists and collaborations based in Scotland, tasked with sharing a sense of the artwork they make, the food they like to cook and bake, while detailing their interests in both food and art.

As a taster I’ve attached my own recipe contribution from Make Bake Cook Book. Heavily inspired by the great chefs René Redzepi and Enrique Olvera, this dish is Charred Leeks, Broccoli and Asparagus with Green Mole sauce!

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