Made for Gaggenau

Food and Time: Slow Cooking


13 September 2016

This year, Gaggenau turns 333 years old. From its origins as a small iron foundry in Germany’s Black Forest, Gaggenau has always prized slow and considered product design and development. The brand’s contemporary products – design-led, highly engineered domestic appliances – are the result of 333 years of hard earned experience and expertise.

To mark the brand’s anniversary, Gaggenau and Disegno partnered on a project that would celebrate the working method for which Gaggenau has become known: elegant product design, borne out of meticulous process and deliberation.

The result was Food and Time, a project examining how the relationship between duration and food culture. From the length of the growing process, through to deliberation about when to harvest and choices as to preparation, everything that we eat is shaped by time. A food’s colour, shape, texture and structure may all fundamentally change over time. During those transformations, what remains?

To create the project, Disegno and Gaggenau turned to Arabeschi di Latte, an Italian food design studio founded by Francesca Sarti in 2001. Sarti responded with a series of five recipes that reveal the intricate and beautiful ways in which duration shapes the dishes that we eat, as well as the way that we prepare and think about food.

None of the ideas that Sarti developed represent fixed, immutable recipes, but rather they prioritise the processes involved in their creation. The Food and Time recipes will adapt as time moves on, but they still pay homage to where they have come from. All five are living entities that stand in tribute to the impact of time upon the creative process.

Food and Time is a tribute to the creative approach that Gaggenau has fostered from its inception. Gaggenau’s products are not disposable objects or the result of quick, reactionary thinking. Instead, they are the product of 333 years of history and ongoing processes of experimentation, innovation and progression.

Sarti responded to this with a project that shows this same ethos to be alive within wider food culture. Working with the photographer Michael Bodiam, she created five recipes that examine food processes to which the passage of time is essential. Accompanied by still-life images and GIFs shot by Bodiam, Sarti’s recipes encourage us to reflect on the depth of the connection between food and time.

Below, Sarti shares her recipe for Le virtù.

Slow Cooking

The following slow-cooked dish is a traditional recipe from Teramo, a province in the Italian region of Abruzzo. It is typically eaten each year on the eve of the first day in May and the ingredients consist of all that’s left in the pantry at the end of winter.

Each family tends to have their own special recipe and each time you make it the dish tastes different depending on what goes in. Years ago this recipe demonstrated the virtues of a housewife. After the harsh winter season she was still able to provide seven different pulses from the larder, as well as find seven new, fresh spring ingredients for the soup.

In our photographs, bowls with different ingredients are divided into five families: legumes; meat (usually the less expensive cuts); fresh vegetables; herbs and spices; and pasta. We exchanged the contents of the bowls to show that the ingredients are interchangeable.

The duration of the recipe makes one perceive time as a determining factor or ingredient in the soup. Every single ingredient must be cleaned, soaked, and chopped in order to play a small part in the dish’s flavour. In a metaphorical sense, the passing of time relates to the dish’s rich heritage as well as how the characters of the individual ingredients become obscure with the cooking process – with the passing of time every ingredient looses a bit of its character in order to generate a new identity for the dish as a whole.

Le virtù

7 pulses (such as chickpeas, lentils, beans)
7 fresh spring vegetables (such as young carrots, spring onions, baby spinach)
7 herbs (such as basil, thyme, parsley)
7 spices (such as pepper, nutmeg, cloves)
7 meats (such as pig’s trotter, smoked ham, sausage)
7 pasta shapes (such as farfalle, ditali, stelline)
7 grains of rice
Olive oil

– After having cleaned, soaked, cut and trimmed all the ingredients accordingly, cook everything together for seven hours.