Michael Rakowitz – A House With A Date Palm Will Never Starve

Michael Rakowitz - A House With A Date Palm Will Never Starve (collectors’ edition) - 2019

Michael Rakowitz - A House With A Date Palm Will Never Starve (collectors’ edition) - 2019‘A house with a date palm will never starve’, so the old Mesopotamian proverb goes. And this book is proof of that claim, for it includes recipes for almost one hundred delicious dishes made with date syrup, an ancient staple of Middle Eastern cuisine.

Acclaimed Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz has invited forty-one celebrated and pioneering chefs, restaurateurs, and food writers from around the world to create new and classic dishes to showcase the rich versatility of this humble ingredient and symbol of Iraqi culture.

Their collaboration had its roots in early 2018, when Rakowitz unveiled a winged bull sculpture made from thousands of date syrup cans as the latest commission for the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square. It was a life-size replica of a gigantic lamassu, one of two monumental winged bulls that guarded the gates of the ancient city of Nineveh in modern-day Iraq for three millennia until destroyed by ISIS in 2015.

Contributors including Yotam Ottolenghi, Alice Waters, Claudia Roden, Reem Kassis, Prue Leith, Jason Hammel, Nuno Mendes, Thomasina Miers, Giorgio Locatelli, and Marcus Samuelsson responded to his call by creating dozens of sweet and savoury dishes. Their recipes range from the traditional to the innovative in a feast for the taste buds, and include everything from simple brunch ideas, salads, and sides to mouth-watering mains, cakes, desserts, condiments, and cocktails. Easy step-by-step instructions enable the reader to make the recipes at home.

Beautiful photographs of the dishes are accompanied by the artist’s drawings. Completing the volume is a foreword by award-winning food writer and chef Claudia Roden and an appreciation of the importance of the date in Iraqi society by Iraqi-American cultural-studies academic Ella Shohat, while Rakowitz writes about the significance of the syrup to his family and in his work. Coinciding with a major survey of the artist’s work organized by the Whitechapel Gallery in London and the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, this special book will appeal to anyone who loves the cuisine of the Middle East and the politics of food. Michael Rakowitz is the 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate.

Medium: collectors’ edition bound in a special jacket printed from handmade marbled paper created from date syrup and tahini
Hardback, 240 pages, 120 colour and 11 b/w illustrations.
Size: 22 x 16.5 cm portrait
Edition of 200
Signed and numbered by the artist
Price: £ 50

This Michael Rakowitz Collector's Edition is available at Art / Books