Spread thick over ten days like cream cheese on a bagel, the Berlin Taste Festival 2012 offered exquisite culinary concoctions paired with contrived concepts in design from June 1 to 10. With Berlin being all abuzz about design like hardly any other city, it’s the perfect spot for a festival with a focus on “outstanding designs in dialogue with dining.”

Berlin Taste Festival - sesame bread on stringStrung up sesame bread as part of the Taste Festival 2012 exhibition at Direktorenhaus.

In cooperation with The Netherlands Architecture Fund, the festival was organized by Illustrative e.V. who are also behind the Illustrative Festival and chose their home at Direktorenhaus for the festival’s main location, bringing together designers, artists, chefs & cooks, food-stylists, farmers, producers, architects and fashion designers so visitors could not only stuff their mouths but also feed their senses.

The festival was comprised both of closed events which required advanced registration (due to limited capacity) as well as exhibitions and mini markets which were open to everyone. A typical day featured workshops displaying creative cooking and food experimentation as well as lectures and tastings over the course of the day and special dinner events in the evening, often complimented by performances or presentations.

The staircase at Direktorenhaus with some Alice-in-Wonderland furniture by Valentin Loellmann.

What’s the difference between a desk and a dining table? What happens when form doesn’t follow function? How to break the mould in design and cooking? Why do we hardly look at ourselves while we eat? Can taste be “homesick”? Is there a global format for food? – These were just some of the questions playfully posed and creatively contemplated at the Berlin Taste Festival.

Grondvormen – destilling a magical Elixir from plants.

One of the festival’s highlights in my opinion was a screening of the documentary “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi” by the Berlin Film Society accompanied by a sushi tasting. Telling the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, a world famous sushi chef running a tiny yet prestigious three-Michelin-star sushi restaurant in a Tokyo subway station, the film is a meditative study of food as both work and art, of family and business and the strife for perfection.

Kicking off with a Grand Opening with tastings and dinner performances and featuring indie punk band Bonaparte and lasting until the obligatory Last Supper ten days later, the Berlin Taste Festival was a welcome reminder that food combined with art can be so much more than horrible hors d’oeuvres and cheap champagne sloshed in plastic cups at one of Berlin’s many many pop-up galleries.

Detail of the bar at Direktorenhaus.

Taste Festival Berlin 2012 [MAP]

Am Krà­Æ’ ¶gel 2
10179 Berlin

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