ABOUT BREXIT BANQUET
For the last four years the Center for Genomic Gastronomy has deepened its research of the organisms and environments manipulated by human food cultures through a suite of projects all coming under the topic area of “Taste & Place.” We have observed how the goal of re-localizing food systems (for the purpose of sustainability & food sovereignty) has run head on into the cross currents of extreme nationalism, a retreat from globalization and rising xenophobia. “Taste & Place” became a research area that mapped the conflicts of belonging, land use and competing values—highlighting the tensions within and between localization and globalization.
Brexit Banquet emerged in the start of 2019 as we inquired about UKs relationship to the EU’s Geographic Indicator (GI) schemes (ie. PDO / PGI) and how they would change after Brexit. (One of us had purchased a Cornish Pasty at Heathrow airport and noticed the PGI sticker in the shop certifying it’s Cornish authenticity.) The UK has since re-protected it under the new UK GI scheme.
As the deadlines and decisions for the Brexit transition kept changing in 2020, we iteratively created a set of recipes and transition scenarios for pre-enacting a disrupted food system. Eileen Reiner (Brexit Banquet lead researcher) began the research by conducting socially-distanced farm visits and home test kitchens. The project evolved in dialogue with the news headlines and science and policy papers as they were published. With the final, real, last, no-really-this-time deadline of January 1st, 2021 now passed, we are releasing our first five recipes.
As we hold events and build on this initial research in conversation with others, we’d like to transition from mapping controversies to prototyping preferred food futures. For example, our first five recipes focused on livestock and fisheries because those ingredients dominated the discourse in 2020. But perhaps a Brexit Banquet 2.0 should feature plant-based recipes and futures. We look forward to inviting you to the conversation and the kitchen to share your unique position and perspective.