The black gold cookbook

author: Barbara Prada
download: barbara-menu-black-gold-spreads.pdf

Edible Library was a project by Bárbara Prada, which culminated in an immersive art installation, produced within the scope of the group exhibition Petrichor (13.09.20-08.11.20), curated by Lucie Ménard.

In the labyrinth of shelves, the artist brought together a selection of objects and stories: organic ingredients, family recipes, cooking utensils, poems, and cookbooks; which were contributed by local food producers, inhabitants, and  institutions. Prada applied an eclectic array of preservation techniques and turned the selected ingredients into sculptural – but still edible – objects. Like a collective mind map, the work traced the evolution of gastronomy in Genk before and after the arrival of the mines, which attracted many migrant workers, bringing with them new ingredients and recipes, and enriching the local cuisine of Genk

The menu presented below was originally conceived as a performance, which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. The menu is an artistic reflection on the evolution of the gastronomical culture and identity of Genk, inspired by Bárbara Prada’s research into local ingredients, stories and private culinary archives. It is now made virtually accessible for everyone interested in rediscovering those stories in their own kitchen.

If you would like to contribute to the evolution of the Edible Library’s virtual collection send your own culinary memory, be it in a form of a text, an image, or an audio recording, to: or post it on Instagram, with tags  #EdibleLibrary @pradaisbarbara

Many thanks to: Gilberte Claes & Luc Vleugels from Galleriet in Genk, Jos Coenegrachts & Marina Pauly from Coenegrachts Champignons in Riemst, Jacques Collen, Marie-Paule Claesen, Eddy Dieny, and Guido Zeelmaekers from  Academie voor de Streekgebonden Gastronomie in Hasselt, Renaat Huygen from Slagmolen in Genk, Davy Jacobs from Jenever Museum in Hasselt, Eoin O'Reilly, Rosa Pedone, Stijn Van Renterghem, Fred Schotsmans from Imkerij ‘T Fleurtje in Genk, Luck Walschot.