Some 300 people in Amsterdam experienced the immense pleasure Thursday evening of tasting a bit of the Amazon as served by Brazilian master chef Alex Atala. As part of the joint event of What Design Can Do and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Taste It!, Atala presented the public with his version of Tacacá and a bite of ants on pineapple. At the same time British culinary art duo Bompas & Parr was proving the existence of the Almighty by realizing Johannes Kepler’s Platonic Planetary Bar.

Tacacá is a classic soup from the north of Brazil made with a broth of wild manioc (tucupi), jambu, a native variety of paracress, and langoustines. And as one might have expected from one of the world’s greatest chefs, the depth of the flavour was just incredible. The people who dared to taste the ants as well, where struck by the flavour of ginger and lemongrass they mimic.

Atala had a change to talk a little about his ATÁ Foundation too that stimulates the production of traditional ingredients from the Amazon by local communities. The foundation favours biodiversity protection, not only to save food ingredients, but also to protect the means of existence for the people collecting them. ‘Natural conservation is also conservation of man,’ Atala said.

Platonic Planetary Bar

In a separate room, Sam Bompass, explained the idea behind the installation Kepler’s Platonic Planetary Bar. In 1596 German astronomer Johannes Kepler published his theory about the interlinking of geometry and astronomy. Bompas & Parr built their installation on the rumour that Kepler envisaged his model of the universe to double as a punch bowl with every planet known at the time relating to a corresponding drink and geometry.

Kepler’s Platonic Planetary Bar consists of three punch bowls placed upon each other, from which the public is served their cocktails. The first cocktail, Saturn, was accessible to all, the other two, Jupiter and Mars, only for those who where able to construct one of the five Platonic solids from a set of wooden sticks and pellets of clay.

Meanwhile supersonic sounds where making surfaces of the liquids move, showing constantly changing regular Chladni patterns in a huge projection on the wall. The fact that these patterns are so regular is, according to Sam Bompas another clear indication that God exists.

Asked whether this installation, which still can be admired in the What Design Can Do exhibition at Stedelijk Museum, should be considered as art or design, Bompas said he didn’t mind. ‘We see the object as a focal point for the creation of a memory,’ he said.

The exhibition What Design Can Do, celebrating five years of What Design Can Do and showing works by Studio Dror, Campana Brothers, Rogier Klomp and Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg can be seen until 26 July 2015.

Stedelijk Museum
Museumplein 10
1071 DJ Amsterdam
Open daily 10-18h, Thursday’s 10-22h.
Top image: Brazilian top chef Alex Atala at Taste It! (photo Leo Veger)