Being On The Way With Plants and Animals

A commentated food sequence by Arpad Dobriban
at nüanS, Düsseldorf Feb.25th. 2007


Since 20 years an important part of Arpads art work is cooking. Following Peter Kubelka he establishes cooking as an art kind. The Conception and the preparation of thematically calm food sequences are his media to express his view of the world and bring a direct and benefitful experience to the rezipients: his guests.

The following work The Eternal Migration Towards The West developed in 2004, starting with thoughts about his own origin, the migration of his family and his Departure from Hungary to Germany. A coincidental meeting with an agrobiologist in Switzerland brought further information and motivation for the project.

A lot of plants and animals which we use for nutrition today were not always growing or living around us.There are several ways how they arrived in our environment. A phenomenon of almost all is that they came from east to the west. There is a parallel to the main direction of people migration.

During the dinner Arpad will give you explanations in advance of every dish lightning up the aspects what they stand for in connection with the topic.

You will experience how perfect this whole idea of Migration fits with the TURTLE spirit and the ideas of artist networking which exemplarily past Michael H Shamberg with his project. So there was no question for me which food sequence I would like to present you tonight as the termination of an exciting month of collaboration between nüans and Turtle - an anachistic salo Good Apetit!

Short summaries

Aperitif Pomeranzenwein

Made from Bitterorange, in German: Apfelsine - the apple which comes from China.

Marinated salmon with blinis

The salmon carries migration in itself as a life principle - not absolutely west to east, but from salty to sweet The blinis are made of buckwheat, a pseudo-cerial from the east which migrates via the north to the west because of it's undemandingly character. It grows during 10 weeks on almost every soil.

Angads abur

This is a soup for special occasions which is a tradition in my family which partly comes from Armenia. Churut is the name of a special homemade spice which contends dried milk and herbs. My research took me to a lot of variations of this food, located in the east but also known in Switzerland. I took the priscribtion from my aunt in Hungary and saved it in the last moment, because there isn't anyone in the country producing it at home anymore. I also made up a series of objects which is called Milk For Eternity. The development of this food itself is connected to migration, it is a technique to travel with a milk product.

Peperonata with Migliaccio

This course is dedicated to migration the other way around made by man The conquerers brought plants from the west to the east: Chilies, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Corn It is amazing, that some of them developed to the "typical food of a country": Hungary is associated with the paprika - Italy with the tomato - Germany with the potatoe This special corn priscribtion also comes from Italy. Peperonata is also well-known as leccho in Hungary.

The dish will be accompanied by a special wine called Uhudler. This plant was imported from America when in Europe all the grape-plants where affected by the Reblaus. Still the european sorts are all grafted on this resistent plant from America. A long time it was forbidden to get wine from this plant directly. Afraid of competition it was told that there is to much of athyl-alcohol in it and the use of it will dammage the brain. False Propaganda of course. In Austria I found a producer of this wine which tastes very special.

Khoresch-e fessendschan with Kateh

This is a typical dish from Persia, made of chicken in a sauce of Granatapple and Walnuts served with rice crust, a spezial way how the persians prepare their rice. It is a complete dish with ingrediences from home which travelled with the Iranians to Europe. There has been a migration wave to Germany at the End of the Schah Regime. During the fifities a lot of Iranians got married to german women.

This dish will be accompanied by a red wine from Georgien, one of the eastern countries where Viticulture started hundreds of years ago. There are still more than 500 old sorts of grapes we don't know here. That is a taste I wanted to bring to the west, an incredible high quality red wine which can stand the competition with the french, italian, spanish easily.

Honey-Cinnamon Icecream/ Safran Icecream

Icecream was invented in China, but the idea to do it with milk is european. Flavours are coming from plants which still are imported from the east, because they won't grow here.


In this little cookie you have all the aspects of our topic coming together: It is made of almonds from Afganistan, Cinnamon of China, plants which never would grow in Europe. Together with cacao from the West - also a plant which can't be cultivated around here, combined with eggs, originated in India and made with Schnaps which is a european technique of getting an alcoholic beverage. This universal cookie is a typical pastry from Switzerland