Cookery has never been so high on the agenda of Western popular culture. And yet the endlessly-multiplying TV shows, the obsessive interest in the provenance of ingredients, and the celebration of “radical” experiments in gastronomy tell us little about the nature of the culinary. Is it possible to maintain that cookery has a philosophical pertinence without merely appending philosophy to our burgeoning gastroculture? How might the everyday sense of the culinary be expanded into a philosophy of “culinary materialism” wherein synthesis, experimentation, and operations of mixing and blending take precedence over analysis, subtraction, and axiomatisation?
Drawing on resources ranging from anthropology to chemistry, from hermetic alchemy to contemporary mathematics, the seventh volume of Collapse undertakes a trans-modal experiment in culinary thinking. A wide range of contributors including philosophers, chefs, artists, historians, and synaesthetes examine the cultural, industrial, physiological, alchemical, and even cosmic dimensions of cookery, and propose new models of culinary thought for the future.