We’ve cooked in old train depots and darkened car parks and city centre squats and sprawling warehouses. Last week, Rambling Restaurant added a soon-to-be demolished 1960’s North London housing estate to the list of odd and unusual venues, swooping in just ahead of the wrecking balls. In the amazing Market Estate Project, artists from around the world took over empty flats to create imaginative, engaging, thought-provoking and awe-inducing installations ranging from short films to death-defying performance art to covering entire apartments in building plans or blue plastic. We were honored to be a part of the day by cooking up all sorts of meals and snacks for people involved with the project.
Sarah and foodrambler conjured up massive pots of beef rendang and aubergine and sweet potato coconut curry with rice and creamy cool banana chutney to fill up the many volunteers before their very very cold outdoor shifts.
Once people began trickling in, we Rambling Restaurateurs turned our attention to making canapes for visitors and staff and lucky wanderers. Homemade chickpea and beetroot hummus on crackers, carrot and cumin dip on crispbreads, mini onion quiches, and Michelle’s famous fried-on-the-spot fish and chips.
In between dishing up cute little newspaper cones and assembling sandwiches for staff sustenance, we found some time to explore the incredible and inspiring works of art. Like an entire flat – bedroom, living room, bathroom, balcony and all – transformed into an enormous blue plastic balloon:
More art photos and some thoroughly inauthentic banh mi sandwiches after the jump…
There were beautiful murals and graffiti art and random creations to be found around every corner and down each hallway.
One of the most shocking and unexpectedly beautiful sights of the day was this performance piece by the lovely Tom Geoghegan, who hung suspended and completely immobilized off one of the estate towers for several hours in the freezing cold.
Looking up at him earlier in the day, we had wondered if he was real or some sort of hanging dummy. Turns out Tom is very much human and very much susceptible to high winds when hanging many many feet off the ground. I really enjoyed learning a bit about his various projects over stacks of bastardized chorizo banh mi sandwiches.
The most whimsically joyful flat award goes to this pink balloon-filled kitchen, where Sarah, Antonio, Marc and I stopped in for a cuppa tea and a chocolate biscuit or two.
I’d like to fill an entire apartment up to the ceiling with balloons or maybe rubber exercise balls so you have to squeeeeeeze through, like a grossly enlarged Chuck-E-Cheese ball pit.
It was exhilarating and exciting and inspiring to run around an empty housing estate late at night and imagine all the lives lived within the walls now covered in blue plastic and spray paint. RIP Market Estate: from birth in 1967…
…to burial in 2010.