Cartloads of Fun: Toronto Carretilla Initiative

9 June, 2012

The Event
Makeshift kitchen
I’m deeply interested in food (who isn’t?) and I have a passing love affair with art, having studied it in college (and more than gotten my fill of it with all the assignments we were made to do!)

Put both food and art together and… you usually get an inedible mess which looks pretty. But artist Rainer Prohaska’s Toronto Carretilla Initiative, a part of the Toronto Luminato Festival, immediately grabbed my attention. It combined food + art in a way which was both beautiful, as well as incredibly yummy.

The idea was to fashion an industrial-style kitchen  out of 10 Loblaws’ carts, in various areas of the city. The makeshift kitchen not only passed the Toronto Public Health regulations, but also enabled batches of volunteers cook up community meals of soups and salads. Installation art at its epicurean best.

Me at the Event
This was the first event I attended in Toronto and I loved the sense of experimentation and community in everyone present at the Distillery District’s installation. Our group of 10-12 people made Austrian Potato Soup that chilly Saturday morning, and it certainly seemed to warm up the watching crowd.

The recipe for Austrian Potato Soup
I added an extra touch of colour to the proceedings by promptly knicking my finger while cutting a particularly rotund potato. Lesson learned: knives in Toronto are sharper than they are back home! Bandage in place, I went back to work, and 40 minutes and about a 100 grated carrots, cut celery etc later, soup was ladled out in disposable containers to the eagerly waiting public.

What I loved: Cutting my finger wasn’t pleasant, but it did allow me to step back and look at the group. It was pretty impressive watching the efficiency between stations, and I really got to see the ‘art’ side of it.

What I didn’t love: My soup , an unexpectedly thick and textured warm bowl of goodness, vanished far too fast. But this was more my fault than the organizers’ :)

Overall: So much fun, and I definitely recommend this for anyone who’s even passing through Toronto. 

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