A House with a Date Palm Will Never Starve

Cooking with Date Syrup: Forty Chefs and an Artist Create New and Classic Dishes with a Traditional Middle Eastern Ingredient



ISBN: 9781908970497 Category:

Michael Rakowitz and friends


Prominent Iraqi-American artist-provocateur Michael Rakowitz invites forty acclaimed chefs and food writers to create mouthwatering savoury and sweet dishes using date syrup

Date syrup has been central to Iraqi cooking and home life for centuries. In this unique book, a fusion of the worlds of contemporary art and food, an artist and forty celebrated chefs present delicious dishes using this staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. Their collaboration had its roots in early 2018, when Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz unveiled a winged bull sculpture made from thousands of date syrup cans as the latest commission for the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square. As his winged bull sat upon the Fourth Plinth, Rakowitz invited chefs from around the world to create new and classic recipes using date syrup as a way to celebrate this ancient ingredient and symbol of Iraqi culture. Pioneering chefs and food writers including Yotam Ottolenghi, Alice Waters, Claudia Roden, Reem Kassis, Prue Leith, Mourad Mazouz, Jason Hammel, Nuno Mendes, Thomasina Miers, Giorgio Locatelli and Marcus Samuelsson responded to his call by creating dozens of dishes. Their recipes range from the traditional to the innovative in a feast for the taste buds, and include everything from simple brunch dishes, salads and sides to mouth-watering mains, cakes, desserts, drinks and condiments. Easy step-by-step instructions enable the reader to make the recipes at home.

Beautiful photographs of the dishes are accompanied by the artist’s portrait drawings and sketches of the food. Completing the volume is a foreword by awardwinning food writer and chef Claudia Roden and an appreciation of the importance of the date in Iraqi society by Iraqi-American cultural-studies academic Ella Shohat, while Rakowitz writes about the significance of the syrup to his family and in his work. This special book will appeal to anyone who loves the cuisine of the Middle East and the politics of food in that troubled region.

Additional information

Weight 727 g
Dimensions 17.4 x 22.9 cm
Publisher name Art Books Publishing Ltd
Publication date 16 September 2019
Number of pages 224
Format Hardback
Dimensions 17.4 x 22.9 cm
Weight 727 g


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Michael Rakowitz is an Iraqi American artist, and Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University. Claudia Roden is an award-winning Egyptian British cookbook writer. Ella Shohat is Professor of Cultural Studies at New York University.