Richard Long,   Gravity   (Ivorypress, 2010)

Richard Long, Gravity (Ivorypress, 2010)



May 2013
14 courses, 1 table, 4 guests  
Sam's Garage
Portland, Oregon, USA


01 Spruce (plucking, cracking, inhaling)
02 Broth of Earth (aromas of land and sea)
03 Volcano (eruption of fluid, water)
04 Sedimentation (an oyster in its mud, edible sand)
05 Veins (flows of structure and nourishment)
06 Tendons and Fibers (brittle and tender)
07 (Re)covering the Substratum
08 Heart of Juniper (and its blood)
09 Flight and Grinding (lightly smoked duck, its innards and juices)
10 Allies (alliums, their friends, and an impostor)
11 Flesh (viscosities with textures)
12 Ember of Black Garlic and Carrot
13 Airs (egg two ways, perfumes and bouquets)
14 Inhalation with Strawberries

As a series of openings - cutting, forking, pulling, and conjoining - gravity cooks substances and thought. Harnessing the force of gravity, the chef pairs and prepares. All of these little acts, canals, teem with activity. Minor pulsations, they flow from and through. Water cuts through earth, forming subterranean passageways, just as the skilled-chef's blade falls through a turnip, evoking sensations of the diner, just as filtrations trickle downwards and gather momentum.

Gravity: "degree of intensity, measured by acceleration." So it is a force of speed even if the movement is imperceptible. Timers tick in the kitchen and measurements must be exact: precision beyond perception, where the pack leader possesses the most refined palate. It always shows on the plate.

Sediments reveal the effect of gravity: accumulation and its victory over bodies.

An apple falls from the tree; an apple seed sinks into the gut. Cautious shattering and careful shredding are anabolic avenues, guts at the core of the Earth.

Stepping into the line of gravity, we experience its pulsation. Even geological sedimentation moves. Mineralized strata of resonance flow slowly into new ruptures. The dry desert floor cracks – yet another opening for life.

Ruins have breath. They are sites of soft distillation, giving off faint vapors of fermented thought and material. Gravity breathes.

And then, everything also rises. Plants shoot from the earth and flowers bloom. The oyster unfolds, eating through filtration, layers of filth and sedimentation. Decay vibrates with microbial activity (mushrooms are angels of death).

Nourishment through perishing: we pluck, cut, and sow. Pools of matter collect in basins of the cosmos and the Earth swirls into existence. Cosmic cooking is impregnation of gravity. Spheres are born, the chemical baths of the kitchen sink into existence. But they also pop and burst in the mouth. A warm breeze from the oven and vapor’s of a pot carry the chef away to hallucination. Crackings and ruptures, the boiling pot’s lid rattles, sounding alarms of the kitchen. 


Sam Yehros (collaboration with planning, cooking, and presenting)