Recipe Stories

Recipe Stories

Les Récits-recettes is a research-creation developed within the framework of the European cooperation program La Table et le Territoire, initiated and led by COAL and supported by Europe Créative. This research-creation was developed and implemented by COAL, Parti Poétique and Ladyss.

Tell us what you cook and we’ll tell you what we’ll plant “This is the original proposal made by COAL, the Laboratory of Social Dynamics and Recomposition of Spaces (Laydss) led by Nathalie Blanc and the artistic collective Parti Poétique, from Zone Sensible, which has become the last 19th century farm still in activity at the gates of Paris.

The city of Saint-Denis has 134 different nationalities which are as much cultural, culinary and gestural diversity. Starting from the premise that sustainable food is linked to the attachment of the residents to the food territory, the trio went to meet the inhabitants of the city of Saint-Denis and this exceptional food diversity in order to collect their recipes, their gestures and their food uses, which will become supports and subjects of plastic works in Zone Sensible.

During these interviews, the inhabitants of Saint-Denis tell their recipes: those of the past (whose flavor and memory persist even though we no longer know how to make them), those of the present, made on a daily basis with the means available, and those of the future, recipes dreamed up to face a future to be invented. Based on these stories and recipes, various artistic and scientific productions were produced: recipe books, placemats, audio works, a web blog, vegetable planting and collective cooking.

The Revenue Office
The inhabitants of Saint-Denis were invited to come and share their food and culinary practices. The objective was to produce scientific and artistic content from these interviews, such as the publication of a book of recipes from Saint-Denis, the broadcasting of excerpts from the interviews, the planting of the vegetables needed for the recipes, or the realization of these same recipes during meetings and banquets.

Creative writing workshops
The inhabitants of Saint-Denis were also invited to participate in a writing workshop that took shape in a collective experiment. Each participant was invited to modify, with his or her own words, scientific texts concerning food and agricultural production. It was a way to experience food issues in a meaningful way and perhaps look at standard representations of food differently.

“The project aims to promote the terroir of Saint-Denis, to work on the aesthetic, gustatory, and nutritional qualities of local culinary know-how to imagine together what would be the specificities of a sustainable food to come in Seine-Saint-Denis.”

The book Récits-recettes
Between a cookbook and a storybook, the Récits-recettes materializes this research-creation and tells in 27 testimonies the gestures, the uses and the culinary know-how of the inhabitants of the city of Saint-Denis, with its 135 nationalities. A book of stories and recipes based on a conviction: sustainable food is based on the attachment of the inhabitants to the food territory. The book was edited by Estelle Vanmalle of the multidisciplinary collective SILO.

Recipe Stories
COAL Editions, Zone Sensible, LADYSS-CNRS
In French
18 € – 264 pages
Buy the book here

The cooking workshops
Led by Ranwa Stephan, chef at Les Délices de l’Ogresse, the Récits-recettes cooking workshops aim to give shape to the recipes of the Récits-recettes book. By inviting Dionysians who have contributed to the book, but also a wider public, these workshops allow people to cook and taste the terroir of Saint Denis.

The exhibition Urbanités Vertes
book Récits-recettes was presented as part of the exhibition Urbanité Verte, from June 10 to July 23 at the Centre Tignous d’Art Contemporain. On the proposal of the curator Julie Sicault Maillé, the collective exhibition Urbanité verte brought together artistic and citizen projects around the issue of nature in the city. The market gardening past of Montreuil inspires, the future of our cities is to be dreamed and built. The exhibition thus proposes a sensitive and reflective immersion from a fictional city without nature to a city that living beings, plant, animal and human, inhabit together and reinvent. From a picnic in an urban park to the cultivation of vegetables that evoke our roots or to the sheep that graze in the city, the artists invite us through their paintings, sculptures, installations, videos and drawings, to listen to Marcel Proust: ” The only, the real, the only journey is to change the way we look at “.

With the artists : Vaughn Bell, Yves Bélorgey, Karine Bonneval, Nicolas Boulard, Collectif Enoki, Sylvain Gouraud, Clément Richem, Collectif SAFI, Noémie Sauve, Aurélie Slonina, Parti poétique / Olivier Darné and Antoine Perez.

The Table and the Territory

La Table et le Territoire is a transdisciplinary European cooperation program that brings together a community of cultural actors involved in the ecological transition and sustainable food. From the field to gastronomy, hybrid initiatives led by artists in the fields of agriculture and food are multiplying on a European scale. La Table et le Territoire accompanies this new scene and promotes the importance of culture-based solutions.

La Table et le Territoire implements seven research-creation programs, led by artists and scientists in five European countries. By exploring territories that are strongly concerned by the relationship between food and territory in a context of climate change, the research-creation teams highlight this issue by proposing experiments and solutions for the future. The program is supported by the European Union through the Creative Europe program, from 2019 to 2022.

Take a look at

MOOC Art and Ecology
Meeting between Andrea Olga Mantovani and Baptiste Morizot

  • About us
    About us

    COAL mobilizes artists and cultural actors on societal and environmental issues and accompanies the emergence of a new culture of ecology through its actions such as the COAL Prize, curating exhibitions, advising institutions and communities, European cooperation, and the animation of conferences, workshops and the first dedicated website


    COAL has been awarding the COAL Prize Art and Environment every year since 2010 and the COAL Student Prize - Culture & Diversity since 2020.

  • Projects

    Major projects linked to the major events in political ecology, in connection with natural or urban environments.

  • Artistic direction
    Artistic direction

    About fifty exhibitions throughout France, cultural actions, works in the public space, and project support to contribute to the emergence of a new culture of ecology.


    Cooperation programs on a European and international scale, support for institutions in their ecological transition through tailor-made accompaniment and training, promotion of arts and ecology issues through publications and numerous conferences and workshops.