Culinary Schooling (duration performance)

August 2015 to December 2017 - Montréal, Canada


The notion of performativity contains many definitions. One touches the notion of successful results in sports, at school, or at work. The capacity to maintain a high level of yield. The person who performs these outputs had to adapt to their field and become this "efficient tool". A performance of a role is also present here.

In Canada, there is yet no school for Art and Food, or Food Art, or Eat Art that is yet known to the artist. A schooling in Gastronomical Professional Cooking was then the closest option to approach the creative possibilities around the food material. L'Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec had the best reputation in Montréal and the best connections to the culinary creative scene in the city. That is where this durational performance started.  


Each year, L'Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) accepts a very limited amount of students in its Gastronomical Professional Cooking section. However, I had recently ended my theatrical studies and worked for a food community service where the manager had great writing skills. Therefore, the interview was well-acted to make-believe that the artist skills in the kitchen were above exceptional. The preceeding documentation had also set up the stage of an exceptional kitchen worker. I was, therefore, accepted in September 2015 as a student in this prestigious school.

The costume was a very classical white chef vest, pied-de-poule pants with aprons, kitchen steel toe shoes, and a small assistant-cook hat. The accessories came in a black suitcase including various kitchen knives for different ingredients, a series of pastry equipment, cooking utensils of all sizes, and many more surprises. 

The first days, weeks, and months were increasingly harder as the tempo in the kitchen is very fast and the information is  only given a few times. It was exeptionally hard for to stay under disguise and pretend wanting to be a professional chef, because the teachers constantly challenged them and tested their limits. To be a cook was literally a sacrifice of one's time, focus, and energies. The classes and the internships were draining.

When I thought I would only learn about my favourite medium, I actually opened my eyes to the food industry, its actors and its realities. A world in need of recognition for the long hours of work and the poor pay rates, all hidden behind every restaurant kitchen doors. This wake-up call gave birth to a series of 31 performances during the month of July 2017. They were mostly inspired by this visit in the vast universe of professional cooking.

After many adventures and battles, I finally reached my goal of receiving a diploma in Professional Cooking on November 7th 2018. I could not attend the consecration ceremony in Montreal but celebrated the end of my longest Eat Art performance by resigning my last cooking position to dedicate anew all my attention and energy to the art world.

The goal was never to become a professional chef but to end a difficult performance in the world of Eat Art. Nevertheless, this proximity between Art and Life gave this performance a profound transformative power over me.

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