Dinner Session: Cook of ShadowS

Sun 7 May

Acting as an alternative to the common restaurant, The Grey Space presents a communal dinner experience every Sunday. Guest chefs create creative dishes and inspiring menus, which emerge from our kitchen and are served in the space.

The food at this week’s Dinner Session was inspired by the Liberation Day in the Netherlands and Cook of ShadowS’ childhood life in post-war reconstruction communities in China and Taiwan. The shared experience of food resource shortages during and after WWII led to the creativity and resourcefulness of their grandmothers and their neighbours to create delicious food with limited ingredients. The result is a unique cultural melting pot cuisine that reflects the mutual influences and creativity of the community.

Read more about the concept of this week’s Dinner Session further below.

  • Starter: Tofu and pak choi soup
  • Main: Nanchang rice noodle with Taiwanese braised dish
  • Dessert: Sweet potato with sweet ginger soup

Vegan options are available.

Price: €25

Practical information
  • Doors open at 17.00, Dinner usually starts at 18.30. Upon reserving you will receive more information about the exact time that the first course is served.
  • The courses are served to all guests at the same time, so please arrive on time to assure a full menu’s portion.
  • Order and payment at the bar (pin only).
  • Students get a 10% discount on drinks.
  • Reservations go through the button above. If you have any trouble with booking a table through the form, contact us via reservations@thegreyspace.net.
Cook of ShadowS

Cook of ShadowS is a Netherlands-based Chinese and Taiwanese curating and cooking duo formed by alternative electronic music producer/performer SHAN and creative director, designer, musician, and performer Ko-Yu (Sara) Huang. Aiming to share the passed down grandmas’ recipes, they believe food, just like music and art are not only a presentation of passion for life, but also a carrier for the organic integration of different regional cultures and personal life stories. Alongside using their music and artworks resonating with the public, Cook of ShadowS often cook for friends to show their affection and experience cultural difference.

Fallen Leaves Return to the Roots? Memories of Migrants

The food for this week’s Dinner Session was inspired by the Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag, 5th May) in the Netherlands and Cook of ShadowS’ childhood life in post-war reconstruction communities (Nanchang Hongdu Aircraft Community in China and Taichung Bian Dian Military Dependent’s Village in Taiwan).

Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) marks the end of the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, in Cook of ShadowS’ eyes, it also acts as the liberation from the Dutch famine of 1944-1945: people no longer have to consume tulip bulbs and potato peels to quench their hunger. Meanwhile in East Asia, after WWII and the Chinese Civil War in 1949 in mainland China, different types of military soldiers and their families migrated from China to Taiwan in order to prepare for the “Retake the Mainland China” operation. The government (KMT) established military dependent’s villages in Taiwan, waiting for the moment to reclaim the land; meanwhile, China was recovering from the damage from wars. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intended to reconstruct and develop the country, and designated aircraft technicians from all over China in Nanchang City in 1950s. Gradually, it became a ‘town in town’ special community, Hongdu in Nanchang.

The Netherlands, China, and Taiwan all experienced food resource shortages during or after WWII. People back at the time can barely fill their stomachs or only rely on basic ingredients. Based on this shared experience, Cook of ShadowS took inspiration from their childhood memories in the post-war reconstruction communities, even in difficult war or post-war times, their grandma and grandma’s neighbours still used their wisdom to recreate delicious food from their former hometown. Creativity, limited local ingredients, and mutual influences among the community created a one-of-a-kind cultural melting pot cuisine.

Menu: The Trilogy of War Food: Tofu x Flour x Sweet Potato
  • Starter: Tofu and pak choi soup
Hungry? Tofu and different veggies are always in our fridge. A simple but classic soup in military dependent’s villages. Healthy balance for protein and vegetables.
  • Main: Nanchang rice noodle with Taiwanese braised dish

Rice noodles are the classic Nanchang breakfast. Each breakfast shop has its unique sauce recipe, just like sangria tastes differently in every restaurant in Spain. A bowl of rice noodles with special spicy sauce (mild, also offer medium and hot levels) and crunchy peanuts, served with pickled veggies and braised eggs or braised tofu skin.

  • Dessert: Sweet potato with sweet ginger soup

A common dessert in Cook of ShadowS’s childhood memories, was served in a hot sweet ginger soup. Fun Fact, sweet potato is regarded as the ‘cold energy’ food in Chinese medicine, therefore, ginger, which is considered as the ‘warm energy’ food is used to balance the coldness in the dish.

Open Call for Cooks

The concept of our Dinners Sessions is inspired by Gordon Matta-Clarks’ artist-run restaurant FOOD, a project founded in New York in the 1970s. We encourage anyone with an interest in food and a talent for hosting to apply to our Dinner Session’s ongoing Open Call. Not as an exclusionary process; any person who believes they can fill around 30 stomachs, is welcome as chef for the night.

Click the button below to find more information and the application form.