Funky Baskenland, a project by the Bilbao-based artist Asier Pérez González, offers the most exotic food in an exclusive and unusual way. For 8 days in June, the renowned Basque chef, Joseba De Sue, will cook a Basque menu in a Surinamese restaurant in Utrecht. De Sue is considered one of the best exponents of Basque nouvelle cuisine: innovative, creative, and always poetic. In his words: 'It's not only a matter of food, it's also, and even more so, a poetic naming presented exquisitely.' De Sue's culinary highlights will be served at the Surinamese-Javanese restaurant POMO, in the centre of Utrecht. Robby Pomo, the owner of the restaurant, has collaborated on the artist's project by generously offering his restaurant and staff for this experimental culinary exchange. Working with POMO's staff and cooks, Joseba De Sue will prepare exquisite Basque dishes using authentic, fresh ingredients imported from the Basque Country. The customary ambience of the Surinamese-Javanese restaurant will be maintained, as well its financial structure. Besides the usual clientele, every night 5 special guests will be invited to the restaurant.
Asier Pérez González's project began from the perspective of the Surinamese presence in the Netherlands - its culture, food, language, sports and the Surinamese presence in media and politics. Nowadays, one of the most pertinent questions that can be asked is: 'How indigenous is culture?' This question arises from what has been termed multiculturalism, and is evermore present in this information era. Pérez González's projects are concerned with issues of globalisation and the worldwide diffusion of information. In his work he examines changing notions of authenticity and cultural identity, and takes a closer look at the effects of travel and tourism on politics and culture. Funky Baskenland could be regarded as a cultural exchange on a micro-level. The project encourages a discourse on the global and the contemporary, as well as on the issue of culture as an economic product in a society that is shifting from manufacturing industry to an experience-based service economy.
Funky Baskenland will be publicized both in the Netherlands and the Basque Country, in order to provide the opportunity for a simultaneous discussion. The project was supported by the Basque Department of Culture and the Basque Department of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.
With special thanks to Robby Pomo and the crew of restaurant Pomo.