Bread & Butter | 28 August

Bread Butter c Paulus Jakob Kollektiv Fischka

23 Aug, 2022


Bread & Butter at the Table of Diversity, setting the frame for an evening for all, with music from Mario Batkovic and the worlds he opens up with his accordion.

At first they seem quite trivial: Bread is a staple food, butter is spreadable fat. Together they are the essence of many meals on tables in Austria and all over Europe. They are used to start the day at breakfast and to end the day at supper, a very common, almost mundane common ground shared by endless households and national cuisines. At the same time, there are always social, cultural and culinary elements to these well-known butter and bread moments. In the mountains, every valley has its own type of butter and bread, cooking and baking vary from kitchen to kitchen, and different regions and people lead to different tastes.

And once you think of all the metaphors and stories that are spread on bread with butter, in literature, the arts, everyday life, the banality of a buttered sandwich vanishes quickly. Butter and bread tell of origin, tradition, innovation, likes and dislikes, context, culture and climate. Christian Friedrich Hebbel, the 19th century playwright and lyricist, wrote in his diary, "When you see people eating their buttered bread at night, the effort to explain life can seem very ridiculous. Butter and bread explain everything."

“Bread & Butter” is an ode to these two kitchen staples, the smallest common denominator of our society in its diversity, in Alpbach and all Europe. The “Table of Diversity”, setting the stage for an evening for all, speaks of our conviction that the simplest of products have the power to connect us beyond borders. Two components, one table – and a whole lot of diversity. Diversity, the basic idea of the installation, is ultimately also the great strength of a community; just as a diversity of species is necessary for the resilience of an ecosystem and thus food security, just like diversity makes crops more robust, social structures also seem to be stronger the more they embrace diversity. And just as a village like Alpbach brings such a sense of community to life on a local level, Europe does so multinationally.

Diversity lies in the smallest things

Making a small piece of butter: very simple. This installation, however, also shows how exuberant in creativity - and, yes, diverse - this traditional craft can be when some of Austria's best and most innovative chefs are entrusted with exploring the potential of butter. With different approaches, inspired by terroir and their own identity, over fifteen butter variations were created for the installation by renowned representatives of Austria’s culinary scene, among them Mochi, Philipp Rachinger from Mühltalhof, Felix Schellhorn, (member of the Healthy Boy Band like Rachinger), Jonathan Burger from Hotel Hirschen in Schwarzenberg, Karma Food from Vienna, Jakob and Ethel from Klösterle Zug/Lech and Yaoyao Hu from Salzburg. The bread for the installation, including a creation so new it hasn’t even hit the shelves, is provided by the bread innovators from Joseph Brot. The organic bakery produces loaves from old varieties that are threatened with extinction because they do not meet common criteria - and which are thus also an expression of grain diversity and cultural history that must be preserved. For this purpose, baker Josef Weghaupt has sourced rich varieties among crop farmers.

Facets of an accordion

The results of the chefs work, their beating and baking, are presented on a 14 metre table, designed by Robert Rüf based and created from wood of torn-down houses: refurbished old wood with a lot of history. It allows for walking through the installation, past breads and butters. Mario Batkovic, a perfect match to the idea behind the Table of Diversity, will round off the installation on the accordion. Mario was born in Bosnia, raised in Bern, Switzerland, has studied in Basel (CH) and Hannover (GER) and travels the world playing concerts. He unites various worlds within himself and expresses them on one single instrument. The accordion is played in Tyrol and all Europe, but it can be used in very different ways - and Batkovic loves to play it in the most unexpected ways (or in the words of Swiss music journalist Ane Hebeisen: Batkovic is "the one with a whole orchestra in his lap"). In addition, three local choirs (the Alpbach Church Choir, Da Kor and Mosaikchor) will perform "Die Welt im Dorf" (The World in the Village), a special composition for EFA22 by Maria Craffonara. A world premiere, a creative interpretation of the strength that lies in diversity of a village AND the world.

Table of Diversity. An evening for all.

Sunday, 28 August 2022

5.30 to 8 pm

Loaction: Next to Dorfplatz Alpbach

Rainy Weather Option: Bread & Butter in the Congress Centrum Alpbach, Concert in the Church

Bread & Butter: A culinary installation.

Butter: Alpbach Bäuerinnen, Jodok Dietrich, Jonathan Burger (Hirschen Schwarzenberg), Jakob und Ethel (Klösterle Zug/Lech), Karma Food, Martin Kilga (Paradoxon Salzburg), Mochi, Philipp Rachinger (Mühltalhof), Felix Schellhorn, Weiss Bregenz, Emanuel Weyringer (Wallersee), Yaoyao Hu, food journalist Anna Burghardt, Die Unterwirtinnen, Simon Kotvojs (Landkind Wien), Biohotel Schwanen Bizau.

Bread: Joseph Brot

Music: Mario Batkovic (accordion) / Alpbach Choirs (World Premiere: „Die Welt im Dorf“ - "The World in the Village"), Composer: Maria Craffonara