THE CULINARY HERITAGE PROJECT: CELEBRATING ARTISANS AND THEIR PRODUCE

Painting artisans’ passion

My culinary heritage project celebrates artisans’ passion and food produce, with the underlying wish to help highlight and preserve culinary heritage. I work with artisans to paint their local food and delicacies which are produced with such passion. Artisans often prevent local methods, customs and local breeds of animals from disappearing, which is why I like to highlight materials and methods in my paintings. Their methods will often also be the secret to the success of their craft. With the current interest in culinary fireworks, local food and sustainability, I love to translate the artisans’ passion into paint on canvas.

Sharpening Steel Olivier Helibert

Olivier Hélibert’s sharpening steel (detail, in progress). Charcuterie Hélibert, Brittany, France

The joy of painting meat (and other things)

From my own point of view, I love food and painting it is a bonus. I have an affinity for painting the anatomy of objects, be it a lobster, quince fruits (see the Still Life Paintings page) or a Breton ham produced by the artisan Olivier Hélibert in Brittany, France. The anatomical intricacies, form, light and colours of fruit, seafood, meat and other produce makes this culinary heritage project such a joy.

Sourdough by Tanja Moderscheim

Sourdough, DeGustibus Artisan Master Bakers, Abingdon, England

Oil on wood panel, 40cm x 40cm

Sussex pedigree sirloin, rump and braising steak Sheffield farms Sussex Wealds by Tanja Moderscheim

Sussex pedigree sirloin, rump and braising steak Sheffield farms Sussex Wealds

Oil on fine linen, 50cm x 70cm

Charcuterie-still-life by Tanja moderscheim

Smoked pancetta and native nape, Native Breeds Charcutiers, Wales

Oil on wood panel, 20cm x 30cm

From the BBC Food and Farming Awards to Bon Fond’s discovery of artisans in the French countryside

I’ve been contacting artisans since early 2016. The first artisans I painted included nine finalists of the 2016 BBC Food and Farming Awards. Kindly put in contact by the BBC, I worked with artisans from Cheshire Cheese, Cairn O’ Mohr (fruit wine and cider, Scotland), Charcutier Ltd (Wales), Hallets Real Cider (Wales), Gourmet Goat (streetfood), Hebridean Smokehouse (Salmon, Outer Hebridres), Magic Rock Brewery (beer, England), Pyclets Parlour (streetfood, England) and The Glorious Oyster (streetfood, Devon). The paintings were exhibited at the Awards ceremony in Bristol.

Countryfile, Tanja Moderscheim

Countryfile’s presenter Adam Henson

Oyster by Tanja Moderscheim

The Glorious Oyster, Devon

Oil on wood panel, 10cm x 15cm

Cairn O'Mohr painting by Tanja Moderscheim

Refractometer and Hydrometer with Seasonal Fruit: Cairn O’Mohr

Oil on wood panel, 20cm x 30cm

Magic Rock Brewery painting by Tanja Moderscheim

Rapture, Cannonball, Grapefruit, Salty Kiss and West Coast Pale Ale, Magic Rock Brewery

Oil on wood panel, 20cm x 30cm

BonFond, France

I’m currently collaborating with chefs Lise and Eric of BonFond, and it’s a joy to work with them. Lise and Eric visit French artisans who champion sustainable farming and French savoir-faire. As they write on their website, “..A hands-on, close-up look into iconic, artisanal French food production, organic farming and sustainable living. …”. The experiences of their journey are described in voyage blogs. It’s fantastic to see such a celebration of French cooking and producing. A great read, and they have even posted recipes!

The first series of paintings will feature the following artisans:

  • Charcuterie Hélibert, Bourg-Blanc: top 20 charcutier of France
  • Eric Roy, Jardin des Roys, Saint-Genouph: vegetable supplier to top chefs around France
  • La Ferme d’Alzetta, Corsica: organic chicken farming
  • Fine de Cancale: Mont St Michel Bay oysters
  • Peio Larquier, Mazerolles: 3rd generation bakers of Pastis d’Amélie cakes

This body of work will be featured in an exhibition.

Charcuterie Helibert, Bon Fond by Tanja Moderscheim

Breton hams, Charcuterie Hélibert, Brittany, France

Oil on fine linen, 40cm x 60cm, (in progress)

Olivier Hélibert is an award-winning top 20 charcutier of France. Working with

Breton-raised pigs, farmed sustainably and humanely, the majority of his

products have won prizes. The cured ham is traditionally produced in old ham presses.

Future plans

In addition to exploring artisans’ produce in France I will be looking at further profiling UK producers in 2019, starting with the subject of beekeeping.

Emmas Bees, smoker by Tanja Moderscheim

Waiting to be painted: Smoker, Emma’s Bees

Press/enquiries

Please get in touch via the contact page.