Artist’s Palate: Bernar Venet’s oeuf caviar

Red granite plate with food
Red granite plate, £87, by Willer. ‘Terrazzo’ platter, £69, by Serax, from The Conran Shop. Dinner fork, £15, by Louise Campbell, for Georg Jensen. ‘Mystone Bluestone’ tile in Grigio, from £41 per sq m, by Marazzi. Interiors: Maria Sobrino. Food: Maud Eden
(Image credit: Felicity McCabe)

Bernar Venet’s Corten steel sculptures have created dramatic statements at Versailles, Nice, New York and, most recently, in the grounds of Cliveden in Buckinghamshire. Their elegant forms reflect a lifetime of careful study. ‘They take 65 years to consider, then it’s eight minutes to build the maquette, and up to three months to make them,’ he says. His oeuf caviar is equally considered: two elementally similar yet visually opposite ingredients, arranged in perfect harmony. It’s his dish of choice at the Michelin-starred Les Gorges de Pennafort, run by his friend Philippe Da Silva and located near Venet’s art foundation in Provence. Venet is fond of the dish’s simplicity. ‘It’s quick and visually sober, like my artwork.’

1 egg

Very gently cook an egg over low heat, with a little butter that has just begun to melt in a frying pan. Ensure that the yolk remains soft and not overcooked.

To avoid unsightly little points on the surface, do not season the egg (in particular the yolk) with salt.

To finish, encircle the egg with a crown of caviar. The caviar will provide the salt.

As originally featured in the October 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (W*223)


Venet is at Cliveden until 15 October, and Frieze Masters, 5-8 October. For more information, visit the Cliveden website, BlainSouthern website, and Frieze website

TF Chan is a former editor of Wallpaper* (2020-23), where he was responsible for the monthly print magazine, planning, commissioning, editing and writing long-lead content across all pillars. He also played a leading role in multi-channel editorial franchises, such as Wallpaper’s annual Design Awards, Guest Editor takeovers and Next Generation series. He aims to create world-class, visually-driven content while championing diversity, international representation and social impact. TF joined Wallpaper* as an intern in January 2013, and served as its commissioning editor from 2017-20, winning a 30 under 30 New Talent Award from the Professional Publishers’ Association. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he holds an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton University.