Artist’s Palate: Franz West’s pork belly pancake

Franz West intriguingly calls this pork belly and boiled egg pancake a Bohemian-Moravian fly. Stand, courtesy of David Buckley. Food stylist: Maud Eden
(Image credit: John Short)

The plethora of Germanic dishes that include a part of the pig served with sauerkraut is expressive of a deep national affinity. Whether it be pork snouts from Schleswig-Holstein; the all-in Schlachtplatte; some tasty sow’s stomach by the name of Saumagen; or Bavaria’s Schlachtschüssel and Schweinshaxe, they are usually a sibilant mouthful in more ways than one. This dish served up by impish Austrian sculptor Franz West is 
called – by him at least – Bohemian-Moravian fly and is actually quite tame, involving as it does just pork belly, sauerkraut, plum sauce and boiled egg on a pancake. No stuffed innards, no fried extremities and no spraying the waiter with saliva when you order it. In awarding him a Golden Lion for career achievement, the Venice Biennale last year called him ‘one of the most important 
artists in the world working in sculpture, collage and installation’. The Los Angeles Times went with ‘Benny Hill with brains’. We find his work touching and touchable.

1 pancake
1 portion sauerkraut
2 spoons of plum jam
1 big gherkin
1 boiled egg
1 slice of pork belly

Arrange everything on the pancake as follows: mix the sauerkraut with the plum jam and put it on one side of the gherkin; cut the boiled egg once and put the halves between the sauerkraut and gherkin; put the pork belly on top of the sauerkraut; fold the pancake over the filling. Bon appetit!