THE FAT PONY
a contemporary horse meat restaurant / installation
a collective effort by:
70% Bar (Margriet Craens, Josine Beugels, Woody Veneman, Lucas Maassen ) & ArtCoDe ( Sophie Kleuskens, Vincent van Opdorp, Milan van Belle, Sjoerd de Graaf, Nina Hampsink, Iris Seuren, Stella Toonen, Lieke van der Maas, Moyra Besjes, Natasja Lauwers, Tessa van der Heijden, Renée Wouters, Jessie Raijmakers) & Paul Slot
Catalogtree, Tom Buiting, Lisah Baert, Slagerij Beerens Best, Boerderij Prins Willem-Alexanderschool, Fontys Acadamy for Art, Communication and Design Tilburg
horses and images by:
Woody veneman, Paul Slot, Lotte Schrander, Lucas Maassen, Artcode
AlexColes about The Fat Pony:
"It felt like a scene between Jilly Cooper and John Wayne as directed by Wes Anderson with sets designed by Gordon Matta-Clark and his Food project"
THE FAT PONY
Nowadays, do we even know what we’re eating exactly? Because of the massive scale of the food industry, it is hard to find out. A climax was reached with the ‘horse meat scandal’. Horse meat turned out to be secretly incorporated without this being stated on the packaging. Now, horse has become a piece of meat shrouded in controversy. But is that justified? Who wants to eat more consciously, can just eat horse. It’s lean meat, rich in iron and other minerals. Moreover, there are no horses bred for slaughter in the Netherlands. A horse that is not eaten, ends up in the destructor.
During the Dutch Design Week 2015, 70% Bar opened a restaurant / installation where the overconsumption was critically looked at for the first time. 2016 is the year of The Fat Pony and the focus is not on the quantity, but on the quality of our food.
For The Fat Pony, 70% Bar collaborated with third year students of the Fontys Acadamy for Art, Communication and Design Tilburg. Together they researched the combination ‘horse’ and ‘restaurant’. Fieldwork was literally carried out, this ranged from the pony’s in the pasture, but also to the boning of a horse at the butcher. In addition, we had workshops from design studio Catalogtree, chef Tom Buiting and theater director Lisah Baert. All this comes together in the horse meat restaurant The Fat Pony.
It’s not every day that you open a modern horse meat restaurant. You don’t eat horse every day, and there is a reason for that. First of all, we focused on understanding the commotion that surrounds horse meat by watching documentaries and reading articles. This was followed by a discussion in which we, as a group, took our own position on the consumption of horse meat.
If you’re going to eat horse, you should know what you’re eating. We went to the pasture to see, hear, smell and touch horses and ponies. We drew and modelled horses to gain more insight into the structure and anatomy. Based on the idea that the presence of the horse must be felt in the interior of The Fat Pony, there are horses built with furniture and other accessories that can be found in a restaurant.
The design for the tableware is based on the blaze of the horse. 70% of these markings are genetically transferred. The pigment that is used to colour the tableware is built up as a family tree according to this system of transferral. Every new generation of plates has 70% of the colour from its predecessor. A new colour is added to the remaining 30%. Moyra Besjes and Natasha Lauwers, who designed a unique tableware for 70% Bar, will also be accompanying the ceramics department.
At the end of his life, a horse has two possible destinations: the slaughterhouse or the destructor, where the animals are incinerated and converted into energy. A symbiotic form agreement was found in the “Fricandle”: a candle in the form of a “frikandel” that actually contains 2% of processed horse fat.
Dining at The Fat Pony is more than just eating horse; we offer guests a full and optimal horse experience. All aspects of the horse will be discussed. The behaviour, accessories and appearance of the horse have inspired the Fat Pony’s interior. Shapes such as used in horse jumping have been the inspiration for the tables, a saddle is the starting point for the chairs.
Alongside the Arnhem based design studio Catalogtree, we started an inquiry into the system of the table layout at restaurants. Based on ‘the last supper’ we experimented with different organisation concepts; based on alphabet, time, category or hierarchy.
In a workshop with theatre director Lisah Baert, we looked at how to serve in our equestrian interior. Can you use the performing aspects of a restaurant to enhance the experience? Is there a route that must be followed for each course? Or can you neigh whilst presenting a dish?
The horse meat from The Fat Pony comes from Butcher Beerens in Best. Traditionally, they personally select which horses come into the butcher shop. We were able to watch a horse being boned and cut into steaks and stew meat. The Fat Pony menu is based on the different parts of the horse. We wanted to avoid eating only the entrecote of ten horses and having the rest of the animal go to waste.
During a workshop from chef Tom Buiting we determined, through experimentation, what we wanted to put on the menu. The result is a mix of classic horse meat dishes end experimental preparations with horse. So besides a “stamppot” with “zoervleisj” and a soup of root vegetables, we also made wine gums from horse meat extract, chips with horse meat flavour and a cappuccino with horse milk.
Celeriac soup with thyme oil and toast with haycheese and apple (v)
Charcuterie de Cheval
horse charcuterie: dry sausage, pastrami and horse sausage with pickles and carrot jam
salt crusted beet, pickled beetroot and roasted beets with dill yoghurt on dandelion leaf (v)
pulled horse on a horse milk bun with haysin sauce and a spicy cucumber salad
classic Italian pasta ragù: stew in tomato sauce with pappardelle and trefoil
Limburg-style stew in dark beer and apple, served with carrot, mashed potatoes with spinach and stewed apple
tartelette of pastry with puy lentils in yoghurt, Irish cheese and mashed sweet potatoes (v)
Hay hay hay de Haas
hay flamed horse steak with horseradish butter, served with roasted red onion, red wine sauce, sprouts and fried potatoes
pure chocolate mousse with roasted pecans, pistachio, soaked figs and candied orange peel
with stewed apple and homemade vanilla ice of horse milk
Carrot cake with coffee