The team at Mother Shanghai is just emerging from two months in their apartments, so you could consider them part of a select group of world experts on lockdowns (part of a group of 1,439,323,776 world experts on lockdowns).
The Mother team’s biggest lesson from the frontline is that we’ve all Gotta Cook – even those who are less than skilled in the kitchen department. Everyone has to be able to fend for themselves. So the agency decided that now is the time to open up minds and taste buds, and dust off unused kitchen utensils.
With lockdown becoming the status quo around the rest of the world, Mother Shanghai wanted Gotta Cook to inspire people by showing that delicious meals can be made from random ingredients left in the average kitchen. The team knows first-hand that to survive, you’ve got to get really creative.
So the agency created a new recipe collection, served from the heart and with a big dose of reality. It was created using a cunning form of ethnographic research – asking members of the team to divulge their eating habits and getting them to share proud images of their creations. This “fountain of knowledge” was then consolidated into Gotta Cook, all without the creators realising they were taking part in the project. The result is a glorious collection of fourteen culinary treats for the fourteen days of quarantine.
Gotta Cook is available free to download now and will be printed in glorious colour…once printers in Shanghai return to work.
The book takes its inspiration from ration books of old, mixed with some propaganda and topped off with a good dose of modern colour, featuring a distinctly Chinese twist. The team even went to the trouble of designing a specific brush that is reminiscent of saliva, just to whet the appetite that little bit more.
Commenting on Gotta Cook, Mother said, “Once the novelty of lockdown subsides, and your apartment is the cleanest place on the planet, the focus quickly turns to food – specifically, how you can make something slightly more exciting than porridge. It proved to be our collective salvation during isolation and something that occupied an increasing proportion of virtual meeting chatter. Our hope is that Gotta Cook will help people know that getting to the end of lockdown is possible, and you can even enjoy some of the food involved. Or at least the fun of getting creative. Bon appetit.”