Le Corbuffet
Brooklyn, New York
Artist’s Book, Social Sculpture, Chromogenic prints

Le Corbuffet was a series of Fluxus-inspired participatory events (2015-17) that used food as a medium to explore how cultural canons are consumed and reproduced.

An artist’s book in the form of a cookbook, inspired by these events, was published by Prestel in October 2019.

Le Corbuffet

Le Corbuffet (2019) is an artist’s book that subversively appropriates the format of cookbook publishing to explore cultural consumption.

In 2015, Esther Choi hosted the first in a series of “Le Corbuffets” in her Brooklyn apartment, a project which carried on until 2017, after discovering an elaborate menu designed by László Moholy-Nagy for a dinner in honour of Bauhaus-founder Walter Gropius. As much as the menu revealed the cultural assimilation required of the Gropiuses to operate in England during a time of xenophobia, it also brought their immense privilege as exceptional, white European creatives into plain view. Britain’s intellectual and artistic glitterati partook in a glamorous evening of gastronomic indulgences that night—far from the typical diet of the average poor and working class British citizen during a period of interwar rations. This strange and beautiful artefact became a reminder of how food performs as a seismograph of inequity and privilege, revealing aspects of our society and its structures.

Art and design function in this way, too. As modes of creative production that can question and dismantle barriers, they can also effectively produce and reinforce them through their participation in privatized channels of gendered and racialized historical canons, further reinforced in museum acquisitions, gallery representation, market value and art fairs, all which deem value by virtue of limiting access to these objects and foreclosing the possibility of their accessible circulation. Gropius, like many modernist designers, touted the democratic values of making so-called "good" products available for the European masses—a dream based on a deracinated notion of one ideal becoming the standard for all (rooted in the ambitions of European humanism). Ironically, even these designs are now stored away in museums and private collections, embalmed by the market’s insatiable desire for aesthetic consumption. While creative expression was once regarded an activity as natural as eating, in today’s economy, commensality and aesthetic connoisseurship are becoming increasingly rarified and inaccessible endeavors, subject to the social systems and institutions that separate the haves from the have nots.

Inspired by the menu for Gropius’s dinner, and the questions that it raised about the appraisal and elitism of cultural production, she decided to conduct a social experiment of social gatherings in her apartment a year later. These gatherings revolved around the presentation and consumption of absurd, pun-inspired dishes that referred to canonical artists and designers, as well as their works. As a satirical comment on the elevated status of art, design, and food—as well as the identities of their creators, which are often "gobbled up" by the market— the project deliberately twisted idioms to probe the notion of cultural consumption. The work marked a growing interest in Choi's work in how the politics of hospitality—the art of sharing—can be a platform for artistic and political practice.

An artist’s book in the form of a cookbook was published by Prestel in October 2019. The book continues the project's Fluxus aspirations with sixty recipes written as participatory "scores" that parody common interpretations of art and design works, while prompting the reader to generate new interpretations. The publication's recipes are paired alongside photographs of sculptures that position food as a multi-sensory medium. Recipes, in this way, perform as catalysts for artistic post-production—the creation of cultural forms based on pre-existing works—to encourage what anthropologist Marshall Sahlins referred to as “consumptive production”.


Graphic Design: Studio Lin

Commissioning editor, Holly La Due,
Prestel Publishing

Lectures and Interviews

Artist Talk, "Trojan Horses," The Glass House (July 13, 2020).

Radio interview with Cathy Erway, "Le Corbuffet," Eat Your Words Episode 382, Heritage Radio Network (April 6, 2020).

Radio interview with Frances Anderton, "Create an artful dinner party with ‘Le Corbuffet’, DnA, KCRW, Los Angeles (Nov. 26, 2019).

Lecture, "Rem Brûlée and Other Hits: Social Alchemy as Spatial Practice," Sci-Arc, Los Angeles, (Nov. 14, 2018).


AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers Winner 2019
Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winner 2019
James Beard Cookbook Award – Photography Finalist 2020


Gabrielle Chua, "Five Artists Who Are Also Masters in the Kitchen," Tatler Asia. (June 2022). Web.
Paula Rebuelta, “Le Corbuffet de Esther Choi. Recetario artístico para comer arquitectura,” Room Diseño (Nov. 13, 2020).
"The 2020 James Beard Award Nominees," James Beard Foundation (May 4, 2020).
Mona Bavar, “Rethinking Our Neoliberal Society Through Edible Art,” (Interview), Dlish Magazine (May 2, 2020).
J.J. Charlesworth, "All you can read," Art Review (March 2020).
Emily O'Brien, "Ink on Paper," Modern in Denver (Spring 2020): 58–59.
Chris Cohen, "10 Things We Learned from the Season's Best Books," Saveur (March 20, 2020).
Whitney Mallett, "Meet Esther Choi, Artist and Author of Subversive Cookbook 'Le Corbuffet'," PIN-UP (February 24, 2020).
Daniel Beatty Garcia, "Punishable: Esther Choi Eats Our Idols," 032c, Issue 37 (Winter 2019/20): 292–93. Print.
Kay Schadewald, “Le Corbuffet: (Koch-)Kunst und Kritik,” Architectural Digest (Germany) (Jan. 19, 2020).
Eleanor Gibson, "Le Corbuffet cookbook includes recipes for Rem Brûlée and Denise Scott Brownies," Dezeen (Jan.10, 2020).
Bryan Hood, "10 Gorgeously Illustrated Coffee Table Books That the Readers in Your Life Will Love," Robb Report (Dec. 20, 2019).
Joshua David Stein, "The Best Gifts for Cooking Dads of All Levels," Epicurious (Dec. 13, 2019).
"Lina Bo Bacardi Cocktail," Avery Shorts (Dec. 12, 2019).
Ashley Tibbits, "9 Coffee Table Book Gifts that Double as Beautiful Decor," The Zoe Report (Dec. 3, 2019).
"AN rounds up our must-reads for this fall," Architect's Newspaper (Nov. 15, 2019).
"41 of the Year’s Most Giftable Coffee-Table Books," New York Magazine (Nov. 12, 2019).
Margaux Krehl, "Art de vivre : « Le Corbuffet », le livre de recettes qui cuisine les stars de l’Art," Vanity Fair (France) (Nov. 9, 2019).
Peter Smisek, "Food for thought: Le Corbuffet brings architectural history to the dinner table," Icon Magazine (Nov. 1, 2019).
Todd Plummer, “11 Fall Cookbooks for Every Type of Foodie.” Vogue (Oct. 16, 2019).
LinYee Yuan, “Le Corbuffet is a riotous homage to the art and design of cooking” Interview, MOLD Magazine (Oct. 5, 2019). Web.
Kelly Caminero, "Edible Art: A Menu of Satire and Photography with a Culinary Twist" (Interview), The Daily Beast (Oct. 5, 2019).
Anne Quito, "'Le Corbuffet': A new recipe book affectionately skewers culture snobs," Quartzy (Oct. 4, 2019).
Alexandra Alexa, "This Conceptual Cookbook Riffs on Art, Design, and Taste (Literally and Figuratively)," Core 77 (Oct. 2, 2019).
"Le Corbuffet: Edible Art and Design Classics" (Book review), Creative Colour (Oct. 1, 2019).
Angie Kordic, "An Art Cookbook Like No Other: Le Corbuffet's Esther Choi in an Interview," Widewalls (Sept. 30, 2019).
Pamela Thomas-Graham, "Best New Books in October 2019," Dandelion Chandelier (Sept. 22, 2019).
"Esther Choi’s Book of Satirical and Playful Recipes," Design Milk (Sept. 26, 2019).
Emma Orlow, "A Salad for Frida Kahlo, and Other Artist-Inspired Recipes," T: The New York Times Style Magazine (Sept. 20, 2019).
Alegria Olmeda, "‘Le Corbuffet’ o cómo comerse el arte," FUET Magazine (Sept. 9, 2019).
Holly Black, "Let’s Eat! Delicious Art-Inspired Recipes," Elephant Magazine (Aug. 25, 2019).
Valentina Tanni, "Arte e cibo. Arriva Le Corbuffet, il ricettario concettuale di Esther Choi," Artribune (Aug. 25, 2019).
“A Conceptual Cookbook Makes Food Into Sculptures,” Artnet News. (Aug. 23, 2019).
Kate Sierzputowski, “Le Corbuffet: Conceptual Cookbook Presents Art-Inspired Recipes as Contemporary Sculptures,” Colossal (Aug. 22, 2019).
Le Corbuffet, Kottke.org (Aug. 20, 2019).
"Critical Connoisseur," Interview. Block, issue 18 (Spring/ Summer 2019): 16-17.
Kristina Ljubanovic, "A Large Brooklyn Loft that Looks Like a Dream," The Globe and Mail, (November 2, 2017).