Tell me what you eat …
Bretzel in New York, Dim Sum in Hong Kong , Acarajé from Bahia, the street food with very few expresses the best of a culture.
What is common between shortbread iced with sugar, a calzone pizza with peppers, fried fish dumplings with coriander? The street. “Earthly food” seen by Jean-Francois Mallet can be eaten directly at the asphalt.
From Tokyo to Buenos Aires via Hanoi, India, Armenia, Mali and New York, the belly of the earth unfolds on the sidewalks of the world. Why the streets? The question is not the good one. At the restaurant or on a bench, Jean-Francois Mallet focuses on the diversity of flavors and on the authenticity of recipes.
But it is often in the street that cultures are reflected in their tastiest expression. Cooking is a mode of apprehension and understanding of other’s flavors and taste. The bias is aesthetic and ideological. The angle never shows misery or dirt. Yes, you can be happy in the streets,you just need a seat.
Street foods seen by Jean-Francois Mallet are always attractive. To be photographed, it is necessary that the dishes are good, only then they can be beautiful. “I always taste before taking a picture,” says chef-photographer-reporter.
His photographic work is against globalization, turning its back on large restaurant chains that bloom on every continent. So why the street? Because it is where the struggle for a better world , within the meaning of the word gourmet is.
text by Emmanuelle Jary