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Antwerp à la carte

About cities and food

Hungry mouths

Today, over half of the world’s population lives in cities. Antwerp, for instance, has more than 500,000 inhabitants. That’s half a million mouths to be fed every day. How do we manage to do this now, what will we do in the future, and does the past offer any inspiration?

Who eats what?

The Antwerp à la carte exhibition reveals the intimate relationship between the city and food, from the sixteenth century to the distant future. How do cities get their food? Which parts of the world do crops come from and how do they reach the city? What foods do people eat and where do they buy them? Does a modern kitchen bear any resemblance to one from the seventeenth century? And what do we do about all our food waste?

Food shapes the city

Follow the trail of food in the city and find out how what we eat has left its mark on the map of Antwerp. Stroll through markets and supermarkets, take a look in inns, cafés and restaurants, be surprised by smell and art installations. Try some finger-licking sixteenth-century recipes with a modern twist. Peek inside old kitchens full of strange utensils. Find out why Antwerp has so many local delicacies made of ingredients from around the world. And discover from the masterpieces of Antwerp’s greatest painters, contemporary art installations and photography how food has defined the streetscape for centuries.

Food connects

At the end of the 'Antwerp à la carte' expo, we are showing the short film 'Food Connects' until September 2024.

What will the Antwerp food chain look like in the future? Where will our food come from? From far away or just from very close by? Who will produce it? How will it be produced? What will we eat? And what about food waste? That future is being made in our city today, as entrepreneurs, citizens and the government take new steps here.

In this short film, six Antwerp short-chain food initiatives and the organisation 'Voedselraad A Goesting' tell their inspiring stories. They want to strengthen the connection between 'producer' and 'consumer' in Antwerp. Food connects.

The film was made with the support of vzw Rikolto and Voedselraad A Goesting.



Food connects
A film by Seppe Van Grieken and Bente Peeters
Antwerp, 2023

Watch the film on YouTube.

Visitor Guide

About the exhibition:

winkelkar bedolven onder een berg witte korrels

Antwerp à la carte

Take a virtual look in the museum hall.

Recipes from the 16e century

Viki Geunes, chef of the famous restaurant Zilte, selected four recipes from around 1600 from the Cockbouck and came up with a contemporary version. You'll find them in the exhibition, but also here online.

Guided tours:

Antwerp à la carte

A guide will show you the surprising, tortuous and often invisible trail of the food chain through Antwerp.

Book a guide via Experience Antwerp

See also

Food, people and the city

Comparative perspectives

This conference, strongly linked to the theme of the MAS exhibition 'Antwerp à la carte', aimed to increase our awareness of food systems as dynamic cultural phenomena. The conference took place between 21-23 September 2022.

Antwerp Hand biscuits, Brabo and the Holocaust

The shape of the famous Antwerp Hand biscuit refers to the medieval legend of Brabo. However, behind the scenes of the little biscuit there is lurking more than one history.

Plan your visit

Are you planning a visit to the MAS? Then go through some practical information first. Ticket prices? Opening hours? How to get there? Accessibility? Food and beverages? You'll find it here!

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