I was going to have you guess how much I paid for this piece of food art that I found at the Villainy General Store in Echo Park but that’s silly; I paid $20. Frankly, I’m very happy with it. It’s an oil painting and it hits all the marks of the kind of food art you want to have around your house: there’s alcohol, there’s fish, there’s bread…at least I think that’s bread. Or maybe it’s cheese? No matter what that is on the lower left, this is going to hang near our table where guests can gaze upon it as I serve them alcohol, fish, and cheese or bread depending on what the answer is.
Right before Maurice Sendak died, he did a series of interviews (most notably with Stephen Colbert) that revealed him to be a lovable, slightly grouchy, artist of the highest caliber. I’d known his work, of course, from Where The Wild Things Are and, perhaps more obscurely, Really Rosie but I’m embarassed to say I knew nothing about In The Night Kitchen until I read it standing up, recently, at The Strand in New York.
When I was in New York, back in February, I got into a very intense conversation with some friends (one of whom works in the art world) about whether great food rises to the level of great art. Specifically, we were talking about food at the highest level–the kind of food you saw in my French Laundry post yesterday–and whether those who make it share the same status as those who make art at the highest level. When I got back from my trip, I was lucky enough to meet artist and chef David Thorne at the Molly Stevens cookbook dinner I attended back at Elysian (David’s “occasional” restaurant) in March.