Are you ready for some more modern art? Well, good, we’ve got another heaping helping for you today. In previous posts we shared our Cubist cocktails, ate parmesan mousse with cheesecloth on our heads, and answered our lobster-phones. (Confused about these references? Please read Part 1 and Part 2 – all will be revealed.)
In this post we’ll chow down on the Main Course and Dessert. Who’s hungry? Hungry for knowledge, that is. Here’s the overall menu for our Foodie Group dinner party with the theme of Modern Art Movements.
- Drinks – Dan and Greg – Cubism: Cubist Cocktail featuring jelly shots in a variety of colors and flavors, cut into fancy shapes; Wines included Bordeaux, Medoc, and Roussillon (more on that later)
- Appetizers – Ann and Ilise – Surrealism: Roasted Vegetable Salad with Parmesan Mousse; Baked Lobster Tails with Clarified Butter
- Main Course - Karen and Kathleen – Constructivism: Smoked Arctic Char Burger; Tomato Aspic; Steamed Asparagus; and Arancini Pyramids with Herb Lemon-Butter Sauce
- Dessert: Ellyn – Post-Impressionism: A Multi-Media Musing on the Iconic NYC Black and White Cookie
Before we proceed, let’s give your ears a tasty treat.
As a host of the artistic evening, Kathleen prepared a marvelous playlist for our listening pleasure. I’ve attempted to recreate it as closely as possible.
Please enjoy the beautiful music as you read on.
Constructivism, a Russian movement that was active in the early 20th century, spoke to the new feeling of creating a functioning, useful art in the newly tsar-free society. Modern materials, such as steel and plastic, were preferred as were abstract geometric forms. Colors used were often red white and black as seen in the graphic designs of El Lissitzky.
We used red, black, and white construction paper placemats and white plates, presenting our own design on a sheet metal centerpiece and allowing each diner to design her or his own plate. Elements of the construction included a smoked arctic char burger (round), tomato aspic wedge (triangle). steamed thin asparagus (line), and arancini pyramids (3D square). An herb lemon-butter sauce was presented in a squeeze bottle to make accent marks available.
Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
The burger recipe is attached (we used char instead of salmon). The tomato aspic (for those who are dying to know) can be found here. We would note that the tomato juice is critical for the right color and flavor. We attempted to make our own juice using Mighty Vine tomatoes, but it looked pallid when blended and gelled--like some sort of human organ--and lacked the flavor punch we wanted; we ended up using Campbell's Tomato Juice.
For the "arancini" we made arborio rice and let it cool. With the aid of a pyramid mold, we created a shrimp and green and red pepper filled risotto surprise. Before putting the pyramids in the oven, we coated them with flour, egg, and browned panko.
On behalf of the dinner guests, may I say “Wow!” Not only did everything taste delicious but it was also loads of fun to create our own art on the plate, arranging the shapes, colors, and textures to design our own masterpieces of Constructivism. Good job, Karen and Kathleen!
|Printable Recipe- Fresh Herb and Garlic Smoked Salmon Sausage|
|File Size:||647 kb|
Post-Impressionism encompasses a wide range of distinct artistic styles that all share the common motivation of responding to the opticality of the Impressionist movement.
The stylistic variations assembled under the general banner of Post-Impressionism range from the scientifically oriented Neo-Impressionism of Georges Seurat to the lush Symbolism of Paul Gauguin, but all concentrated on the subjective vision of the artist.
The Post-Impressionism movement ushered in an era during which painting transcended its traditional role as a window onto the world and instead became a window into the artist's mind and soul.
Georges Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is perhaps the most famous example of the painting technique known as Pointillism. Although the picture contains the impressionistic elements of light and shadow and depicts the leisure activities of the Parisian bourgeoisie, it is an early example of the artistic reaction to the Impressionist movement. Seurat composed the entire scene from a series of small, precise dots of color. If viewed closely, the painting becomes nothing more than a quasi-abstract array of colors, similar to a needlepoint. When viewed at an appropriate distance, however, Sunday Afternoon comes into focus. Seurat carefully placed each dot in relation to the ones around it in order to create the desired optical effect. He did so in order to bring structure and rationality to what he perceived were the triviality and disorganization rampant in Impressionism.
Source: The Art Story
In this instance, Ellyn had a lot to say about New York City’s famous black and white cookies – hey, the heart wants what the heart wants. Taste buds too! She used the dining room table as her canvas and employed Seurat’s love of dots to create her own artwork depicting the cookies and the joy they bring. Cupcakes, nonpareils, M&Ms, and jujubes provided the medium for her delicious vision.
Take a look - and don't forget to click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
The cupcakes were moist, tender, and flavorful. The recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes comes from Amy Sedaris’s cookbook titled I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. NYTimes Cooking is the recipe source for the Chocolate Cupcakes. Get to baking, and then get artsy!
Before we leave the dots behind – and this series of Foodie Group dinner posts – I’ll offer two relevant quotes from famous artists:
Everything starts from a dot. – Wassily Kandinsky
A line is a dot that went for a walk. – Paul Klee
We’ll be back with more themed dinner updates after the next Foodie dinner in a few months. Can’t wait that long? You may read about our past culinary adventures here.