When Art & Food Collide

Miss Renaissance Beverly Kim

{Artist Jenny Kendler & Chef Beverly Kim – two lovely and talented ladies!}

Miss Renaissance Artist Jenny Kendler

{Jenny’s Art Piece “Pair Bond”- the inspiration for Beverly’s Dish.}

Miss Renaissance

{The Ingredients – ready to become an inspired dish!}

Miss Renaissance

Miss Renaissance Century Egg

{One of the many unusual ingredients for Beverly’s dish – a Century Egg (or 1000-Year Egg). This Duck egg is traditionally cured in a mixture of clay, ash, salt lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing.}

Miss Renaissance Century Egg

{The curing process transforms the Century Egg’s yolk to a dark green/grey color with a creamy consistency, while the white becomes a dark brown, translucent jelly.}

Miss Renaissance

{Another ingredient that was new to me – Dried Asian Fungus. Here, Beverly rehydrates the fungus in a brining liquid. Later, she will add spices such as Turmeric to give it a deep yellow color.}

{Chatting & taste-testing while Beverly fries up some delicious Kimchi-Squash-Pancakes.}

Miss Renaissance

Miss Renaissance Kimchi Pancakes

{The final Dish. Kimchi-Squash Pancake with a topping of chopped Century Egg, Pickled Asian Fungus, and a Black Garlic Soy Glaze. It was incredibly delicious- full of layers of flavor & texture! I will be trying to re-create this dish at home very, very soon!}

What are your plans for this Saturday evening? If you’re local, may I suggest you head to Chicago Artist Coalition’s much anticipated “Starving Artist Gala”!?  It’s Chicago Artists Coalition’s annual benefit that pairs Chicago’s most inspiring visual artists with its most innovative culinary talent. For this year’s event, CAC will redefine the age-old concept of the “Starving Artist,” by putting 4 local artists in the spotlight, pairing each with a like-minded chef. Their assignment: inspire each other to create both edible “installations” to be enjoyed by the crowd and new works of art, which will be auctioned off during the night.

Yesterday afternoon, I had the great pleasure of meeting two Gala participants – Artist Jenny Kendler as well as Chef Beverly Kim (as most of you already know, Beverly was a final contestant on Top Chef’s Season 9.) We chatted about art, food, life, and Beverly gave us a taste of her beautiful recipe for this weekend’s event. Jenny’s Art Piece is a commentary on how people crave a connection to nature. Many of us (especially if we live in a city) don’t get much contact with nature in our daily lives, so we attempt to bring “nature” into our homes. This may be in the form of little trinkets, such as animal figurines. Jenny used two vintage bird sculptures and  “re-wilded” them by building a connecting thought bridge using live Lichen she collected herself (Lichen is a composite organism made up of fungus and algae, which abundantly grows in forests throughout the world.) Her re-wilding approach feels like a call-of-duty to me, a suggestion to get out of our daily lives and re-connect with nature in its truest form.

As you can see, Beverly thought up an amazingly creative and beautiful dish based on Jenny’s sculpture. The Century Egg is a reference to the two birds, and the pickled fungus resembles not only the lichen, but also adds an element of nature to the dish. I could go on and on about these two ladies, their creative process, and the beautiful food we tasted, but I’ll stop here and encourage you to head to the event this Saturday and learn more for yourself (get your tickets here)! One thing is clear, both of these women are heading toward stardom in their respective fields – take my word for it, their creativity and artistic insights blew my mind!

P.S.: If you’d like to see more of Jenny’s Art, she’s having a rad Solo Show coming up this month!


{All Photos by Miss Renaissance – except image of Jenny’s Art Piece.}

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: