Cooking Art History: From Ancient Roots to Chinatown

Hong-1950s_600

Cooking Art History: From Ancient Roots to Chinatown

Hong-1950s_600

This blog was featured in The Huffington Post on February 25, 2016.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens has a fascinating and timely exhibit on display through March 21st, Y.C. Hong: Advocate for Chinese-American Inclusion. Curated by Li Wei Yang, the exhibit provides insight into the early history of the Chinese experience in California and embraces the importance of immigrants in American society. The focus is on Y.C. Hong, an immigration attorney and political activist, who, together with his wife, Mabel, was largely responsible for the creation of Los Angeles’s Chinatown.

Early images of Chinatown naturally got me thinking about Chinese food and its history…

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Cooking Art History: The Original Celebrity Chefs and the Birth of Haute Cuisine

francesco ratta

Cooking Art History: The Original Celebrity Chefs and the Birth of Haute Cuisine

francesco ratta

This blog was featured in The Huffington Post on November 25, 2015.

The Getty Research Institute’s special exhibition The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals offers opportunities to travel through time and learn about culinary theatrics from the past.

In early modern Europe, food was spectacle. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, ostentatious court and civic banquets were de rigueur, and illustrations of these feasts endure in the books and prints designed for the Italian and French courts. Of course, the production of such lavish spectacles required a cook and a kitchen brigade. The early concept of the “celebrity chef” emerged in the late 16th century; by the 17th century, chefs were revered.

Centerpiece for the feast of Senator Francesco Ratta, Giacomo-Maria Giovannini after Marc’Antonio Chiarini, 1693. From Disegni del convito fatto dall’illustrissimo signor senatore Francesco Ratta (Bologna, 1693), frontispiece. 1366-803.

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Cooking Art History: Chocolate, The Food of the Gods

theobroma

Cooking Art History: Chocolate, The Food of the Gods

theobroma

This blog was featured in The Getty Iris on February 12, 2015.

The association between chocolate and love stretches back centuries. This Valentine’s Day, indulge in a decadent aphrodisiac recipe you can make at home

Chocolate. The ultimate aphrodisiac. Once available only to priests and kings, today chocolate is  prized around the world for its delicious taste and its seductive effects—effects that have been appreciated for centuries.

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A video of last summer’s Graff-EAT-i class!

A video of last summer’s Graff-EAT-i class!

I had to share this video from last summer’s Graff-EAT-i class at ESMoA, one of my favorite classes to date…

The blog originally appeared on August 13, 2014 in The Huffington Post. If you’re interested in reading it again, here it is with a different recipe…

It is rare that I get to develop a class around contemporary art and the opportunity to teach from ESMoA’s latest Experience, SCRATCH, is quite a treat. The show combines 16th through 18th century manuscripts from the Getty Research Institute’s (GRI) collection of rare books with art from some of LA’s finest graffiti and tattoo artists. Yes, street art on museum walls is as cool as it sounds, but combining it with Renaissance manuscripts is groundbreaking.

Serving as inspiration for the show is a Liber Amicorum or “Book of Friends”. Comparable to a high school yearbook or the posts on someone’s Facebook wall, the book is one of a series of popular books originally bound with blank leaves and filled with drawings and watercolors by friends. The Liber Amicorum in SCRATCH was owned by Nuremberg merchant Johann Heinrich Gruber, was compiled between 1602 and 1612 and is filled with illustrations by his highfalutin friends. To art collector Ed Sweeney and GRI rare books curator David Brafman, the book resembled the sketchbooks graffiti artists have their friends tag — black books with blank pages that serve as an exchange of memories and ideas.

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