Berkeley Hotel Tea Honors Talent and Creativity in Both Fashion and Cuisine

The incredible Alexander McQueen Fashion Exhibit “Savage Beauty” at New York City's famed Metropolitan Museum of Art will not close this week to the cheers of any lovers of art and creativity who would have missed it.

Instead this amazing display of one of fashion's best will remain open to the public until August 7th of this year. Fantastic!!!

To say that the show is a tour de force of style and courage hardly captures the experience of walking through the actual galleries. For anyone who seeks to be inspired, it is simply an unforgettable afternoon with the very essence of creativity.

Yet if you cannot attend in the few days left and are in London, there is an equally (though somewhat lighter) experience that also honors fashion at The Berkeley HotelThe Pret-a-Portea Afternoon Tea.

Beginning with the china designed by Paul Smith, everything served is bright, fashionable to say the least and totally enjoyable.

Carefully crafted cookies echo actual designer creations. And if time is short, you can even ask for a box of 10 Prêt-à-Portea cookies/biscuits for $41/£25 and the hotel will be delivered them via a pale pistachio green and pale pink Vespa in a purse-shaped box anywhere in London.

Such style and service should remind every Berkeley tea guest that all creativity has a source, a creator, an origin that should be acknowledge and honored. 

And though McQueen is sadly no longer with us, Sarah Burton and the amazing professional team that he assembled and trained, still carry on his legacy of first mastery and then, and only then, innovation. Witness the Royal Wedding dress.

What chef would not agree? First must come technique, mastery of the medium and an appreciation of both discipline and one's colleagues. Once learned, then the variations and innovations are appropriate and exciting.

In short, craft first, then art  – no matter whether it is fashion or cuisine for the principles are the same, the results - simply and utterly an unforgettable dining experience!  

Post Note on August 3, 2011: As this remarkable show draws to a close, the Metropolitan Museum of Art reports that as of last Friday morning, over 553,000 people had seen the show. Those numbers will surely guarantee this exhibition will rank among the top shows ever staged at the Met. Congratulations to all the Museum's staff who often kept the display open until midnight to accommodate the block-long lines! Well done and many, many thanks!

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2011