Posts filed under Art

When Food is Art

For those who doubt that art and cuisine are the same expression of meaning, one has only to look at the co-existence of two recent openings in Seattle, Washington.  One is the Isamu Noguchi Exhibition at the Frye Art Museum and the other is the opening of the Kaisho Restaurant in nearby Bellevue, Washington.

Each represents the ability to master a medium and then, with skill and perception, to embrace a larger experience that defines the core of both art and cuisine.

In 1930 the young Noguchi was hoping to reunite with his long estranged father in Japan after studying sculpture in Paris. Instead he went to Peking after receiving a letter from his father disowning both he and his American mother.

There he met a more sympathetic Japanese businessman, Sotokichi Katsuizumi, who had been educated in America and who was an avid collector of Chinese art. It was at his home that Noguchi first saw the drawings of Qi Baishi, one of China’s most respected modern ink painters. And his art was never the same again.

Similarly, diners at the new Kaisho Restaurant are offered the same opportunity to experience tradition made new through the mastery of the medium. There, simple dishes are elevated to new heights. Traditionally prepared dishes are suddenly bright and fresh again. Yet all are inviting, welcoming – much like Noguchi’s drawings done while he studied with the famed Qi.

The committed and skilled Kaisho kitchen staff prepare surprise after surprise, starting with the inspired Wasabi Puffed Nori Rice Chips which are visual works of art in and of themselves, totally aside from their unforgettable flavor.  

In complete contrast is the velvety Roasted Kabotcha Squash Soup, accented with curried ambrosia apples and radishes. This is a soup worthy of Paris' (or Tokyo's) finest restaurants. 

Yet there is much, much more – Garlic Hanger Steak with miso creamed kale and garlic soy and Whole Fried Fish served with charred lemons, accented by a spicy ginger sauce and garnished with a pepper cress and radish salad. Last, but not least, there are the heavenly Thai Fried Chicken and unique Kimchee Waffles.

Kaisho, like Noguchi, offers both tradition and innovation, ease and elegance. Its cuisine, like all great art, will delight the connoisseur and offer new experiences to those seeking more than the mundane, the common, the everyday. Diners have Jeffrey Lunak and his handpicked staff, including Chef de Cuisine Kalen Schramke, to thank for this wealth of stunning diversity. Lunak, a former protege of "Iron Chef" Morimoto, fully understands the creative process and works with his staff over several months to perfect each and every dish. 

It does not take a fortune cookie to know that life is short and a treasure not to be wasted. One should live and learn each and every day. Why not begin with Noguchi’s amazing art and end with an unforgettable dinner at Kaisho? In short, leave the rest and enjoy the best!

Your Culinary World Copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2014

El Somni Is Truly a Culinary Opera Dream Come True

Roca Brothers 1.jpg

For over a year now the famed Roca Brothers of Spain have been crafting a unique culinary presentation, El Somni, a culinary opera.

Their truly amazing creation is a stunning collaboration of cuisine, form, music and wonder – worthy of the esteemed name, ‘Opera’.

The universality of this 'great work' (for that is what the word ‘opera’ actually means), is reflected in the diversity of the first 12 individuals invited to experience the work.

The premiere guest list included an HIV researcher, a fellow chef, an anthropologist, an actress, a theoretical physicist, a poet, an artist, a film director, a research biologist, a conductor, a food writer and a robotics researcher.

Vatel 1.jpg

The composition of the work is divided into 12 concepts or courses that wrap the viewing diner in The Dream that is the experience’s title translated.

The courses pay homage to the great French chef François Vatel, who killed himself in 1671 when his concept for a vital banquet that was to be served to the French King Louis XIV was destroyed by the late delivery of fresh fish from the coast.

Such was the temperament of a dedicated artist when art was an expected part of the 'noble' life.


  • Prelude: Water Nymph (Vegetable soup at low temperature, sprouts, flowers and light)
  • The Dream Begins (Moon)
  • Space (Foams frost Indian figue) 
  • Ophiucus (Electric eel)
  • Under the Sea (Shrimps, plankton, and anemones, sea urchins, cockles, seawater, crustaceans)
  • Garden of the Hesperides (Anarkia)
  • The Courtship (Ying yang Palo Cortado oysters with garlic and white all black)
  • The Carnality (Pueblano pigeon breast with mole, grilled strawberries and roses)
  • Apple/Brittle (Golden apple)
  • War (Royal hare roial with blood orange and beet)
  • Mercy/Death (Parmentier potatoes with purple bone marrow,caviar, purple flowers and incense smoke)
  • Glory (Dessert mass mother, mother dough ice cream)
  • Awakening (Sweet spring)
Set 1.jpg

Yet the wonder of the evening does not rest solely on the event's innovation cuisine. Expanding on the talents developed in the three brothers’ world famous restaurant,El Celler de Can Roca, these three creative chefs also collaborated with a diverse group of visual artists, includingFranc Aleu, Daniel Molina, Pere Grife,andPeret, to create an experience that defies the limits of culinary classification.

After its initial premiere in Barcelona, this unique work will be hosted at 12 different locations around the world, followed by a documentary book, exhibit and finallya filmby Mediapro.

Dream 1.jpg

If possible, do all you can to attend.  Like listening to great opera performed well for the first time, afterwards you will never view the world in quite that same way as before. And that is, truly, the definition of great art. 

El Celler de Can Roca 1.jpg

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2013