In an exciting new collaboration, Berman Contemporary and Wishbone Café & Bistro Bar will be holding food and painting pairings, bringing the textures and colours of artwork to life with delicious food.
The pairing of food with art has a longstanding tradition. Both have been used to articulate status. Throughout the centuries, paintings of prestigious artists were placed on walls for the eating conveniences of the rich and powerful as an indication of their status and to impress guests. Being confined for long periods of time provided a perfect opportunity for captive diners to engage with the paintings. Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper is an example of the sacred pairing of food and art. Painted high up on the wall of the dining room in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, the painting looks down onto the refectory table so that when the Abbot blessed the monk’s meal, he was presided over by the higher authority of Christ. Artists have often used artwork as currency to pay for their supper. Picasso would pay with a doodle on a serviette or an unsigned drawing. Dali was known to pay for large groups of dining friends with a check with a drawing on the back to ensure it was never cashed. Contemporary galleries are known to hold food and painting pairings, emulating the textures and colours of the paintings. A contemporary version of pairing food and artwork is currently found in the collaboration of artists and eateries in many world-class restaurants. Houston’s Restaurant CINQ showcases works from Pablo Picasso to Jean-Baptiste, and the Casa Lever restaurant in New York City displays a range of Andy Warhol’s.
Artists have often used artwork as currency to pay for their supper. Picasso would pay with a doodle on a serviette or an unsigned drawing. Dali was known to pay for large groups of dining friends with a check with a drawing on the back to ensure it was never cashed
Ten of London’s top restaurants also feature artists. Some of the artists showcased have even gone on to win prestigious art prizes. Damien Hirst’s Cock ’n Bull, an installation of a chicken and a cow preserved in formaldehyde occupies pride of place in the Tramshed restaurant. The theme of chicken and bull is cheekily paralleled in the chicken-and-steak menu. Hence, the collaboration between the upmarket Wishbone Café & Bistro Bar and artists hosted under Berman Contemporary travelling gallery space. Berman Contemporary was conceived by and is managed by Candice Berman who also owns the well established Candice Berman Fine Art Gallery, situated in the Riverside Shopping Centre, Bryanston. Unlike the Candice Berman Fine Art Gallery which occupies a physical space, Berman Contemporary functions as ‘a conceptual exhibition space’. Acclaimed artists will be hosted at various locations in 11 Alice Lane in Sandton – an exciting development not seen anywhere else in South Africa. Berman explains that Berman Contemporary ‘strives to bring the art to people and uplift and enrich areas in which we participate with using collaborative partners.’ It’s situated on a brand-new site, surrounded by interesting and cutting-edge architecture. The interior has elements of black and white deco, associated with traditional bistros but with a modern twist. The interior incorporates coppers, dark greys and natural woods to create a warm and inviting setting in which to pair gorgeous food with interesting art. At the Wishbone Café & Bistro Bar, everyone from executives down may savour the inspired cuisine and have time to enjoy the visual treats, which will include paintings and sculptures. To ensure fresh and varied visual stimuli, artworks will be changed regularly.
An official launch party will be held to launch each new exhibition. These dates will be available via Berman’s newsletter, visit www.candicebermangallery.com to subscribe and information will also be available on the website www.bermancontemporary.com. The Wishbone Café & Bistro Bar opens with three South African artists from Berman Contemporary: Stefan Blom, Marcus Neustetter and Roberto Vaccaro. If Stefan Blom’s work was to have a flavour, it would be best described by the following dishes from the Wishbone Café menu. For the main course, sherry chicken liver toast made up of chicken livers sautéed with shallots, garlic and thyme with sherry and cream sauce on toast. San Pellegrino Terme sparkling water. And for dessert, crème brûlée: vanilla, custard and caramel served with lavender shortbread. If Marcus Neustetter were given the task of pairing his work with food and wine, he would pick Texan-style smoked chicken wings, dry rubbed and hot smoked, served with blue cheese or ranch sauce and celery. To drink, a Cederberg Bukettraube wine with apricot and floral notes that has a fresh sweetness. And for dessert, a berry centred dark chocolate fondant served with vanilla ice cream and additional berries. Robert Vaccaro’s food pairing would include: for the main course, roasted lamb shoulder with crushed potatoes, aubergine, green beans, confit tomatoes, herbs de provence and jus. As an accompanying wine, Diemersdal Pinotage with its complex dark berry and plum profile. For dessert, an apple tarte Tatin with caramelised apple served with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream.