At a time when live theater, opera and symphonies have experienced decreasing audiences, immersive dining experiences are on the rise. These dining events include pop-up banquets in historic homes or elevated fried chicken shops which aim to capture attention with culinary experiences that aim for greater attention than other forms.
Inspired by Cezanne, Manet and their colleagues’ cafe culture of modernism, we are exploring how food intersects with art.
ART + CUISINE
Art has long had a fascination with food. From Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” depicting sparsely populated diners to Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans, artists have long explored the relationship between art and food. However, in 1979 Tina Howe’s play The Art of Dining took this obsession one step further with an immersive drama set at three groups at a small restaurant; featuring onstage kitchen preparation and eating as part of its production; winning an Obie Award for Dianne Wiest while A. J. Antoon directed it as well.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery invites Members and guests to a special performance of this play on April 16, 2020.
ART + WINE
Tina Howe’s 1979 Off-Broadway play “The Art of Dining” explores our characters’ strange relationship to food. Set in a restaurant owned by Ellen and Cal, who depend heavily on each night’s cash flow for survival; we meet neurotic writer Elizabeth Barrow Colt who struggles with both her food consumption and fears related to eating; David Osslow (crass publisher) devouring more food than his limited budget allows; along with an eclectic group of patrons.
Le Cordon Bleu offers hospitality management and gastronomy programs which teach the art of pairing food and wine together, from exploring narrative and locality, to understanding wine’s history to add more depth to a dish and provide guests with a memorable dining experience.
ART + ENTERTAINMENT
Tina Howe’s Off-Broadway production, The Art of Dining, earned Dianne Wiest an Obie Award. Set in a restaurant recently opened by Ellen and Cal, its theme explores our strange relationship with food in society as a whole. Focusing on appetite both physical and psychological as well as social norms surrounding when, where, and why we eat; characters including neurotic writer/husband Ellen/Cal, an inept painter named Chrissy/Lisa/Nessa Vox plus Herrick Simmons/Tony Stasso/Nessa Vox all face their fears while mastering this delicate dance between food/utensils!
ART + HEALTH
Beverly Hills is known for its Michelin-star Thestaurant, luxurious accommodations and wellness offerings – creating an array of culinary experiences in one city. Additionally, events and programs exist that focus on celebrating the health benefits of art and music-inspired dining experiences.
Tina Howe’s original production, The Art of Dining premiered in November 1979. Set in a newly opened restaurant managed by Ellen and Cal, who have everything riding on each night’s cash flow; three groups of patrons make an appearance: neurotic writer Elizabeth Barrow Colt reacting with extreme pleasure at seeing menu items; an unsympathetic group of friends; and self-assured publisher David Osslow who provide comic relief as well as drama throughout. This play offers both comedy and drama elements.