By Meredith Cutler
BOSTON, MA – “Look out, there’s bones in that!” warned sous chef Jade Taylor of Supper Y’all, as she plated a tantalizing hunk of BBQ pig tail on a bed of ramps and flower petals, a tasting menu item inspired by the American Traditional work of tattoo artist Edwin Marquez. This was no ordinary art opening, nor typical tasting for the foodie community of Boston. This was CREATE2013 — the 2nd annual pairing up of Boston’s rising star chefs with local artists to find common ground between their culinary and visual worlds, and promote their creativity to both vibrant communities.
The event is the brainchild of Chef Louis DiBiccari (of Tavern Road and “Chef Louie Night”), who hopes to leverage the caché of Boston’s lively restaurant scene to shed light on the work of local artists. Proceeds from the event go to benefit the Fort Point Artists Community, an area of Boston that houses a burgeoning restaurant scene, but has seen a lot of change with the waterfront redevelopment sparking an exodus of many longtime artist residents.
As curator of the event, Chef Louie chose the artist/chef pairings, looking for shared affinity that the creatives could then take in any direction they so chose. “I was looking for that “Wow” factor,” he explained to me over the din of mouthwatering custom cocktails lubricating well-fed conversations. In the case of collage artist Brian Gordon and chef Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow), Chef Louie hit the nail on the head.
Scelfo’s new restaurant is opening in the storied Casablanca space in Harvard Square’s Brattle Theatre complex, and is named after the building’s architects. Gordon set his chef up in a life-sized collage of enlarged, found vintage images that echoed the endless cast of characters that have flickered across the Brattle’s walls since it was built in 1890. Scelfo’s tasting dish of smoked bluefish on brown bread topped with sprouts was, by design limited to ingredients that could be found on menus spanning the building’s historical timeframe.
Other highlights: the symmetry of Fort Point painter Mike Hammecker’s geometric, street-art inspired painting laid flat next to Chef Brian Young’s (Citizen Public House) cutting board palette adorned with cubes of rabbit terrine pierced by lacy triangular crisps. Brave event-goers could also choose their sweet relief from a pun-riddled food truck built by !ND!V!DUALS Collective entirely out of reclaimed materials – spun sugar on asparagus spear or, “stick on a stick” (anisette cracker on popsicle stick).
Create 2013 Participants: The chefs: Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow), Jason Cheek and Jade Taylor (Supper Y’all), Brian Young (Citizen Public House), Alex Crabb (Asta), Steven “Panda” Oxaal (B&G Oysters) and Karen Akunowicz (Myers & Chang). The artists: Mike Hammecker, Kevin Stanton, Nick Z, Edwin Marquez, !ND!V!DUALS Collective and Brian Gordon.
(For more information, visit http://create-boston.com.)