Saturday, September 24, 2011

Life is uncertain, eat dessert first!

Though I wholeheartedly agree with the sage words in the title of this post, last night's artist dinner here at Like the Spice with guest of honor, Reuben Negron, did not quite start that way (though once you hear about the actual dessert you might end up agreeing that it should have). Even without dessert first the dinner last night was a spectacular event; fine food, an amazing show ("This House of Glass"), and wonderful company!

Despite the humidity and the torrential downpours we had lovely crew here to enjoy an intimate discussion with Reuben Negron about his most recent body of work, "This House of Glass," on view at Like the Spice through October 9th. Reuben spoke eloquently about the origins and process of each piece and I must say his technique blows me away whenever he describes it. Each subject is a volunteer, drawn to Negron's project by his desire to unravel a particular knot in their recent memory. He adopts the role of confidant and digests innumerable morsels of honesty over several weeks or months. These conversations turn into visual collaborations between Negron and his model, conceived as a collective narrative told on their terms. In person, these visual stories really do seem to come to life; the intense layering of watercolor over a graphite sketch is so expertly done that the figures' skin seems like it would be warm to the touch.
So, not only were we blown away by the work and words of Reuben, but the food certainly deserves mention as well. Our three course meal was created by the lovely and talented, Neilie Meyer, the owner and executive chef of The Starving Artist Bakery. Our taste buds were tantalized by the first course of a mixed greens salad with a pear, mushroom, and brie strudel. The second course featured home-made butternut squash ravioli (HAND ROLLED AND STUFFED) nestled perfectly under a layer of roasted garlic cream sauce. And then last, but certainly not least, was the salted caramel mousse sprinkled with chocolate-covered pretzel shards and served in its very own chocolate bowl, see above. I die.

So that was that folks, I hope that you are jealous enough to make it to our next dinner on November 4th!!!!

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