New York’s Latest Celebrity Chef? Marina Abramovic (and Other Ideas for Chef/Artist Pairings)

01/13/2011 8:49 AM |


First, you sat across from her during her fantastic MoMA show last year “The Artist is Present.” Now you can eat her dessert. Why is Marina Abramovic, one of the world’s most famous performance artists, dealing in pastries?

It’s all part of Park Avenue Winter’s new series of artist-chef collaborations. (Next up: Janine Antoni, Paul Ramirez Jonas and Michael Rakowitz.) For $20 you get the Volcano Flambe, prepared by pastry chef Kevin Lasko. It’s decadent to say the least, a combination of dark chocolate ice cream, meringue, gold leaf and spun sugar, flambeed with a healthy dose of rum. With it you’ll get a handy MP3 player, on which Abramovic will guide you through the experience of eating the dessert, plus a booklet of her favorite recipes called “Spirit Cooking.” Hopefully your dinner guest will do more than just sit across from you silently as you eat it, staring at you with an aura of timeless wisdom.

Just in case you thought this was some kind of crude publicity stunt, know that this is all to raise money for non-profit arts organization Creative Time, which commissions public art projects. This is a good start, but I’d like to see a few more artist-chef collaborations in the future:

Richard Serra and Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi
You wander through a hulking spiral of steel, tantalized by a smell you cannot place. Finally, feeling slightly dizzy, you reach the center, where a cake in the shape of a spiral, made of everything from pretzels and coffee grounds to steel shavings, sits in the light. You will want to eat it, but a guard will tell you that you can’t touch it. You will eat it anyway.

Olafur Eliasson and Death and Co.’s Brian Miller
You are wandering through a dense fog. Lights pierce the darkness in unexpected ways. Suddenly you come upon a waterfall, each drop illuminated as if suspended in time. You stick your tongue out and realize it’s not water at all, but Rittenhouse Rye, dry vermouth and homemade bitters. You are delighted until you realize that small sip cost $15.

Andreas Gursky and Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen
An explosion of color. Endless fields of vegetables, carrots and squash blossoms and king oyster mushrooms, an intimidating tableau all in perfect focus. It tastes and looks so good you wonder if it’s too good to be true and are disappointed when you find out some of it was digitally altered.