Chef, artists collaborate on new culinary experience

Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:40pm EDT
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Kevin Lasko, the executive chef at Park Avenue Winter, the New York restaurant that changes its name, menu and decor with the season, is offering customers a new multi-sensory culinary experience.

In a year-long series of collaborations with artists, Lasko is bringing edible art to his customers. The first, with Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic, kicked off in January with "Volcano Flambe."

To enjoy the experience diners don a headset and listen to a recording of Abramovic, who details the mental and sensory aspects of the dessert.

Each season Lasko, along with artists including Janine Antoni, Paul Ramirez Jonas and Michael Rakowitz, will introduce a new dish or experience.

Lasko spoke to Reuters about the inspiration for the project and the increasingly fuzzy boundaries separating food and art.

Q: What was the impetus for this project?

A: "We had been working with Creative Time Consulting, which specializes in public-space art, to launch something with artists. Since we're a seasonal restaurant, we thought of doing an art installation for each season, and it just went from there."

Q: What was it like working with Marina, who had just finished an exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), where she sat facing patrons, staring in silence.   Continued...