Last Thursday night I was invited to a hip local arts event that expertly mixed art, auction and food. Hosted by Root Division - an organization that promotes creative expression and boosts the community by providing studio space to working artists in exchange for their services as art teachers - Taste 2007 was a fundraiser, exhibition, and tasting all rolled into one event. Tastes, bite sized tapas from eight acclaimed young San Francisco chefs, featured delicious, innovative nibbles along side the artwork.
To learn about the amazing food I tasted and check out some of my favorite paintings (including this really cool one of a crab),
When I rushed in from the pouring rain, I was delighted to see a gift bag (filled with tons of fabulous goodies, including a super long glass tube and a free manicure at Cinta) was waiting for me. I made my way over to the wine station and got a glass of red from the artist behind the makeshift bar before heading over to the Pescheria table. Their taste was a cold octopus and pea salad that was super fresh without being overly fishy. However, balancing my glass of wine, my Marc Jacobs handbag, and goodie bag while trying to stab individual peas with a two pronged toothpick was too challenging and I ended up tossing the taste without having finished the salad.
Next I sampled the food/art by Michael Yakura of Ozumo (on my list of places to eat) that was on display in an adjoining room. His exhibit proved to be an ingenious combination of food and art - a three course meal, in liquid form, was stuck into tiny suck-able syringes and placed into small pegs and arranged on a wall. Guests were invited to take a syringe and enjoy the meal. The third course, a teeny sip of a creme brulee was the most popular and the fishy cioppino the least popular with its overpowering briny-ness.
When I tasted Scott from Maverick's bbq-ed pulled pork delicately placed on a crisp homemade potato chip, I was in heaven. The meat was moist, not chewy, and the sauce spicy, not commercialized. I quickly devoured several more chip bites before moving on to the mind blowing Noah of Brick Restaurant (also on my list of places to dine). Noah, a student of culinary gastronomy, had created the perfect taste that was layered, complex, and undeniably complete. A paper thin slice of lamb was topped with a creamy, melt in your mouth celery mousse. The bite was to be followed with a celery gin shot that delicately cleansed the palate. This was amazing and by far my favorite part of the night.