Food and Art Meet at Red Rooster

Many different talents can be considered art. While we sometimes think that art is constrained to either just visual or performing arts, in fact creativity can be found in almost all trades. Cooking to me is definitely my favorite art form. It requires creativity in everything from creating flavor combinations, to getting inspired by certain ingredients or spices, and problem solving through various cooking techniques and possibilities. If anything, it's a way of expressing oneself and one's vision without having to do so in words. In just one dish, you can portray your culture, your upbringing, your creativity, and your passion. An edible art, if you will.

While cooking is one type of art form- like other arts, it is not solely isolated from the other types or from individual inspirations. Art can sometimes feed off of other art pieces to create something new from that inspiration. Art can also be inspired by location- with my neighborhood of Harlem being a prime example. Aside from collecting artwork, I also like to create my own whether it's through painting or refurbishing antiquities. Visual artwork has always been my window in and how I process what I am going through; even at time what Harlem is going through. At times I get inspired to cook from some art work or the other way around as well.

In fact different forms of art can go hand in hand. One individual, Lisa Mamounas realized just that when creating Culinary Insiders. After realizing that her two loves- art and food- were shared by most of her art colleagues, she combined both of them to create unique artistic and culinary activities for other guests to enjoy. Through Culinary Insiders, Lisa plans culinary events that often times revolve around art. Last week, we planned a special dinner at Red Rooster along with The Armory Show.

Before the dinner I met with the guests and showed them my own collection of art that I set up around our new private dining area. I brought some of my pieces from home and also displayed some mementos of my travels and some Rooster wall items. We also toured and examined the current art hanging in Red Rooster.

I was honored to share my art and some of my inspirations with the fellow art lovers that were gathered that night. It's also inspirational to see others who support creative talent, like one of our guests that night, Erin McKinnon, who is an avid art collector and makes it a point to collect new up-and-coming artists. She too was hosting an event for The Armory Show at her home where she was thrilled to be able to expose other collectors to new talents that they may have not encountered in other galleries.

I think it's important to always stay inspired. Going out and experiencing new things or even new foods, are good ways to keep creative energy flowing. Inspiration can lie all around you and for me, living in Harlem, the inspiration never stops.

Photos: Cyndi Amaya 

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