Food as art

Aug 16, 2002

The New Yorker arrived yesterday, and I couldn’t be more happy: it’s a double issue devoted to food. One article is about the Fruit Detective, a guy who travels the world searching for the next big exotic fruit. Then, there’s this opening paragraph by Adam Gopnik:

I enjoy the company of cooks. I admire them because they are hard workers, and because they make delicious things. But, more than that, I like to contemplate the way they have to think in order to make the things they make. They are the last artists among us who still live in the daily presence of patronage. In the two centuries since the Romantic revolution, the arts have, one by one, been Byronized, set free from the necessity of pleasing an audience – a process that began with the poets and painters and took in the architects and novelists and has swept up, most recently, the rock musicians and shoe designers. All have taught themselves that they are there to instruct and puzzle an audience, not to please it.
What do you think? About art, artists, cooks? Post your thoughts to the comments, please.

Anton Zuiker

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