Spirkal’s bottom line: A really inspiring exhibition with a wild foodie twist from an amazing artist, Dorothée Selz, who is probably one of the most charming people I met in a long time. I’d never enjoyed eating the artwork (yes, I said “Eating”!) so much. In fact, it was my first time! The buzz was fantastic. If you have never been to the French Cheese Board, you really must go, but after their next and final pop-up cheese sale in December, next month. The FCB will relocate to SoHo with an entirely new concept. I promise that I’ll follow up with you once I’ve got more info.
Review: After a shit day at work, I jumped on the subway and headed to the French Cheese Board just south of Bryant Park. My mate Julien Garrec, who works for the FCB had kindly sent me an invite and also introduced me to Dorothée. Along the walls were photos of previous expos and installations dating back to the 1970s. One of the coolest things I saw wassome photos of a bizarre canabal feast installation pop restaurant in Düsseldorf, where she collaborated with another artist. The ground floor this installation was a canabal mannequin who literally made a meal of himself. The second floor was an avant-garde pop up restaurant open to the public. I kept thinking about how cool it would have been in post-war Germany with so much creativity buzzing around everywhere.
Dorothée has displayed her food art in many different countries and at prestigious museums, including one of the favorites, the Tate Museum in London. The FCB also displayed some of her beautiful almost Asian-like interrior designs with twisted arche and draping colors, which reminded me of a Jain temple I had once seen before in India.
The buzz was really nice with so many people sampling the delights on offer, it was easy to struke up a conversation with just about anyone. From the getgo, I met three charming, lovely ladies picking sticks of cheese, grapes and strawberries from the sugar-coated sculptures.
There were numerous French expats, at the event, who were either working for internships or chasing their dreams in New York City. There were even some PR from, D’Artagnan, the French gourmet purveyor of foie gras, delicious terrines more, who I recently ran into at the Best of France festival in Times Square.
The back table spread was French classic to the core, with soft creamy brie-like cheeses, semi-aged Mimolette – the Rolls Royces of sharp cheeses, Bleu d’Auvergne and semi-aged Comté, accompanied by slices of Dorothées multicolored olive or walnut breads.
Normally, I wouldn’t touch anything so blatantly artificially dyed, but these were so delicious. To be honest, the vivid-looking bread just added to the whole experience.
With china white cylanders of soft, tangy goat cheese and fresh grapes and bite-sized cut hard cheeses. The contrasts of soft, sharp, acidic, sweet and savory kept us hooked at the table. After jumping two or three pant sizes, I had to break away from the table or I would have died of gluttony.
My only wish is that they were selling some of the cheese that evening. I was hoping to buy some mimolette for friends I was going to visit up in Connecticut the next day. Ah well, another time perhaps.
I think I understood Dorothée Selz and this exhibit of edible art because food should be fun and eaten for its own enjoyment. The laughter and coziness of the reception made us all feel a bit tingly inside. As one of my favorite food writers Brillat Savarin wrote in The Physiology of Taste, is that as pleasures in life come and go, the pleasure of the table will never leave us. While heading back on the train ride home, I closed my eyes and smiled. This feeling will never leave me. Merci FCB, Julien and Dorothée.