Art: Food For Life

This article also published on Patch.


It has been said that art is “food for life.” So if you happen to love food, as you know I do, and are interested in having an exclusive opportunity to visit artists’ studios and talk with the artists themselves, then Tribeca is the place to be over the next few days.   


This year marks the 15th anniversary of the TriBeCa Open Artist Studio Tour (TOAST).  TOAST a non-profit, artist-run organization dedicated to empowering the working artists of TriBeCa, is opening the doors to nearly 100 artists studios and offering an open invitation to the public to take a free, self-guided tour through the TriBeCa studios.  Attendees have the opportunity to purchase work directly from the artists, helping to support their passion and craft.  TOAST begins this Friday, April 29 (6-9pm), and continues on Saturday, April 30 (1-6pm), Sunday, May 1 (1-6pm), and Monday, May 2 (1-6pm).


Click through to read about the food!


I had the opportunity to tour Tribeca last weekend with the president of TOAST, Shawn Washburn.  I viewed his fascinating and colorful exhibit, a constructive composition, Synthetic Spring. We also discussed the importance and impact of TOAST.  Washburn says,


We tend to work all year long in a vacuum, in a bubble, creating this work.  So it’s great to have people come in, people who are experts, people who aren’t experts, and give their feedback[.]

This is our largest art walk ever, with almost a 100 artists participating this year.  The event offers the public a great opportunity to experience a variety of artistic styles.


I also had to the pleasure of meeting artist, Nancy Pantirer.  From the foyer of her sweeping Tribeca studio, I could see straight through to the studio proper where a large scale painting, “The Red Sea” hung in grand, powerful fashion.  We discussed her work, her style of painting, and most importantly, the floor on which she creates her work, which she has photographed each time after creating her art and endearingly refers to as her “dairy.”


We then paid a visit to a local favorite, Jerry’s Café, with it’s flamboyant and artsy zebra striped walls and red upholstered booths. We met erudite and charming, owner and art collector, Frits de Knegt, and chatted about his passion for collecting art and the happiness it gives him.


Join us on our tour! Click through to watch the video with Shawn, Nancy, and Frits.


Tomahawk Ribeye with Grilled Ramps at Restaurant Mar ForgioneBut what about the food?  After all, Hot From The Kettle is a food and wine destination.  Well, Jerry’s Café offers a “bottomless brunch” with unlimited cocktails for $20, then there’s the Birdbath Green Bakery, whose walls are made from wheat, and benches and cabinets are fashioned from discarded Sotheby’s art crates. 


I had the gastronomic thrill of eating at one of Tribeca’s finest, Restaurant Marc Forgione (FORGE).  The Next Iron Chef himself, Chef Marc Forgione, cooked up a three pound Tomahawk Steak with ramps and chimichurri; indeed one of the most gratifying meals I had ever had the hedonistic pleasure of indulging. The steak was rich, the ramps were absolute spring, and the chimichurri was verdant and pungent. In short, all things as they should be.  Perfect quality, execution with over adulteration.  Did I finish it? Yes. And I brought the bone home – a souvenir of sorts.


Click here to take a peak inside the Forgione kitchen and learn a few great tricks from Chef Forgione.


It may be difficult to get a reservation at Forgione, so if you plan on going in TOAST, my suggestion is to eat at the bar or at one of the communal tables.


The list of restaurants in the area goes on and on, and sadly I couldn’t visit all of them – but that’s not to say I won’t give it a try.

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