What would you think of an intricately designed wooden food truck whose menu claims to feature dishes made from humans? If your answer was, “That’s amazing, how can I see that every day?”, then you need to get yourself to the Fairmont Battery Wharf in Boston on June 1. There, CREATE Boston, the brainchild of Tavern Road chef Louis DiBiccari, will bring together the worlds of art and food for the third time in a night of beautiful and bizarre performances. Tickets are $35. Here, we chat with chef DiBiccari about how CREATE came to be, what he loves about it and what he hopes to accomplish.
The art world seems to be very important to you.
The art and artists in any city give it balance. If a city isn’t well balanced it can feel a bit naked. Boston has been losing a lot of its artists to surrounding cities and I feel like it’s losing a little bit of its soul.
What is the craziest display you’ve seen at CREATE so far?
Brian Gordon turned the entire space into one life-size collage. He made “people” who hung from the ceiling, protruded from the walls—crazy stuff. Brian worked with chef Michael Scelfo (now of Alden & Harlow) and made him a living part of the collage.
What has been the best match of art and food so far?
The best collaborations have come from the !nd!v!duals—a collective that tells stories with sculptures made from reclaimed wood. Last year they brought the Lovesick Food Truck. It was a full-size food truck made of wood and run by aliens. The story was that they killed all the humans and were serving them up. They teamed up with Alex Crabb (of Asta), who served cotton candy on asparagus spears. It was weird, but it really worked.
The Lovesick Food truck.
The food truck's menu.
That’s out there. Do you make any rules at all?
Not yet. Eventually, I’ll know the full potential of pairings of chefs and artists and I can do more directing. But right now it’s all experimental.
What kind of experiments will there be this year?
We have a body painter who is going to paint a chef on-site. And Karen [Jerzyk]—I swear she’s going to get arrested someday. Karen goes out to desolate areas of Pennsylvania or New Jersey and finds abandoned hospitals, homes, other buildings. Then she photographs models inside wearing nothing but bedsheets and makeup. The pictures are terrifying. She’s working with pastry chef Monica Glass from Clio. She’s actually going to photograph Monica in one of these spaces.
How do you choose chefs to participate?
We look for new chefs on the verge of opening restaurants who can use this event as a launching pad. This is where you’ll find people before you start reading about them in Food & Wine.
If a food and art mash-up sounds great to you, tickets are available on the CREATE Boston website. Here’s the lineup that has been announced so far:
· Karen Jerzyk
· Markus Sebastiano
· Moe Pope
· Stephen Holding
· And more to come….
· Jade Taylor, Bondir
· Alex Crabb, Asta
· Scott Jones, Menton
· Jason Cheek, Merrill & Co
· Monica Glass, Clio
· Meghann Ward, Coppa
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