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Fat Guy

"Feeding Desire," exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt

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There's a wonderful new exhibition opening tomorrow at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City called "Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Table." I was able to preview the exhibition today and spend some time with Darra Goldstein, the guest co-curator of the exhibition (and also the founding editor of Gastronomica), during which we recorded an eG Radio foodcast/walkthrough of the exhibition.

You can listen to the foodcast here.

The exhibition opens tomorrow, the 5th of May and runs through the 29th of October 2006. It's well worth attending.

There are several presentations being given in conjunction with the exhibition. Of particular interest is the event on the 20th of June, a panel discussion entitled "Presentation: The End of the Plate?" On the panel will be José Andrés and Katsuya Fukushima of Minibar in Washington, DC; Homaro Cantu of Moto in Chicago; and Grant Achatz and designer Martin Kastner representing Alinea in Chicago. They'll be discussing "experimentation and iconoclastic new ways of presenting food." Darra Goldstein will be the moderator.

Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Table, 1500–2005

On view May 5–October 29, 2006

A journey through the evolution of Western dining from the Renaissance to the present, Feeding Desire features objects from Cooper-Hewitt’s world-class collections. The exhibition will address the development of utensil forms, innovations in production and materials, etiquette, and flatware as social commentary.

There's plenty more information on the Cooper-Hewitt's website.

The purpose of this topic is to host discussion of the exhibition, the related presentations and the foodcast, and it will also be a place where we'll be posting some supplemental information, for example photographs to accompany the foodcast. We'll also add several of the exhibition-related presentations to the calendar soon.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Now that the exhibition is open, the Cooper-Hewitt has launched a "sitelet" for the Feeding Desire exhibition. You go to the exhibition page and click "Visit the Website."

This will take you to the sitelet, which has all sorts of great stuff about the exhibition: a timeline, a lot of photos and more than a dozen mini articles about different themes (all illustrated). Soon they'll also be adding a tableware quiz. I think that's supposed to come online later today.

We'll be posting several photos to illustrate the foodcast soon.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The following are several photos the Cooper-Hewitt kindly provided to us, which serve to illustrate the eG Radio foodcast. If you listen to the foodcast these images should coordinate with the progression of the conversation. Enjoy!

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The Carnegie mansion, now the Cooper-Hewitt (photo by Andrew Garn)

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Darra Goldstein (photo courtesy of Darra Goldstein)

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Entering the “Feeding Desire” exhibition (photo by Andrew Garn)

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Andrew Carnegie’s place settings (photo by Andrew Garn)

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Sucket forks (photo courtesy of the Cooper-Hewitt)

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American Airlines prototypes (photo courtesy of the Cooper-Hewitt)

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Another exhibition room (photo by Andrew Garn)

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Implements designed for correctional facilities (photo courtesy of the Cooper-Hewitt)

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Ice cream server

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Nicoud dessert set (photo courtesy of the Cooper-Hewitt)

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Nicoud dessert set, detail (photo courtesy of the Cooper-Hewitt)


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Steven,

Thank you SO much for doing this! I noticed the banner for the exhibit through my cab window coming in from the airport and just never made it back up that far. If I send you a comprehensive list of everything else I didn't get around to doing last week, will you schlep your camera all over town and make up for my slothfulness?


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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In my ongoing quest for obscure information -- could someone explain a Sucket fork? Is this the name of the designer/manufacturer? The purpose for this?

Thanks --

Laurie

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In my ongoing quest for obscure information -- could someone explain a Sucket fork?  Is this the name of the designer/manufacturer?  The purpose for this?

Thanks --

Laurie

Sucket Fork

Small metal utensil used for eating sweetmeats, or sucket, with a two- or three-pronged fork at one end of the handle and a spoon bowl, usually of teaspoon size, at the other. A sucket fork is mentioned in Edward VI's inventory of 1549, but most of the few surviving English and American examples, which are usually made of silver, date from the late 17th century.

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In my ongoing quest for obscure information -- could someone explain a Sucket fork?  Is this the name of the designer/manufacturer?  The purpose for this?

Have you had a chance to listen to the eG Radio interview with Darra Goldstein? She discusses the sucket fork as well as all the other photos -- or, rather, the photos illustrate the interview.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Steve: Thank you for a lovely trip through the museum exhibit. Wow! I'm really impressed. lkm

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The Daily Gullet has just published an original essay, "Artful Dining," by Darra Goldstein. Be sure to click on the individual photos for larger renditions, with explanations.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I recently had the opportunity to visit this exhibit in person and strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in dining before it closes shortly. The only flaw as far as I am concerned is that it did not take into account recent trends in dining utensil design specific to particular chefs and their creations such as at El Bulli and what Martin Krasner has been doing for Grant Achatz at Alinea amongst others.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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When I was there, in the last section of the exhibition there was a section covering that subject, with several of Homaro Cantu's pieces displayed. There was also a panel discussion , as part of the exhibition lecture series, entitled "Presentation: The End of the Plate?" with Katsuya Fukushima, Homaro Cantu, Grant Achatz and Martin Kastner. I went to the panel discussion with the intent of writing it up but the level of the presentation was pretty basic -- it was more about familiarizing the audience with what's going on at these restaurants (a topic covered in detail in so many eG Forums topics) that about anything that would have represented new coverage here. Anyway . . . I'll try to check whether the Cantu pieces are still on display.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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When I was there, in the last section of the exhibition there was a section covering that subject, with several of Homaro Cantu's pieces displayed. There was also a panel discussion , as part of the exhibition lecture series, entitled "Presentation: The End of the Plate?" with Katsuya Fukushima, Homaro Cantu, Grant Achatz and Martin Kastner. I went to the panel discussion with the intent of writing it up but the level of the presentation was pretty basic -- it was more about familiarizing the audience with what's going on at these restaurants (a topic covered in detail in so many eG Forums topics) that about anything that would have represented new coverage here. Anyway . . . I'll try to check whether the Cantu pieces are still on display.

Somehow I must have missed them if they were there. Whether or not they were, it was a great exhibit. I was particularly intrigued by the "travelling" cutlery sets. Apparently travelers used to bring their own cutlery with them.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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What an intriguing exhibit this must be based on the reporting here and the website. The knives in the naturalism section are beautiful craftmanship! Interesting how these accoutrements of table service are not only social but historical commentary in addition to the aesthetics. Know I'm stating the obvious but, it is fascinating to once again be reminded of the culinary world and its offshoots being a reflection of our times, cultures and history and an etiology of a sense of community.

I searched Smithsonian and unfortunately did not see any mention of this exhibit being shown at any of D.C. Smithsonian museums or elsewhere. If anyone hears of any other venues or dates, please post.

Can anyone reference a similar exhibit or other points of reference for the kitchen/cook/chef and corresponding tools of the trade versus the "front of the house"?

Thanks for the information and keeping us posted on the exhibit!

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