The art of Real Food
Starry Starry Night was in my face. I was not in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh Museum and my ears were not tuned into Don McLean’s old song. I was treading through booths at the Moscone Center convention floor at the Fancy Food Show (a place with no windows much like the cell at the insane asylum where Van Gogh painted the real thing, from memory). This was an asylum of specialty food – thousands of morsels of ‘fancy’ food – for this annual winter show.
What stopped me in my tracks, was ‘art’ made from 10,000 jelly bellies. I looked beyond Starry Starry Night-Via-Jelly-Bellies at the huge Jelly Bellies booth, one of the largest muscling its way in a sea of unctuous cheese, imported preserves, salumi, chocolates and gourmet crackers. I was flummoxed by this exhibit being a ‘fancy food.’ Isn’t this a lie – or at least a stretched truth, at best?
And then I land back at true food, the most artful of food – made from healthy soil, grown organically and in the rhythms of what Mother Nature sings. No day glow colors from a lab. No hyper-sweet, artificial, painfully cute flavors (buttered popcorn jelly bellies). In such an unnatural environment as a convention center (my version of insanity after two days), I crave a small, fresh apple, a glass of Gruner Veltliner and a simple salad. Good bread and lots of butter, too.
I understand food commerce must happen. This is my business, too. I just don’t believe that Jelly Bellies are food, or even fancy food. And yet there was this art in front of me. Perhaps the best use of these wee pebbles?
When Van Gogh painted Starry Starry Night he was in an asylum at St. Remy. He was cordoned off from family, Nature and love. And yet he produced this most hypnotizing piece of art, just from his memory. Perhaps the starving for the natural world and love, makes one delve down to our most creative beings?
As FIG launches our blog, this first ‘bite’ from me is a cautionary note of what is real, and what is fake. What is the truth and what is fiction? I find so much honesty in the every day, in little sips and little sights. I feel supremely fortunate to have work that lands me on the real side of the fence. Real food. Real People. The colors of what Nature intended, both day and night. Here’s to a new, real journey for me and for FIG – we will serve up tasty morsels, reality checks and fresh perspectives in natural and organic issues. We won’t always be right, but we will be real.