Monday, June 13, 2011

Gifted chefs and not so gifted digital artists

I feel like all I write about is food these days. Sometimes it's food that was made in my Astorian kitchen, but mostly it's just food for food's sake. Perhaps I need a new blog name? But at any rate, today I have a very worthwhile reason to chronicle an excellent meal I had this weekend. My friend who has been in culinary school at the Natural Gourmet Institute was cooking dinner with a group of his fellow classmates as part of the school's graduation. He's a talented chef and knows his way around farmer's market fixin's.

The menu was all vegetarian and enjoyably Southern-themed. There
were hushpuppies, grits, collard greens, and okra aplenty. There was also the surprisingly delicious combination of basil ice cream, strawberries, candied nuts, and whiskey for dessert. Sadly, I didn't bring a camera and neither did the lovely ladies and gentleman who attended the event with me. Not one to let this prevent me from sharing visuals with you, I've decided to recreate the first course for you through the use of some online paint program I found (as apparently I don't have one on my computer).

This is (as if it wasn't totally obvious) a spring pea salad with three hushpuppies (we were actually only served two, but I hope you will forgive the inaccuracy because I didn't know how to delete the circles, and it seemed too hard to start over). There was also a delicious dipping sauce that I didn't even attempt to depict. Oh and the turd-ish looking things at the top are boiled peanuts. I didn't know that was a thing until this dinner, but it turns out it's a sublimely delicious thing.

I was going to draw the other two courses, but as it turns out, working with strange online drawing programs that aren't terribly self-explanatory isn't that fun. And in the name of art and people with good taste everywhere, I should probably quit while I'm still creating shapes that vaguely approximate the food. Overall, it was a very enjoyable evening that reminded me that I don't sit down with good friends for a nice three course vegetarian meal nearly often enough.

Edit: My friend just sent me some photos of the food. Here's the meal in actual photographic detail:
Does the plate to the right look especially familiar?
Surely, it does.

I had to post a picture with a close-up of the dessert too. Further proof that I need an ice cream maker in my life.


  1. Did you eat the grits, collard greens and okra? If so, were they chefafied or traditional? FT

  2. The collard greens were (I think) made with garlic and the okra was served in a delicious stew with black eyed peas. The grits were condensed to form two crispy triangles that were then served with BBQ sauce. Other than the grits, it seemed pretty traditional.

  3. that's a rather impressive illustration.