Reason #1 for showing the photos and describing the “Art Inspired Chef Tasting” that took place at West End Millworks is this: This hopes to be the first of many and we think you’d have a great time at the next one.
The Art Inspired Chef Tasting was part of a partnership with local restaurants and Reynolda House Museum of Art to celebrate Grant Wood and The American Farm. Grant Wood is the American painter known for his iconic American Gothic.
The chefs chose a painting at the exhibit and created a dish inspired by the work. Folks who attended heard why each chef chose the dish and how they drew inspiration from it for the dish. For instance, in Chef Harrison Littell’s course, he chose Early 20th Century Cradle Scythe. His dish was Porktoberfest. He told us, “I chose this because a scythe is used to harvest grain and we’ve used grain in every aspect of this dish. From the grain used for beer, grain in some way to feed the pork and the beer was used to brine the vegetables so we kept it full circle.”
Other chefs took a more personal route, Jeff Bacon selected Grant Wood’s In the Spring, Farmer Planting Fence Posts. “The man in the painting looked just like my grandfather, who was a farmer in New York. He raised hogs and grew the most incredible tomatoes so the pork and tomato jam are a tribute to him He used to say, ‘who’d want to eat a grit?’ but then when he retired to the south, he fell in love with them and it proves you can change even when you’re 80-years-old.”
The dinner was progressive in nature and chefs were paired with cocktails that were also inspired by the season.
Early 20th Century Cradle Scythe
Chef Harrison LIttell from The Honey Pot
Porktoberfest paired with Hoots Gashopper IPA or Octoberfest
Pork belly braised in Hoots beer, topped with toasted coriander, chimichurri, IPA-brined vegetables and micro greens
Study for Breaking the Breaking the Prairie 1935-39 by Grant Wood
Chef Tim Grandinetti of the Spring House
Savory Bison Hand Pie paired with Sutler’s Gin: Summers End
Weaning the Calf 1875 by Winslow Homer
Chef Michael Daugherty of The Porch
Mata-Hambre (The Hunger Killer)
This was a meat stuffed with vegetables and paired with tri-color root vegetables and rice paired with The Porch’s Seasonal Harvest Margarita
In The Spring, Farmer Planting Fence Posts, 1939 by Grant Wood
Chef Jeff Bacon of Providence Restaurant
Collard and Smoked Gouda Stuffed Pork Tenderloin on Pimento Cheese Grits
Spring Turning, 1936 by Grant Wood
Chef Pablo del Valle of Atelier on Trade
serving Anamosa paired with Krankies Coffee
Chocolate mousse layered over a chocolate sponge cake on a base of crunchy hazelnuts. It had a top filling of Matcha Cremeux and chocolate ganache.
The event was low-key with lively conversation as folks enjoyed touring the newly re-developed West End Millworks. The last two courses were stationed inside the old flour mill. It is quite impressive and definitely worth a visit when you’re in the area. The Mill Works is now open for events and parties.
Proceeds from the event provide support for Reynolda House Museum of Art. You can see Grant Wood and The American Farm until December 31.
Wanna go? Stay tuned for the next collaboration with West End Millworks and Reynolda House. West End Millworks is located at 918 Bridge Street in Winston-Salem.