June 30, 2014

Food is art.In many ways, the creation of food is an artistic expression. There’s a reason chefs put so much emphasis on presentation. After all, our natural desire is to eat what looks appetizing. It is no surprise then that Boulder, considered one of the foodiest towns in America, is hosting an art and food festival that fuses the two practices together. A Taste of Art Festival is a four-day celebration hosted by the Dairy Center for the Arts, giving Boulder residents the chance to enjoy cooking workshops, art dedicated to the culinary arts and community lectures.

The coalescence of art and food
Boulder is the perfect locale to host such an event, not only because of the city’s culinary notoriety, but also because of the emphasis on community. What is clear is that the Dairy Center for the Arts wants residents and festival visitors to re-examine the way humans interact with food. The festival directs focus on how we visually perceive and appreciate what we eat, providing photography and film events to highlight the spectacle of culinary aesthetics. However, some of the festival’s events delve into the world of farm-to-table practices, urban agriculture and healthy eating. Lectures such as “Making Community through Food a Reality” with local chef and gardener Kimbal Musk highlights the focus this festival is putting on cultivating a farm-to-table community in Boulder.

Musk is one of the founders of The Kitchen restaurants, which have been feeding Boulder residents for over a decade. He also runs a nonprofit organization that plants learning gardens in local schools. Consider his work a symbol of the educational message A Taste of Art is trying to spread across the city of Boulder and beyond. The festival is taking many trends already present in the foodie community and showcasing them to further develop the farm-to-table movement.

A Taste of Art events
The festival began with an artful hors d’oeuvres event that put together four of Boulder’s chefs to create and offer appetizers to a live audience. The title says it all: The focus of this event is artful plating and elegant presentation.

The weekend continues with classes on food photography techniques, an Iron Chef-style culinary battle between three local chefs, a learning workshop on fruits and vegetables, film viewings, and a plating workshop with Escoffier, a local culinary arts school in Boulder and Austin. The festival ends with “Barbecue, Blues and Brews,” an event offering up local beer and barbecue with live performances by Blues musicians.