The Monterey Peninsula, with its proliferation of wine tasting rooms, food and wine events and art galleries, is already a destination for a world of tourists. Residents know they have a wealth of choices when it comes to dining out or entertaining family and friends.
The opening of new restaurants and receptions for art openings at galleries and museums locally is a time honored and well worn option for getting out to be with like-minded people. But how about combining those activities into a stimulating night of enjoying food, wine and art in the company of those who create what you eat, drink and view?
“Paintings and Pairings,” a new concept developed by art appraiser, advisor and curator Lily Yu, does just that. Her first outing in what will be a series of conceptual art curations at local businesses involves the talents of chef Soerke Peters of Carmel’s Village Corner Restaurant, artist Paul Seftel, and Albatross Ridge Winery. It takes place at the Village Corner on Wednesday in two parts. From 5 to 7 p.m. there is a free open-to-the public artist’s reception for “Arts Tectonic, Forces of Nature by Paul Seftel,” including works on canvas and paper,and four outdoor wall reliefs. Born in London, Seftel is an abstract mixed-media painter using metal, minerals and raw pigment in his works. While his studio is at the American Tin Cannery in Pacific Grove, his work will hang at the Village Corner through Dec. 2. Wine and small bites will be served with the chance to engage with the artist. For background and more information visitwww.paulseftel.com.
From 7-9 p.m. a reserved four-course dinner with wine parings will be served on the charming patio of the historic Village Corner during which patrons will be engaged in conversation with the chef, artist and winery representative about their creative concepts and process. Seftel took into consideration what would fit in the restaurant decor. Peters in turn, takes his inspiration for the food being served from the paintings. While he is keeping the menu a secret, Peters said, “It will be abstract cooking, if there is such a thing. As chefs, we love to be challenged with new ideas, concepts and opportunities. (Yu’s mission for Paintings and Pairings) is very interesting and challenging, indeed. Thinking of Paul’s interpretations from canvas to sculptures and putting it on a plate is no easy task.“Getting to know the artist personally does help inspire me to use similar techniques in the art of plating.”
Tickets for this portion of the evening are $95 in advance, $110 at the door, tax and tip included. Advance tickets may be purchased online through Yu’s business (Agent Art) website at www.msagentart.com. To learn more about the world class talents of the chef and winemakers, visit their websites at www.villagecornercarmel.com/meet-the-chefs and www.albatrossridge.com.
Art expert Yu arrived several years ago from Los Angeles bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and an unlimited imagination. Add to that her insatiable curiosity and you have a powerhouse of possibility.
Her business, Agent Art, which has her engaged with individuals and organizations in the acquisition and sales of fine art has placed her at the center of the community. She has taken her many interests, which includes the creation of art as well as the evaluation and curation skills, and her study of fine wines, to create an all inclusive concoction that serves to promote creative endeavors she thinks are worthy of more attention.
“Being an art advisor came from being an artist first and foremost,” the Carmel resident said. “I’m a mixed media artist; drawing, painting, and I love working with print making processes. That’s what led me in this direction. I love art and I always think about it and learned everything I could about it. And at a certain point in my life I wanted to use my knowledge to help others. So I became an art advisor. I became certified as an art appraiser. And I love to share art with not only individuals who are collectors but with larger groups of people, so I started curating exhibitions.”
Yu believes that people with the spirit of the original bohemians who created Carmel, the adventurers and discoverers who are artistic and creative and don’t see things in categories, are the kind who might find this idea appealing. While everyone knows it’s not that unusual to experience original art hung in restaurants, it’s important to note that no one has ever joined these elements into an entertaining and educational experience like this before.
“This is the difference between incidental and the intentional,” she said. “We’re shining a light on what these things, art and food, have in common and what’s different about them. And everybody gets to participate in that. This is an interactive environment where we’re inviting you to make discoveries about what art and food have in common. And then the artist himself expresses his internalization of it. And the chef who is interpreting the art and making his own expression of the connection. In the final analysis, we’re going to make our own internal evaluation and assessment, and then we actually get to consume someone else’s interpretation of the connection between these two worlds.”
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