I just returned from a photography exhibit titled “Farm to Table” at the Levi’s (yes, the jeans) Photo Workshop (13 Wooster in SoHo) featuring Chef April Bloomfield of the Breslin, the Spotted Pig, and John Dory. [Don’t miss the affiliated video at the end of this post]
Upon entering, my first reaction was “what does this have to do with Levi’s? And what does it have to do with food?”, my next was that it seemed incomplete and maybe we had arrived on the wrong day… Or the curator called in sick that week.
The exhibit consisted of two small areas of two very large white walls, one displaying less than a dozen blurry out-of-focus photos of what I learned later was a berry farm. One photo was recognizably Bloomfield, the others either had only a blurred silhouette of a hooded-raincoat-wearing figure or only blurred farm shots. No tags, labels, photo credits, or anyway to know who was in the photo if you were not already familiar with the chef.
The other wall was far more engaging and lively. Trouble was, it wasn’t even Chef Bloomfield, but Chefs David Chang & Christine Tosi of Momofuku. Still, only about a dozen shots and one illustration of a series of line drawings of a woman masturbating – not sure what it had to do with the chefs, or the farm to table movement. I can’t say it surprised me though. I’m familiar with Chang’s appreciation for the shock value of something along the lines of out-of-place pornography. It made me smile.
So, back to the food… there wasn’t any. What there was was a bar in the back serving Coca-Cola products in plastic cups by a pair of obliviously dancing banquet servers. Again, I wondered about this “Farm to Table” concept.
A couple pictures of a nondescript blurred out farm, no food, no tables for that matter, and a bar full of big-money commercial high-fructose corn syrup laden non-alcoholic beverages. Break out the Ritz crackers and Cheez Wiz and it could have been a Mormon wedding in a suburb of St. George, Utah.
If you are interested in the real “meat” of the collaboration between April Bloomfield, photographer Marcelo Gomez, farmer Franca Tantillo of Berried Treasures in upstate NY, and Levi’s watch the video below or see the event website (click here). It’s the real thing.