Monday, February 21, 2011

eat; eatpinklove meets kumquat kitchen

I had the absolute pleasure of spending the day in Megan Davis' Kumquat Kitchen on Thursday gone by. She was introduced to me by my housemate Natalie, who has insisted for a long time we must meet. And it was a meeting made in eating heaven! We talked about our upbringings and the similar focus on foods our families shared. She even told me a cute story of her mum finding one her most favourite books from childhood called Old Witch And The Polka-Dot Ribbon, which she realised had a recipe in the back, thus discovering her love of cooking starting as a child.

Some of Megans books

Megan is a thirty-something woman based in Los Angeles who lives with her cat Henri and dogs Charlie and Bella (the dogs belong to her housemate) and runs her business from home. She has a commercial kitchen set up in her house which has a surprisingly warm, rustic, homely feel to it. The afternoon sun poured in through the curtains over the kitchen sink, flooding the room with a warm orange glow. Oh how I do miss having a kitchen window facing west!

Megan has a long history of managing restaurants within the U.S.A and Europe and her background within the food industry has allowed her to create a successful business of her own and the freedom to express herself through her food.

In this photo,  Megan is spreading the raw Zucchini Bread onto a ParaFlexx sheet, especially designed to dehydrate 'wet' mixtures. The Zucchini Bread will take up to 24 hours to dehydrate.

Kumquat Kitchen pantry

Kumquat Kitchen works to service clients on a daily basis with special needs diets, busy people who want a healthy meal option or people who simply want to lose weight. She is a personal chef to the stars and the wanna be stars here in L.A. But Megan's passion really shows when she talks about creating themed dinner parties for her clients who are celebrating a special event in their lives. She told me she meets with her clients to get an overview of who they are and then creates a 'portrait menu' of their lives. Through several courses and wine matching,  Megan creates an 'image' of the hosts  through food, for the guests to enjoy.

Even though Megan herself is an omnivore, she really does appreciate a good raw vegan meal (and can prepare an amazing raw dish or three!). Her website has a link to her own blog where her goal is to educate people about nutrition and health, food combining and natural remedies. Check it out here.

Bits and pieces on the shelf

BLT with a bite out of it!
So what does an amateur home cook and a nutritionist chief do when they get together? Why, cook and eat of course! Megan was starting to make a few things for an event on Saturday held at the Hollywood Towers, to promote her business to new clients. We made a Raw Mexican Chili, individual servings of Raw Spinach Quiche, Raw Fennel Soup, got some eggplant marinating to dehydrate into Eggplant 'Bacon' and a Raw Zucchini Bread to make BLTs. I sampled EVERYTHING and we ate  Fennel Soup and a BLT sandwich for lunch. I almost forgot to take a photo of the sandwich as Megan talked it up so much that I couldn't wait to bite into it! OMG!!! It was HEAVEN! (I hope you sung the word 'heaven', lol!)

Mexican Chili Mix 1 & 2, Raw Zucchini bread, three bowls of marinating amazingness, Raw Fennel Soup, Eggplant marinating

Below is the recipe for the yummy fennel soup we made. It is light and fresh yet creamy and filling. I'm planning on spending a day a week with Megan at Kumquat Kitchen until I leave this fine city for a return trip home to Australia at the end of March. But have no fear Angelinos, I will be back! In the meantime, I will post up some of the recipes I make with Megan over the coming months.

Raw Fennel Soup
Serves 4

What you need;
2 fennel bulbs
1 avocado
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 jalapeno, de-seeded
1 green apple
1/2 red onion
a good handfull of fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste

Simply blend everything up until its all smooth and lush and serve with a sprig of the fennel fern. YUM!

Buon Apettito!

pink; lip stick

Video Still

Ok guys, I know you have all been waiting for this! This week on pink contemporary art, I want to write about my latest work, Lip Stick. The reason for this is because I wanted to explore why this work came about and how my current life situation may have influenced such a work to be created. Lip Stick is a work I proposed for a recent exhibiting opportunity, so these photos are not of the actual performance within a gallery space, but an example of how the work is proposed to be performed (I asked two friends of mine to pose for the shots in my basement). Detail is a little lost within these shots, so please excuse the 'roughness' of them.

Lip Stick is a durational performance involving a male and female participant and a video projection. The video projector is held by the female participant who points it towards the male participant. The video playing is a close up shot of a woman applying hot pink lipstick, starting with lip liner and following on with lipstick. Slowed down at an excruciatingly slow pace, the action becomes intensified, almost painful to watch as the process of applying lipstick is spread out to an 8 minute duration. The video of the woman's lips is projected to appear as if the male participants' lips are being applied with lipstick, but in reality, they aren't his lips that are being filled in by lipstick, but hers upon his. He becomes her canvas, or as a mirror and is transformed by the process, or more specifically, he becomes a tool for her to reflect upon.

Performance re-enactment

The male participant looks calm and relaxed, while the female participant is showing signs of stress as not only does she need to make sure the projected image is in its right position, but also that she is to hold the projector in a certain angle for the duration of the video (being 8 minutes). Most people know what it's like to physically hold something in position for an extended amount of time. It is an excruciating exercise normally demanded by a personal trainer who wants you to 'hold that position' for that little time longer. We begin to show the signs of the burning sensation of our tiring muscles and we become exhausted by the efforts to maintain such a position.

This 'holding on' can been see here as a metaphor. The female participant is holding on to this projected image of herself, which is the representation of her femininity, but through the actual physicality of the situation she is her own audience. It seems counter intuitive. She does not seem to be performing this action for the male participant as he cannot possibly see what is happening. He is, in a sense, oblivious to her actions. She appears to carry the weight of the situation and even though initially we think she is making a statement for the male participant to receive, we quickly realise he is not in a position to respond, and he was never really the intended audience. So if this work is about a women struggling to maintain her reflection of her femininity, what is it that she is really struggling with?

It seems the struggle is always about ourselves and the classic saying 'you can't love anybody until you love yourself' comes into play here. I currently live in a share house with two other single women. Talk is constant about relationships with men and the common theme that tends to arise with every conversation is how one should act and react within these relationships. How to reel him in, how to answer that text, what to wear on the date, how much is too much, how much is not enough, call now or wait a day, he said, she said, she did this and then he did that, is it her or is it him. It seems women tend to question all sorts of things in regards to their relationships with men, but especially how they are seen within the relationship and what it is they are projecting in terms of their sexual identity. The struggle seems to continue in relation to self awareness, self love, and a sense of sexual identity and femininity amongst women within our culture and probably always will as it seems that only through relationships can we fully understand who we are.

love; ten things i love this week

I know V Day is over but I had such a great day with a book by Pipilotti Rist arriving after I was told it was lost in the post and great news that I am holding close to my chest at this stage, so I decided to dedicate this weeks ten things to ten heart shaped things I love.
1. This forest in Spain! It's at a place called El Pico De Las Nieves and I love it! I've always had a fantasy of running through a pine forest naked...I might have to go to Spain! LOVE!!!
2. How cute is this birthmark on these Chihuahuas? I don't particularly love these types of dogs but I do love the idea of being born with a heart shaped birthmark!!!! LOVE!!!!!

3. The Great Barrier Reef has this amazing heart shaped reef. LOVE!!!!!

4. Heart shaped watermelon?!?!?! Apparently a farmer couple in Japan have been trying to achieve this for years to express the love between them. Check this out. LOVE!!!

5. Speaking of heart shaped fruit...Check out these oranges from Korea! Talk about a loving dose of Vitamin C! LOVE!!!

6. Jayne Mansfield was completely obsessed with pink that she created a pink Mansion here in L.A complete with a heart shaped bath and heart shaped swimming pool! LOVE!!!!
7. Heart shaped cactus?!?!? Now that's saying something!!!! LOVE!

8. How great are these trees?!?!?! Talk about loving gardening!! I want to live in a house that has heaps of trees like this! LOVE!!!
9. Heart shaped ceramic plates? Yes please!!!!!  I think I would have a great day everyday knowing I was to eat off these!  One day I will have a complete set :0) LOVE!!!!
10. Heart shaped cucumber! Now this would make eating cucumber sooooo much more fun (not that it isn't fun now!) Check out this link to find out how you can grow them too! LOVE!!!!