“I feel I represent the U.S. in my art but I’m not a social critic. I just paint those things in my paintings because those are the things I know best. I’m not trying to criticize the U.S. in any way, not show up any ugliness at all. I’m just a pure artist I guess.” —Andy Warhol
Inspiration abounds in the Eleven kitchens at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The Museum’s recent acquisition of Andy Warhol’s remarkable hand-painted Coco-Cola  sent Executive Chef Bill Lyle into a frenzy of Coke-inspired culinary ideas, resulting in a meticulously crafted menu that promises to draw delicious lines between Pop Art and Pop Cuisine.
Warhol’s iconic Pop Art masterwork Coca-Cola , which until recently resided for nearly two decades in a private collection, is now on display in Crystal Bridges’ Twentieth-Century Art Gallery. This tall, curvy, black-and-white painting epitomizes an important movement of art and has become an instant favorite and inspiration for the entire culinary team. Its close proximity in the gallery to the Eleven kitchen grants easy and quick access for the chefs to garner pockets of creative contemplation throughout the day, and this month’s Tasting Menu is evidence of that Pop Art inspiration.
This month’s tasting menu starts out with Osso Bucco chicken wings, brushed with an Asian-inspired Coca-Cola glaze and served over carrot and daikon radish salad with sesame seeds and chives. Next it moves on to seared pork tenderloin encrusted with the spices and flavors of the original Coca-Cola recipe, served over Gorgonzola whipped potatoes, and topped with dried figs and shiitake mushrooms in cola reduction.
And then, to finish, it’s Bourbon-Cherry Coke: Warm Coca-Cola and Ghirardelli chocolate cake topped with black-cherry bourbon gelato.
Chef Lyle’s Coca-Cola whimsy will ensure that everyone indulging will not only be completely fulfilled; but that they will also leave the restaurant and Museum with nothing short of “…a Coke and a smile.”
Live, Love, and EAT with Art!