Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. with free, timed tickets required.

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Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. with free, timed tickets required.

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Learn More >
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CrEATe Food Blog: Sensory Iconoclasts–Pickle me Tink

This year’s Sensory Iconoclast project, which pairs artists and chefs in an annual food and art event hosted by the Arts Center of the Ozarks, involved forcing chefs and artists out of their comfort zones to reverse roles, so cooks suddenly found themselves in studios, while painters and sculptors were donning aprons and, quite literally, playing with fire in kitchens.  My SI partner, Eve Smith, is a figurative painter so we naturally started with the things that we had in common, ultimately landing on the human form as a jumping-off point for our exercise in juxtaposition.  I began making thoracic sketches while she set to work on a carefully devised mise en place to create a BBQ rib sauce. Surprisingly, while occupying similar spaces we were painting and cooking under the supervision of one another—exhilarating.


Her stylized sauce was composed of a base of ketchup and brown sugar that quickly took on a life of its own with cast-iron-roasted blackberries, gooseberries, and grilled jalapeño peppers.  Dark auburn in color, silky and coarse in texture, I couldn’t help but dip my brush in the sauce as I finished my painting, blurring the lines between our two mediums.



The sauce has now made it into several recipes at both home and Crystal Bridges, including as a base for the new Ozark BBQ Chicken Salad at the High South on a Roll food truck in the museum’s north forest.  (And feel free to drop by Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale to view my acrylic BBQ sauce painting titled Thoracic Park.)  Indeed, I was inspired to make a quick pickle (recipe below) that pairs wonderfully with the tangy, spiciness of Eve’s BBQ sauce.  Enjoy.


Quick Pickles

Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cups



2 Farmers’ Market cucumbers
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 cups water
2 cups white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 bay leaf
6 whole garlic gloves
6 whole black peppercorns
6 whole allspice pods
6 whole pink peppercorns
2 large sprigs of fresh dill



  1. Slice the cucumbers – place in medium sized jar along with garlic, peppercorns, dill, and allspice.
  2. Combine water, vinegar, sugar, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover the cucumbers with brine – Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.


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