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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FIRE: Crystal Bridges’ Newest (Outdoor!) Culinary Event

Crystal Bridges Culinary

Spring has officially sprung, and the natural environment of the High South is teeming with communal activity.

Crystal Bridges is no exception.

The North Forest has become an exciting intersection of art, nature, music, and now food. Chef William McCormick of Eleven has devised a new food experience that is sure to become of the most popular in a long list of similar events harkening back to Wednesday Over Water (WOW) and the popular CR{EAT}E series.

F.I.R.E. is an acronym for food inspires real emotion and sets off the inaugural outdoor celebration that is part of the brand new High South Moments public program.

Picture of the North Forest during Forest Concert Series

High South Moments: FIRE will take place in the North Forest here, near the Coca-Cola Stage.

The name is no accident since guests will be subjected to a singular experience that eloquently blurs the lines between nature, culinary, and yes, you guessed it: FIRE!

McCormick painstakingly designed a dynamic, specific series of open flame grills made from steel and cast iron, fabricated by the mechanical department at Crystal Bridges that will be staged to not only feed and nourish spectators but also entertain them.

F.I.R.E. will be comprised of four cooking performance pieces simultaneously showcasing a myriad of techniques for preparing beef, pork, chicken, and vegetables over an open flame. Guests will be encouraged to interact with chefs as they display their wares; grilling, roasting, braising, and charring with flames that are fueled by seasoned red oak and black walnut trees harvested across the dense forest of Crystal Bridges.

As guests make their way into the North Forest from the Additional Parking lot, they will receive a map and a drink. A snack stop will be set up at Tasset’s Deer sculpture on their way to the North Forest where the grills and tables will be set up near the Coca-Cola Stage.

There’s something for everyone with a High South menu consisting of but not limited to:

  • Grilled carrots, radishes, turnips, and spring vegetables from the farmer’s market
  • Dutch oven-roasted potatoes and greens
  • Central American-inspired slow-cooked Pork Pebil wrapped in banana leaves
  • A plethora of whole smoked chicken and locally raised beef
  • And even a special dessert designed in a new, innovative way using cast iron

The food at FIRE will be inspired by Eleven’s High South cuisine.

Guests will also be treated to the adult beverage offerings accustomed to similar High South Moments events.

McCormick’s culinary style of “Champagne and Cornbread,” an elevated High South cuisine, is ideal for the North Forest, and F.I.R.E. promises to showcase his talents in a way that museum guests have never experienced before…anywhere.

The chef excitedly contends:

“…I love the concept of rustic experiences in a manicured setting…and I’m elated to have the opportunity to create something new and innovative through techniques that were born from this part of American food culture…” 

William McCormick, Head Chef of Eleven

William McCormick, Head Chef of Eleven

Spring is special in the Ozarks, a season that beckons for its diverse community to explore its many natural virtues, and Crystal Bridges’ newest culinary program FIRE promises to be a new rite that beautifully captures the intersection of art, nature, culinary, and community.

Be on the lookout for our next FIRE event in Fall 2019!


This post was written by Case Dighero.

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