Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. Reserve your free, timed tickets.

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Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. Reserve your free, timed tickets.

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Learn More >
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FIRE is Back in the Forest on March 22

This event has been canceled due to Crystal Bridges’ response to COVID-19. Follow our updates.


It’s time to start a FIRE in the forest again! On Sunday, March 22, the culinary team at Crystal Bridges returns to the forest – this time, along with some special guests – for FIRE (Food Inspires Real Emotion), a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience in Crystal Bridges’ North Forest enjoying food and art, both created over an open flame.

Here’s what you can expect at our FIRE in the Spring Forest event on Sunday, March 22:


Guest Artist Chris Weaver

Chris Weaver with his works GRILL (left) and Hibachi (right).

Chris Weaver loves to play with fire.  The Prairie Grove sculptor / found-object artist finds himself and his stylized work motivated like a moth to, well, a flame. During the event, Weaver will showcase a micro-exhibition of his work centered around open-flame cooking. “In describing my sculpture, it is simply a search for form and meaning, with a little humor thrown in…”  

Weaver’s Prairie Grove studio is a thing of beauty, surrounded by several hundred acres of sublime Ozark landscape.  The studio barn is chock full of both large and small-scale found objects, amid iron and aluminum molds cast in the shape of deer, wild boar, and human heads that are not only intriguing to see, but quite functional as a tool for cooking over fire.

FIRE guests will experience firsthand several of Weaver’s sculptures, including Excelsior Bar and Grill, 2017 made of wood planks manipulated into a bar, then several individual pieces that include whiskey jugs and hibachi grills made from life-sized aluminum casts in the shape of human heads. 


Guest Chef Matt Cooper (Preacher’s Son)

Matt Cooper, chef at Preacher’s Son, will be a guest chef at FIRE on March 22.


Chef Matt Cooper of Bentonville’s Preacher’s Son is the second special guest who will be joining Eleven Head Chef William McCormick for the cooking side of FIRE; Cooper brings an altruistic, mindful approach to cuisine, known for not only devising delicious fare, but also entirely gluten-free menus. Both Cooper and McCormick are stylized in their techniques, so this collaboration promises to be particularly interesting as their preparation styles meet simultaneously over unadulterated open flame cooking in the North Forest. 

One of the great virtues of this singular event is that guests are allowed to interact up close and personal with the chefs and their wares as they maneuver the large grills to prepare dinner right before their eyes. There’s a mystique behind chef techniques that are often hidden behind the closed doors of a kitchen, but this intimate view of Cooper and McCormick’s work will give guests a special “behind the scenes” glimpse into the inner workings of their special talents.  


Cooper’s contribution, along with his sous chef Jeffrey Beech, will include:

  • Quail egg skewers (appetizer)
  • Whole-roasted local carrots with ricotta and pistachio
  • Heirloom tricolored fingerling potatoes
  • Whole Romanesco broccoli with chimi
  • Whole lion’s mane mushrooms
  • Sides of Redfish (filet) with lime butter and tarragon with grilled radish and beets
  • Lamb Sausage merguez with charred pineapple and red cabbage slaw


Seating is limited, so please follow the link below to reserve your spot at the March 22 FIRE event! Don’t miss this opportunity where art, cuisine, and nature coalesce to create something singular, sublime…and utterly delicious.  



This post was written by Case Dighero, Edible Culture.

Culinary programming is supported at Crystal Bridges by  Flintco, LLC., Gelmart International, Cindy Walters and Betty Flynt, Wade and Kelly Jones, and Onyx Coffee Lab.

This event has been canceled due to Crystal Bridges’ response to COVID-19. Follow our updates.


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