“Okay, just one more bite…wait, I need just a little more …alright, seriously, this is the last bite…” were the words uttered by associate contemporary curator Allison Glenn and myself as we criss-crossed, maneuvered dueling forks over a bowl of her mother’s famous mac and cheese. One might surmise this as a quick lunch in a museum breakroom or conference room, but no, this was actually a conversation conducted on stage amidst a room full of guests in the Great Hall at an event called DISH…
DISH is a culinary program designed at Crystal Bridges that celebrates influential women in the community and takes a look at their lives through the lens of food. Specialty drinks and light fare set the tone for a lively evening of conversation, with creative, trendsetting women dishing on arts and culture.
The entertaining, inspirational story of June’s DISH began with Glenn’s upbringing in Detroit, Michigan amidst the delicate struggles and celebrations of being part of an interracial family. Glenn then reminisced about her childhood, living for a time in upstate New York while her father completed his graduate studies, conjuring up a memory of the large strawberry field behind student housing where she and her sister would nosh on fresh berries until they were full. But perhaps the highlight of her young culinary life, as it was on this night at DISH, was her mother’s beloved Mac and Cheese recipe made with canned tomato soup and diced onions.
On center stage, Allison shined bright with confidence and charisma, delighting the DISH audience with funny, insightful anecdotes about her childhood, family, and culinary likes and dislikes, even recalling the teenage dare she held true to when she became a vegetarian. “My friend said I couldn’t do it…so I proved I could, and have been the same vegetarian ever since.”
DISH was provocative, entertaining for myriad reasons, but guests were especially intrigued by Glenn’s passion for the Color Field exhibition currently on display at Crystal Bridges. Colorful, whimsical large-scale sculptural works set against the backdrop of the museum’s vibrant North Forest; it seems to echo the style of Glenn while taking a giant leap forward in the contemporary aptitude of Crystal Bridges.
Crystal Bridges will be hosting the next DISH on Thursday, August 22. This event will be recognizing Paula Jo Chitty Henry, owner of Crepes Paulette. Enjoy drinks and light fare as you get an insightful glimpse into Henry’s work as business owner, mother, and master of turning a busy food truck into a successful brick and mortar restaurant. Get your tickets here!
This post was written by Edible Culture’s Case Dighero.