That is not an easy question to answer. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit arrived in San Francisco’s deYoung to an instantly sold out cocktail reception and dinner, including a chance to meet the Designer himself on Opening Night.
McCalls almost always creates their menus (including the soups) in the Legion of Honor and The deYoung café’s around their world renown and ever changing exhibits. This is nothing new. Food and art go do go hand in hand after all…
Italian art and Italian food? Yes! French Art and French Food? Of Course! Dutch? Well, you get the idea…
The Musee D’orsay exhibit came complete with a caramelized fennel bisque that included Roquefort cheese.
Pablo Picasso’s works came with a very complimentary Spanish Gazpacho served up cold, in a stem-less wine glass.
Pissarro’s People came with a swanky grilled cheese sandwich and simple creamy tomato soup. Highlighting the apple orchards in many of the paintings, there was a beautiful Apple Tart topped with sweet crumbles for dessert.
Masters of Venice? There was a tasteful Italian Fish Stew. What else?
The Dutch Masters menu touted Lemon Rice Soup and a wonderful Blueberry Clafouti for an encore. Both of which reflected the still life paintings comprised of blue and white porcelain dishes, as well as the common threads of cheeses, lemons, and blueberries.
But then, there is Jean Paul Gaultier’s genius eye to wrap your brain (and stomach) around. If you were a chef, what would you do? Is there such a thing as punk rock food? What would Madonna eat before donning one of Jean Paul Gaultier’s famous corsets? My guess is that she couldn’t eat much and still be able to fit into it.
The expressions and reactions from the patrons perusing this exhibit are almost as priceless as the mind’s eye expressed in clothing from one of fashion’s true geniuses. This isn’t your grandmother’s museum experience. That’s for sure!
The opinions and comments run the gamut, and one can only imagine the conversations taking place over lunch in the museum café after studying the (sometimes) shocking details of his clothing.
With all that said about art and food, here is the verdict: the potato and leek soup with chive garnish was humble and unassuming. Pureed, simple, filling… in truth, with a roll on the side and presented in a modern white mug, although good, it was downright utilitarian as far as refueling in museums goes.
Then again… allowing the center attraction to shine, with no distractions whatsoever from the menu aside from the staples (wine, sandwiches, salads, cheeses and soup) seemed to work perfectly.
In this rare case, the chefs seemed to know when to let the exhibit speak for itself. No pun intended (although the mannequins are hauntingly, digitally animated). Don’t miss it!
Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young
Golden Gate Park in San Francisco
March 24, 2012 – August 19, 2012