LACMA Cur-ATE series: food + art collide

The LACMA is known for giving art lovers (like me!) and foodies (me too!) a chance to experience some really special events at the museum. One such event is called Cur-ATE which happens every other month and lets guests experience the museum after hours with their very own tour guide, followed up with a private dinner.


Art and food historian, Maite Gomez-Rejón, gives a walking tour and history of art as it was influenced by food through the ages. After the hour long tour, the second part of the evening takes guests to the Patina Group restaurant, Ray’s and Stark Bar to meet with executive chef Kris Morningstar who explains the inspiration behind a specially curated 4-course dinner.

Click to watch:

Our tour started with objects dating back to 1300 BC in ancient Egypt where the first record of beer surfaced. These ornate and decorative vessels held the “beer” which was believed to contain magical ingredients linking its drinker to the Gods. In other words, the more drunk you got, the more spiritual and closer to God you became!



Our tour then shifted toward wine around 400 BC as it started to become the elite drink of the times. Men would throw “ancient frat parties,” getting drunk and reading poems to each other as their servants would strain the wine, and feed it to them as they lay down. Of course, women were never invited to these parties… (So, not cool.)


Ancient beer can?


Coffee and tea make an appearance at the end of the 16th century and eventually wake everyone up from their drunken stupor. I wonder what an ancient hangover feels like?


This dude…


The philosopher and writer, Voltaire… is the type of guy who would have hung out at the ancient coffee houses – consider him the ultimate hipster.

Tea, which was introduced from China, was considered a luxury. England was way huge into coffee before they got into tea… but then they started to get fancy with it…


People would rent pineapples to put on their dinner tables as it was considered a luxury item – notice the crown on the top … it’s the “king of the fruit!”


We ended our tour in Brazil with the invention of rum. Yum!

On a side note, did you know that the first whiskey distillery came from George Washington after he left the White House? That’s how he made a living after his presidency!

After our lesson in food history, we were off to eat 4 amazing dishes at Ray’s and Stark Bar inspired by the artworks we discussed; coffee, tea, wine and rum… here we come!


Coffee: Beets, coffee infused cream, warren pears, roasted carrots, granola, mustard greens…


White wine: Black cod, chanterelles, gnocchi, beurre blanc, chives…


Black Tea: Liberty Duck, tea soaked prunes, parsnip puree, farro, pepper cress


Dark Rum: Vanilla batter cake, apples, Meyer’s rum-vanilla bean sauce

The 2014 cur-ATE season will begin on January 13th and the theme for that evening will be Parisian Café Culture.

Visit ArtBites or  for info and tickets!

[Thank you Patina Group for hosting, and to Wagstaff and Tastemade for facilitating!]


Leave a Reply

+ 2 = eight