BELLEVUE BRUNCHES by Sharmistha Ray
“An Integrated Sensory Experience”
Saturday, 17th January, 2015
For the third cultural salon for BELLEVUE BRUNCHES in Mumbai, artist and curator Sharmistha Ray partnered with F&B companies specialized in creating unique experiences to design an evening of curated and intertwined passions: fine art, haute cuisine and handcrafted spirits in a private establishment in Mumbai.
The location of the dinner was kept secret, known only to those diners who booked a seat in advance with an answer to the key question on the dinner invite: “Who is your favourite painter – and why?” The purpose of posing the question was to encourage participatory modes of engagement around contemporary art, which is the cornerstone of BELLEVUE BRUNCHES. For this edition, the mode of engagement proposed was through the senses of taste, sound, touch and sight.
The unique location in a private establishment was selected for its stunning view overlooking the fishing village, the sea-link and the sea: the old and the new features of Mumbai juxtaposed against each other with the breath-taking backdrop of the sea which defines the special urban landscape of the city.
The seafood menu consisted of five courses and was created by a talented new chef Nitin Chaube, who created the menu in response to Ray’s abstract paintings. The second and third courses were creatively designed to reflect the spirit of Ray’s large, colourful paintings. Each delectable course was reminiscent of Mumbai, and carefully paired with handcrafted spirits by a concierge service that provides a curated selection of handpicked spirits from around the world.
The second course was a mackerel tartare with sea snow and edible flowers paired with dry gin, using the concept of Ray’s symbolic flower paintings. The third course was a delicate Asian sea bass on a bed of lentils paired with tequila and accompanied by a brilliant painterly flourish of squid ink and orange vinaigrette on the plate, inspired by the painterly gestures Ray uses on her canvases. Chaube earned his stripes at two Michelin star restaurants in England before returning to city to work in a restaurant in South Mumbai.
Diners were treated to a stunning view of Mumbai from a high-rise establishment in an unexpected location, and also to a gallery of Ray’s paintings. The visual feast of Ray’s large colourful abstractions, similarly inspired by Mumbai, provided a perfect, arty environment that made guests feel as if they were in a nouveau art gallery by the sea.
Says Ray: “I wanted to create a unique art experience that opens up to new audiences that may not go to art galleries, but have a high level of engagement and involvement in F&B. I believe everyone has the capacity to appreciate art, but the conversation has to begin somewhere.”
BELLEVUE BRUNCHES is an innovative fine art concept by Sharmistha Ray that combines the tradition of the 17th century Parisian salon with a contemporary artist’s open studio. The mobile concept aims to augment participatory modes of engagement with contemporary art in surprising new ways.