Monica Sharon lead Chromatic hostess changing shifts to correspond with the course. All photos by Lewis H. Perkins
If you like me are a novelty seeker who yearns to be where the action is in a safe space, then Chromatic Dinner is for you. Chromatic is a phtyo-cuisine dinner party with a theatrical neo-futurist overlay. Imagine 5 courses of haute vegan - inventive without being fussy - each paired with a singular drink accompaniment. The organizing principle guiding the menu was inspired by a different color and scent corresponding to one of the Chinese elements: Tree, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water by artist Martin Butler and chef Alexander Gershberg.
Gracing us with their presence in Los Angeles, California, for the second iteration of the Chromatic Dinner party is Artist Martin Butler, above, hailing from Berlin, Germany and Alexander Gershberg from Amsterdam, Holland, below, hard at work preparing the first 'green' course.
Calling all life long learners Chromatic is immersive and experiential. Diners with sci-fi Lone Ranger bandannas of color across their eyes and paper beaks over their noses appeared fanciful. As scent intrinsically affects taste, pure scents added to those nose cones imparted an aromatherapy component. That feeling of being intrigued and a wee bit befuddled is not uncommon when entering a seriously fun learning experience as part of the 8th annual LA Design Festival.
Unforgettable: Rapini, cucumber, celery, artichoke in a lime artichoke puree served with the vodka infused green cocktail underneath with music of the rain forest in the background.
Another advantage of eating out under the aegis of great chefs is to cull their secrets and translate them into home cooking. Macha dusted stone fruit provides a new taste profile as does Dijon mustard dressed steamed daikon radish or deep red beets with a coffee dressing. Coffee beans in a salt shaker to clear the palate between courses was good stuff. The task of glamorizing the shift to a vegetarian context while taking on zero tolerance for food waste is no small feat.
Accepting produce for being 'imperfect' is a round about way of advocating for the end of body shaming attitudes and behaviors too.
All the produce used was provided by Imperfect Produce except for a delicious new No-Meat Burgers by Impossible. This pop up restaurant that originally caught my attention was held in an ambiance rich, new mixed use apartment complex called Eastown along Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
A bit of background. According to the event's organizers, in ancient Roman times the art of dining incorporated all the known senses to create a total gastronomic experience. The futurist movement at the beginning of the 20th century also experimented with sensational gastronomy. 100 years later, Mediamatic takes on these concepts and organizes a number of events aimed to re-think the way in which the world of food, art, and science come together.
We spotted LA's own renown freelance, 'Botanical Chef,' Nina Curtis, middle, enlisted to help out.
The map is never the territory. Even though I researched the event before we signed up we could not have been prepared for the states of synesthesia that ensued -- a perceptual condition in which the stimulation of one sense triggers an automatic, involuntary experience in another sense.
Sensation enhancers function as ice breakers between strangers for socializing in between courses.
How will you be affected by sour green sounds, followed by hot red tastes and earthy sweet feelings, they ask? Do you think metal tastes white and salt relates to a black watery winter? You will not know until you have had the experience.
Tara Fass, LMFT #35078, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, California. She treats adults and couples dealing with a broad range of issues from navigating the legacy of divorce in one's life, to the quarter life crisis and conscious aging. Together we attempt to make meaning [...]