The restaurant Gordon Ramsay at The London played art gallery last night for an intimate celebration of fine art and haute cuisine. Four works by Colombian artist Fernando Botero were on display in the restaurant's front room, on loan for the evening from The Tasende Gallery in West Hollywood. The works were accompanied by four courses of food and wine by Chef Anthony Keene and Sommelier Jeremy Roberts for The Avenues first Taste Art event of October.
To prepare for the event, gallery owner Betina Tasende showed Chef Anthony Keene a selection of images of Botero's art, currently on display right now at her gallery. Keene chose the works that spoke to him the most, and he based the evening's dishes on one piece each. At the dinner, when asked about the connection between fine art and fine dining, Chef Keene humbly declined to compare his food to Botero's art. "The words 'fine dining' seem a little pretentious. I just like to think of our food as good food. If someone else wants to determine that it's 'fine dining,' so be it."
LA Times Magazine Design & Culture editor Mayer Rus co-hosted the event. While he was delighted at the experience, he admits that he wasn't looking forward to the evening at first: "I'm not a foodie, and I thought, 'this is going to be a long, tough evening.' But it was actually a delight. Good grub, good booze, something pretty to look at. It doesn't have to be such a complicated, pretentious idea if you execute it with a light touch."
The Avenues, a business improvement association representing 300 businesses on Beverly, Robertson, and Melrose in West Hollywood, planned the October Taste Art series to promote local art galleries and restaurants in the area. A portion of the proceeds goes toward the West Hollywood Library.