Park Avenue Autumn, the upscale restaurant known for its seasonally transforming menus and decor, is equally known for their interesting art collaborations.
This season, Chef Kevin Lasko and artist Michael Rakowitz have teamed up to serve patrons venison and date syrup, a noted Iraqi delicacy. The twist? The dish will be served on plates once owned by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
The looted plates are part of Spoils, an art project that seeks to explore the complex past represented by the expensive artifacts. A press release from the restaurant explains the significance behind the use of dates and Hussein's plates:
As symbols of the past, they represent the rich and complicated history of a place long misunderstood by its invaders. With over 627 varieties of dates grown in the country, the date is to Iraq as a cigar is to Cuba, or Champagne to France. In fact, 99% of all date syrups available in the United States originate in Iraq, but today are usually labeled as a product of Lebanon due to United Nations sanctions.
Definitely interesting, to say the least.
Earlier this year, Chef Lasko worked with performance artist Marina Abramovic to deliver Volcano Flambé, a decadent version of baked Alaska accompanied by an audio component.
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