A selection of photos during my stay on the Isle of Lewis during the month of December, 2018, working on a documentary about crofting, landownership and food on Lewis, Harris and Scalpay. Spectacular landscapes with the feeling of being at the edge of the world.
I spent the early hours of Thursday, November 8, hanging out with Mark Drabich at the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx as he purchased fish for his Metropolitan Seafood https://www.metroseafood.com store in New Jersey.
And after a fantastic premiere of my latest documentaries about sustainable food and fishing in Scotland at Edinburgh University, with the support of Nourish Scotland, Transition Edinburgh, Slow Food Youth Network Scotland, Open Seas, Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation, Keltic Seafare, Transition Black Isle and others, screenings will be happening in NY, NJ, Toronto, London, and Glasgow in April and May. Some final details are being worked out and more screenings might happen too, and this post will be updated accordingly.
Exhibition opening April 13, 5:30-8pm – Amphora Paintings at Corks on Columbus, 313 Columbus Avenue, NY, NY 10023. From April 13 – May 2, 2018. Mon-Thur 11:00am – 9:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am – 9:30pm, Sun 12:00pm – 8:00pm
The Fish in the Sea
April 13, 1-3pm, New York University, screening of The Fish in the Sea. NYU staff and students get first priority, but there may be a few extra places.
From Oct 31-Nov 13, La Nacional, 239 W 14th St, is hosting The Art and Politics of Eating with an exhibition of my artwork and two events, including the premiere of The Great British Chilli. The opening is on Oct 31, 6-8pm, entry free, please join us for a glass of wine.
Oct 30, 7-10pm, there will be a Spanish Grapes screening, wine and tapas evening La Nacional: Oct 30, 7-10pm Spanish Grapes screening, wine and tapas. Trailer – https://vimeo.com/157257779 Tickets $85 – http://bit.ly/2zaB66G Includes: six wines, four tapas, two DVD’s – “Spanish Grapes & Spanish Gold” and “Arribes : Everything Else is Noise”, guided wine tasting by La Nacional’s Wine Director Elizabeth Fernandez and Consultant Clark Moore.
Spanish Grapes looks at the history and culture of wine in Spain, covering topics such the evolution of wine making, the role ofcooperatives, and the challenges of marketing. It looks at Sherry and Cava, major regions such as Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Priorat, as told by many of the leading figures in the world of Spanish wine.
Nov 7, 7-10pm. Premiere of The Great British Chilli with chile-inspired tapas and wine. Tickets $85 – http://bit.ly/2yHmtuE
The Great British Chilli https://vimeo.com/238287682 is my latest documentary about the variety of chile peppers, their flavors as a spice, and how the food of immigrants to the UK over the last decades influenced British cuisine and eating habits. The film will be accompanied by various fantastic, chile-inspired tapas created by Chef Sue Park http://www.suechefsuepark.com/, matched with wines provided by Indie Wineries http://www.indiewineries.com/.
Red Chairs, Blue Door
Wines kindly provided by Indie Wineries and Vinos Ambiz. Special thanks to Benjamin Walmer and the Highlands Dinner Club http://highlandsdinnerclub.com
Some installation shots of my paintings at the Gallery Different, London. The exhibtion was arranged to coincide with the premiere of my documentary on Pied a Terre, and Life on the Douro was also screened, along with a tasting of Quevedo Port Wine and Rococo Chocolates.
Three Large Amphora Paintings at Gallery Different, London
It was a significant step forward for The Art and Politics of Eating. Next stop will be in New York in November, with an exhibition at La Nacional, but in the meantime, other projects are being developed, including finishing The Great British Chilli and returning to Cromarty to finish a documentary on fishing and farming in Scotland – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMpAt5rKn3U
Nine Small Paintings, Gallery Different, London
Four Waitress Paintings at Gallery Different, London
With the British elections now over, and with Brexit negotiations about to start, the first screening of Life on the Douro in five years on June 12 is a timely lesson in the complexities of international trade and treaties.
As a consequence of its wars with France, Britain began to source some of its wines from the Douro region in Portugal. Brandy was added to preserve it on the long sea voyage, and Port wine began to develop into the drink we know and love today.
Initially, the demand caused a decline in the quality of wine produced. Then, an earthquake devastated Lisbon in 1755, and in order to raise money to rebuild it, the Portuguese decreed that Douro wine could only be exported through Vila Nova de Gaia, opposite Oporto, so that the quality and production could be regulated and taxed. That meant, however, that only a handful of enterprises that were able to afford warehouses and large scale operations were able to produce Port, and it stayed that way for two centuries.
When Portugal joined the EU in 1986, the latter decreed that it amounted to a monopoly and that smaller wineries in the Douro Valley could also produce and export their Port, allowing for a rejuvenation of the region.
Just as international trade has maintained Douro wine production, Rococo Chocolates sources its cocoa from the Grenada Chocolate Company and the The Grenada Organic Cocoa Farmers’ Cooperative, with the growers and chocolate makers being equally and well rewarded. In turn, young people are being attracted back onto the land and processing the organic cocoa on the island maximises the value that can be put directly back into the Grenadian economy and is used to develop the infrastructure.
Sustainability is a vastly complex issue, and every purchase is a vote for one type of production or another. Besides getting Port and Chocolate worth more than the ticket price, part of the ticket goes to those smaller producers in Portugal and Grenada, and thus their respective rural communities and way of life.
Most of the ticket price goes to support the chocolate growers and the smaller Quevedo Winery. My intention, too, is to produce a video about Rococo Chocolates that would be screened at future events, bringing into profile the issues, once again, of how fair trade can have a positive effect on people’s lives. Chantal Coady https://www.rococochocolates.com/pages/all-about-chantal who founded Rococo Chocolates, will be on hand to explain the chocolates and the work that they are doing.
A good turn out on June 12 would do a lot to move things forward. Life on the Douro took me about a year to complete over a period of three years, with the three trailers above giving a glimpse into how it developed and expanded. It never got the audience it should have had but it’s never too late, and hopefully this mix of social history, Port and chocolate will bring it better fortunes in the near future.
Here are the Rococo Chocolates tasting notes, not to be missed, each with a matching Quevedo Port:
Madagascar 64% Cocoa Single Origin Dark Chocolate Bar – This chocolate has the unmistakable hallmarks of Madagascan criollo cocoa, tons of red fruit, citrus, great balance and long finish. The Pinot Noir of the chocolate world. One of the all time favourites!
Cardamom Organic White Chocolate Artisan Bar – Memories from my childhood, the wonderfully aromatic, sweetly spiced cardamom is slowly released from the grasp of the cocoa: a beautifully balanced Rococo Classic – keeps winning awards.
Spice Island Organic Dark Chocolate Artisan Bar – This is a tribute to the Grenada Chocolate Company and the island’s famous spices. We received the 2014 Ruby Award ‘For outstanding contribution to Business Development to the benefit of Grenada’.
Roald Dahl: Frobscottle & Snozzcumber White Chocolate Bar – Fresh green and pink phizzwhizzing colours and flavours in this cocktail of raspberry, strawberry, cucumber and mint.
Sea Salt Organic Milk Chocolate Artisan Bar – Inspired walking on a Cornish beach, grains of sea salt caught on my lips mingled with clotted cream ice cream! The salt crystals highlight the caramel notes in the milk chocolate.
Pied a Terre – Trailer 1 – Andy McFadden, Head Chef
I am currently the artist-in-resident at the Michelin-starred Pied à Terre restaurant with some of my food paintings installed there and have finished a documentary on the restaurant. Its official premiere will be held at Gallery Different on June 6 during a special one week exhibition of my paintings. Blanche Vaughan, food editor of House and Gardens https://blanchevaughan.wordpress.com/about/, will present the film and moderate the discussion about quality food producers and the role of quality restaurants in sustaining those producers and the rural environment. Owner David Moore, Yun Hider of The Mountain Food Company, Alasdair Hughson of Keltic Seafare, and Richard Vaughan of Huntsham Court Farm, all featured in the documentary, have confirmed that they will be attending the event.
The documentary looks at the restaurant’s relationship with a few of its forty suppliers and how that contributes to a sustainable food system. We often disassociate sustainability with high-end restaurants but their need for top quality produce means that they help maintain many small rural businesses that in turn maintains rural life and communities.
Pied à Terre – Trailer 2, David Moore
Pied à Terre – Trailer 3, with Yun Hider foraging in Wales
Pied à Terre – trailer 4, with Richard Vaughn of Huntsham Court Farm
The premiere at La Nacional was a big success, introduced by food writer Andrew Smith with chile and chocolate expert Maricel Presilla, author of Peppers of the Americas, doing a fantastic overview of the history of how peppers migrated into the cuisines of the world.
In the late 90’s, I was somewhat obsessed with chillies, cooking with them, reading about them, and making paintings about them, the hundreds of varieties with their different shapes and colours. Slightly less obsessed but still love them, I still make new chile paintings and hope to do an entire exhibition of them at one point.
Yellow Scotch Bonnet Chile Pepper
Ghost Chile Pepper
Trinidad Scorpion Chile Pepper
Two Poblando Chilies
For The Love Of Three Chilies
Two Green Chiles
Three Green Chiles 2
Red and Green Chiles 2
Red and Green Chiles 1
Chile and Two Olives
Chile and Olive
This is the first trailer for my new documentary “The Great British Chilli” that will talk about the influences chillies and spicy foods have had on food in the UK, and how it all reflects changes in British cuisine and eating habits over the last couple of decades.
I’m back in Spain after a very successful trip screening my films Philadelphia, New York, and Toronto. Arribes was shown at Bryn Mawr and Barnard, and Spanish Grapes at NYU. There were admin problems at the latter that prevented organising a wine tasting, but there was an hour-long discussion afterward, and the event will be repeated, complete with wine, in October.
There were two Spanish Grape screening and wine dinner events at New York Vintners and at the Globe Bistro (where Barry Brown, president of the Spanish Wine Society of Canada presented the wines) in Toronto, proving to be a dynamic, entertaining and educational format that will be used in the future, including in London on June 11 at the London Cooking Project where I’ll be having a pop-up exhibition in June. More information soon.
“The Art and Politics of Eating” en América del Norte
Las próximas acciones promocionales con proyecciones y cenas tendrán lugar en Philadelphia, Nueva York y Toronto en abril, en Valencia en mayo y en Londres en junio. Toda la información y novedades en http://theartandpoliticsofeating.com/april/
13 abril – Proyección del documental “Arribes” en Bryn Mawr College con el seminario Food and Identity in SpainCarpenter Library, B21, 17h. bit.ly/1nQhYET
21 abril – Presentación de mi documental “Arribes” en el Barnard College. Lehman Auditorium, 202 Altschul Hall, Barnard College, Broadway, West 117th Street. 18h 30. Entrada libre. Coloquio sobre agricultura, sostenibilidad y gastronomía.
25 abril – Toronto. Presentación de mi documental “Raíces Valencianas” durante la Conferencia sobre la industria alimentaria en Terroir Symposium.
27 abril – Toronto. El reconocido restaurante Globe Bistro ha preparado una cena maridaje http://bit.ly/1QZAG8S. Los vinos serán presentados por el fundador y director del Spanish Wine Society of Canada, Barry Brown. bit.ly/1R0gYIL
Además en mayo en Valencia, proyección de “Spanish Grapes” con cata de vinos. Más detalles pronto.
A lo largo de 2 semanas en junio en Londres, en colaboración con The London Cooking Project http://www.londoncookingproject.com y el chef Oliver Rowe tendrá lugar una exposición de mis pinturas y proyecciones de mis documentales “Spanish Grapes”, “Spanish Gold”, “Vivanco” y “Arribes”.