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t] oODIS the art of everydaylife." SosaidAndrea


I ntum over lunch at Montalvolast month.This
I is not the kind of statement that can be proven
empirically,lut there are two reasonsI believe her.
First, Blum has forgotten more about an than I'll ever know.
What makes her seemlike the ideal new chef for Montalvo's anist-
in-residencepro$am (technically,the "culinary fellow") is that she
is truly, madly cross.disciplinary.She leamed frescopainting from a
man'who once servedasthe assistantto Diego Rivera. Shewas living
in Italy then, also apprenticingto master cheesemakers. Sheworked
asa decorativepainter at the sametime shecreateda cooking school
in Tuscany.Shegraduatedfrom the Columbia SchoolofJoumalism
in zoo3, focusingher reporting on food issues.Wherever shegoes,
whatever shds doing, art and food are tightly internvined.
The secondreasonI was inclined to believeher is that shehad
just servedpossiblythe best matzo ball soup I've everhad in my
life (activeingredienc cardamom).The degreeto which this makes
me more receptive to soryreone'sphilosophical musings cannot be
underestimated. If L. Ron Hubbard had ever servedme a fantastic
mauo ball soup, I might be a Scientologist right now.
Blum's main iob over the courseof this fellowship is to keep
Montalvo's other artists in residencefed. If it soundslike one of the
wilder ideasfor an artistic residencyyotlive ever heard, well, rest
assuredthat, as a whole, there is nothing quite like the Montalvo
artist-in-residencypro$am. (Although that is changing now that
other groups are looking to Montalvo as a model for their own
residencyprograms.)
Eaehyear'sartists,who go through an intenseselectionprocess'
live and work in a $ro.5 million complexof live/work studioson
Montalvo'sSaratogaprcperty that openedin zoo4 as the Sallyand
Don LucasArtists Programs.This didn t changethe art center's
mission-it hasbeen hosting artistsin residencefor over 70'years-
but it did put its program on the cutting edge.The culinary residency
developednot long after that, out ofa "culinary curator" position.
The first wasJessicaTheroux, who this year had a big hit with her BreakfastSpecials
book CookingWitb ltalian Qrandmotbers.
Sally Lucas,the Montalvo trustee who was so instrumental in
lor $4.44
(Your
choice ofoneofhe iClowingibms)
establishing the progmm that they named it after he5 has had the
opportunity to attend many of the dinners sewed by the culinary 1)8ozSteaK twoeggs,& countystylepohhes
resident to the other artists, and she callsthem "the best dinners you 2)Twoeggs, tirtopancakes,
counfy
could everhave."Its not just the food, of course,but alsothe dinner stylepoffieswitt beverage
conversation that bubbles up when artists from acrossthe spectrum 8)tour-eggomelettewih choiceofanyfour
ofdisciplines are gathered at one table' ingredienb,countystylepohhes& beverage
Blum has also taken on some pet projects like restoring Montalvo-s Gfilled
Salmon,
4)Japanese breakfast
orchard-one of many ways her NorCal "fresh, local and organic" MisoSoup & BotrlofRice
bent shows itself, "It's really important to know where my food
comesfrom," shesays. Breakhst *-1 O'.T*
Served
Blum will algohost three Saturday workshops open to the public

RSVP44
(roam-rz:3opm; $55;$+5for members).On Feb.5, shell tackle the
topic of lernons (including a lemon risotto recipe); on April-2, she'll
covef "The An of Pizzd':'and on Sept. 17 homegrown tomatoes.
:Steoe Palaioli 1471N 4th StreetoSanJose r 408.452.0200
Locatedin RadissonHolel,San Jose Airport