Hop off the Bronx Council on the Arts’ Bronx Culture Trolley at The Bronx Museum and hear Authored by artist/architect Craig Shillitto and curator Elizabeth M. Grady discuss their artist book-cum-cookbook Ten Dinners in Havana. Ten Dinners in Havana is a richly textured documentation of Proyecto Paladar featuring twenty recipes cooked by paired chefs in Havana, half from American chefs and half from Cuban chefs. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of photographs of the city of Havana, its urban farms, organic agriculture, vibrant markets, and lively streets, it portrays the chefs and diners in action.
Free admission and bar (donations suggested)
Location: North Wing Lobby
Proyecto Paladar, is an artistic experiment in cultural diplomacy designed for the 11th Havana Biennial. Artist/architect Craig Shillitto bridges the cultural and political divide separating U.S. and Cuban citizens by bringing U.S.-based chefs to Havana to pair with paladar chefs to create ten unique meals over ten days. Named for the small restaurants run by self-employers, mostly family-run businesses run out of private homes using residential cooking equipment, these “paladars” were the inspiration for the project. The U.S.-based chefs engaged with their Cuban counterparts in a culinary exchange for three days. Each duo planned their menus as the Cuban chefs would, visiting markets, farms, and marinas to negotiate for ingredients. The locals showed the visiting chefs how to ferret out the best food available—sometimes from legally dubious sources.
The partially bilingual book features not only an account of the project, but cultural commentary on the art and food scenes in Cuba, with essays by noted Cuban and American authors, including former NPR senior foreign editor Loren B. Jenkins and curator and critic Christian Viveros-Fauné and the Director of the Wifredo Lam Center in Havana, Jorge Fernandez-Torres. Ten Dinners in Havana offers inspiration to anyone who believes that creating community through food can be the first step toward cultural diplomacy and political change. Part gonzo architecture and part improvised farm-to-table cuisine, there is no more thrilling way to view Cuba than through the lens of this culinary and artistic collaboration.
Look for other projects by The Paladar Group, of which Craig Shillitto is a founding principal.
Generous support for Community and Outreach programs is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Booth Ferris Foundation.