Break Brick, Break Bread, Break the Mold

January 28, 2012              The New York Times/The Bay Citizen

Art and food mixed at a dinner last Thursday at Engine 43, a private residence and social club in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood, in the form of bricks served on a bed of hay.

Using small hammers, a group of about 40 diners smashed the bricks until the clay fell away to reveal a pouch of steamed hen-of-the-wood mushrooms. The dish, intended “to spark erotic dreams,” emanated earthy smells that were enhanced by a handcrafted perfume that had been placed on each person’s wrist.

The course was only one of many served up by Max La Rivière-Hedrick and Julio César Morales as part of “The Alchemy of Dreams,” an evening-length food performance that immersed the audience in the world of Remedios Varo, the surrealist artist who died in 1963 and was known for her playfulness, wit and intense engagement with dreams, science and the occult. 

The piece was commissioned by the Frey Norris Contemporary and Modern gallery in San Francisco, where Varo’s work is on view through Feb. 25. The two artists have pulled off a handful of other special dinners, each with a different theme.  (more)


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