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Local Chocolate Festival Also Patronizing the Arts

Local Chocolate Festival Also Patronizing the Arts

Las Vegas’s Chocolate Festival Will Be Giving a Portion of Its Tickets Sales This Year to The Local Ballet Theater

Chocolate lovers can feast on sweets, pastries, cakes, and cocktails while watching culinary demonstrations by the world's best dessert chefs.

As if you really needed another reason to eat chocolate — tickets for this year’s Las Vegas Chocolate Festival and Pastry Show are now on sale and organizers say they’ll be giving part of the ticket sales to support the Nevada Dance Company, a non-profit organization which is also the largest professional ballet company and dance academy in the state.

The festival will kick off on April 5th at the Shops at Crystal in the heart of sin city, and promises an array of the world’s top chocolatiers and pastry chefs including Todd English (winner of the James Beard Foundation Award), world pastry champions Jean-Philippe Maury and Claude Escamilla, world chocolatier champion Jean-Marie Auboine, pastry chef champion Stephane Treand, and Chocolate Doctor Ed Engoron.

Nicknamed The Sin City Chocolate Festival the event will feature delectable dishes and cocktails from Las Vegas’s most celebrated chefs who will aim to deliver sweet and savory culinary treats that will ‘infuse the senses’ with chocolate concoctions, pastries, cakes, and other sweets paired with champagne, wine, and spirits.

Regular all-inclusive tickets for the Sin City Chocolate Festival start at $45, VIP tickets at $99, and can be purchased on its website.

Serusha Govender is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @SerushaGovender


Tomato Festivals in 2021: Where, When and More to Find a Tomato Festival Near You!

Looking for a Tomato festival in May 2021? There is no other listing as complete and current as this list, just updated! Tomato festivals are held through the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia and much of the world. All the Tomato festivals we can find are listed on this page! If you love apples, look for a festival near you below! And I'm looking for more Tomato festivals! Please write me, if you know of any to add! I update the dates as soon as the festivals publish their information, but you can always click on the links (usually the name of the festival) to see the current information on the festival's own website.

Especially this year, due to Coronavirus, be sure to click on the links (the blue, underlined name of the each festival) to confirm this year's dates on the website for each festival. If they don't have a website, call the phone number provided, but ALWAYS CONFIRM THIS YEAR'S DATES AND TIMES BY EITHER VIEWING THEIR WEBSITE OR CALLING.

Click here for the form to add a festival and have detailed information or click here if you have general information and are not connected with the event!


Facebook

Greetings from the K-12 Ballard Fine Arts Department!

We represent the band, choir, art, and speech/drama programs.

On Thursday, May 20th, our programs will be hosting the first ever Ballard Fine Arts Festival! This event will be a fundraiser for our Fine Arts Boosters and our Fine Arts Programs. The Festival will be an evening FULL of performances from Ballard vocalists, instrumentalists, speech performers, and artists. The cost for admission is $5/person or $10/family.

In between performances, we will auction off desserts, and that's where we hope YOU can help us out! If you are interested and willing to help our fine arts programs by donating a full dessert for auction, please complete this form:
https://forms.gle/YapGKJucWF9xKx6V6
It could be a pie, a cake, a dozen brownies, a dozen cookies, or ANYTHING you're excited to bake!

All money made from the dessert auction will go back into the Ballard Fine Arts Programs!

We would also love to see you at the show! :-)


What Festivals Are Happening This Weekend?

Not sure of upcoming events in Northern Virginia? Use our fairs and festivals finder below to find out about all the upcoming carnivals, festivals, and fairs in Virginia. If you are looking to participate in these events but are traveling from DC or more southern locations, check out our hotels page to make overnight arrangements. Need more to do besides just the fairs? Also, check out our things-to-do page for even more adventure ideas!

When visiting Fairfax County fairs & festivals, we want to make sure you come with everything you may need to have the best experience. When you&rsquore visiting your next festival near you, these are a few items we recommend bringing:

Cash - This may differ from event to event, but not every event takes every type of payments. Coming with cash will insure that you will have the ability to purchase whatever you and your family needs.

Hand Sanitizer - Keep everyone safe at local fairs, festivals & carnivals with a portable thing of hand sanitizer

Comfortable Clothing - Most outdoor events like these can be a long day. Make sure you wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing. This includes comfortable walking shoes as you may be on your feet for a majority of the time

Strollers - Your child may want to walk, but this stroller comes in handy when the little one&rsquos battery dies and you don&rsquot have to carry them the rest of the day. They also provide more storage for other needed items.

Hydration - These events will always provide food and beverages, but it is always a good idea to bring extra bottles of water just in case. Some events have different rules about outside food & beverages, but usually, unopened liquids are permitted within the events.

This festival & fair finder helps provide you with all of the current local events for fun family things to do. These pages also provide you with all the current information available for those events. Discover how these events are keeping everyone safe & if they are still on track to be open or not. There is also contact information provided for you to be able to contact the group hosting the event for more specific information.

Each of the current fairs & festivals has its own security measures to make sure to keep all of its attendees safe. These specific safety measures are found within the events page itself and can help you understand what to expect when you arrive. Most of these events are outdoor and allow for optimal social distancing. If you are wanting for a fun, family-friendly Northern Virginia experience, check out our Virtual Events page. We have plenty of events that are being live-streamed for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.


Recipes

This Vanilla, Hazelnut, White Chocolate and Maple Entremet recipe is one of the most delicious examples of the Canadian culinary soul, thank you chef Yann Le .

Preparing a home-cooked meal is a great way to show someone you care. You can tell when a dish has been prepared with love, and time and effort has gone into .

Le Cordon Bleu Chefs wish you all a very happy Valentine’s day and for the occasion propose an original entremets recipe. Try it with your lover, between .

Summer has arrived and what could be more fitting than a dessert bursting with lemon cream and red berries, nestled inside of a light choux pastry. The .

When there is an abundance of fresh cherries we know summer is in full swing. Gentle poaching in merlot and arranging the fruit on top of an almond cream base .

With fresh ingredients this seasonal recipe is as simple to make as it is delicious.

If you are a fan of cinnamon but also like a mixture of other spices as well, these cinnamon macarons with chai latte ganache filling are perfect for you!

In 2019, Chef Kerth Gumbs performed a guest demonstration at the Le Cordon Bleu London Summer Festival. Demonstrating some of the incredible dishes that Ormer .

Florence Lesage, women pastry Chef at The Westin Paris Vendôme hotel shares her recipe of Mini Tropezians Vanilla.


Local Chocolate Festival Also Patronizing the Arts - Recipes

Street performers at the Highland Village Arts Festival on May 1 will include the Mirror Man. (Courtesy The Shops at Highland Village)

Street performers at the Highland Village Arts Festival on May 1 will include the Mirror Man. (Courtesy The Shops at Highland Village)

Now is the chance to help your local community succeed. Become a Patron by contributing to Community Impact Newspaper and gain daily insight into what's happening in your own backyard. Thank you for reading and supporting community journalism.

By Alex Copeland | 3:55 PM Apr 28, 2021 CDT | Updated 3:55 PM Apr 28, 2021 CDT

The creative side of Highland Village will be on full display at the Highland Village Arts Festival on May 1 at the Shops at Highland Village.

The Shops at Highland Village partnered with the city to bring this event back after it was canceled last year due to concerns over COVID-19.

“We’ve gotten this positive response from customers who were really that excited to be able to just get out and do something,” said Ginny Tirey, marketing coordinator for The Shops at Highland Village.

The event will feature 45 booths of vendors plying their artistic wares, while kids’ groups perform throughout the day in the Central Park area of the shopping center. These include dance troupes and an elementary school choir.


Ice Harvest Festival

The Region’s Coolest Tradition

Ice harvests were once an essential part of winter in rural communities. Before there was refrigeration, ice was needed to preserve agricultural products and to keep food cold in the warmer months. For 2021, Hanford Mills Museum celebrated this rural tradition with online events by Hanford Mills and our nonprofit partners, as well as resources you can enjoy any time.

Save the date: The next Ice Harvest Festival is February 5, 2022.

Ice Harvesting and Ice Houses Family Program
Luke Murphy, Hanford Mills education coordinator, offers a family-friendly online presentation . Learn how ice houses work and experiment with different materials to determine what insulates ice the best. You can watch this program on our YouTube Channel.

Try out the Winter Activity Guide for fun ideas on how to spend time as a family or group at home.

Ice Harvesting Videos Premiere

Hanford Mills Museum partnered with the Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY Oneonta to create three 4-5 minute videos that explore the ice harvesting process, explain the science of ice and ice houses, and assess ice in terms of a changing climate.

Winter’s Coolest Crop Webinar
Andrew Robichaud, Assistant Professor of History at Boston University, joins Hanford Mills Museum’s Liz Callahan and Kajsa Harley for a program on Ice Harvesting History and Culture.

Robichaud’s book-in-progress, tentatively titled On Ice: Transformations in American Life , is a history of climate, ice, and the ice trade in North America, and explores the cultural and economic ice age in nineteenth-century America. Along with a discussion of the history of ice harvesting in the Northeast, they discuss how Hanford Mills celebrates the historic community tradition of ice harvesting. This program is funded in part by a Humanities New York CARES Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act.

Recipes from the John Hanford Farmhouse
Pamela Cooley is often baking and cooking in the John Hanford Farmhouse during Ice Harvest. She has assembled Favorite Recipes from Ice Harvests Past that you can make at home. Featured dishes include Welsh Rarebit, Onion Pie, Deviled Bananas, Raisin Puffs, and Steamed Chocolate Pudding.

Birding for Bald Eagles
You can watch a recording of the Feb. 2 Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society (DOAS) program here. DOAS also developed a new self-guided driving tour and map featuring 18 sites people can visit independently to view eagles .

Support Local
You may want to order some takeout from a favorite local restaurant, or purchase handcrafted items, baked goods, honey, cheese, and more from local businesses who have come to Ice Harvests in the past. Here’s a list to get you started. Thank you to the Otesaga Hotel for having a Soup Special to benefit Hanford Mills on February 6.

Here’s what happens when we can have an in-person Ice Harvest Festival.

The Ice Harvest Festival is sponsored by the SUNY Delhi Hospitality Management Department, WSKG. and Five Star Subaru. The Ice Harvest Festival is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Hanford Mills Museum is very grateful for their generous support.

Plan to join us February 5, 2022 for an in-person Ice Harvest Festival!

Support our historic working mill

Hanford Mills Museum | 51 County Highway 12, East Meredith, NY 13757 | 607.278.5744 | Email | Privacy Policy


Recipes Against Colonialism: When Food Becomes Activism

Food sits at the vanguard of cultural exchange. The first introduction many people have to foreign cultures is through their cuisines. And, to this day, it is through produce that the Columbian exchange has pervasively embedded itself in Europe. Yet, this framing of cultural exchange as progress minimizes the fact that food is also a repository of the past. Food is a Trojan horse for historical systems – of knowledge, power, labour – to sneak into the present. Which is where the representation of systems around those foods and food cultures becomes so important.

Annalee Davis, (bush) Tea Services, 2016, installation view, The Empire Remains Shop, London. Courtesy: the artist photograph: Tim Bowditch

Annalee Davis’s performance (bush) Tea Services (2016) begins with the broken shards of pottery she found scattered across her family’s property in Barbados – land that was formerly a sugar plantation and that is now home to a working dairy farm as well as the Fresh Milk art platform, which Davis founded in 2011. The fragments are from tea sets and assorted crockery, belonging both to previous owners of the plantation and to the enslaved people who laboured on it. Working with a local potter, Davis assembled the remnants into a new tea set, from which she serves bush tea – brewed from local wild plants – to guests while they discuss the histories of British colonialism, slavery and plantation agriculture in Barbados. Wild plants – including cerasee, blue vervain and lemongrass – are gathered from the uncultivated plots between fields. In Barbados, plantation owners would set aside some of this land for indentured servants and enslaved people to grow their own food. To an extent, what grows in these spaces descends from the efforts of these servants and enslaved people, but is also still a product of chance or nature. At the same time, what is available for bush tea represents a transmission of knowledge over centuries. It is hardly a coincidence that many of the herbs growing alongside these fields are edible or have known medical uses. These plants are the ingredients in recipes to cure insomnia, settle the stomach, induce abortion.

In Davis’s work, however, the tea is not a medical treatment. There is no recipe for the drink she brews. Rather, the recipe is for what happens next: how that tea is translated into an occasion. In this sense, the recipe transmits a different knowledge – not of how to prepare food or a remedy, but of how to share a meal in the fraught context of postcolonialism that is, with respect for, and acknowledgment of, the incredible devastation that preceded it. Colonialism, in effect, wrote the recipe for the tea: limit the land available for enslaved people to farm, limit what they could possibly grow for nourishment or for medical purposes, add the passing of knowledge across generations and continents, add water. La Granja Transfronteriza (Transborder Farmlab) is an initiative founded in 2010 by Torolab, an artist collective led by Raúl Cárdenas Osuna, whose members include Rodolfo Argote, Bernardo Gutiérrez, Enrique Jiménez, Ana Martínez Ortega and Shijune Takeda. The project aims to find novel ways to fight poverty in the Camino Verde neighbourhood of Tijuana. One of their first programmes was a series of creative-writing workshops that produced a set of annotated recipes – for example, Recipe: Elvia – Pork trotters in vinegar (2014) – and, eventually, a cookbook. The participants’ recipes are also stories: about their personal and familial backgrounds, their experiences of migration and how those histories are translated into food. While the workshop was meant to help members improve their writing skills, collecting these recipes and stories was also a way to acquaint organizers with the neighbourhood they were working in and to better understand what sort of services and resources would make a meaningful difference in the community.

Thomas Leba, Poisonous Miracle, 2015, chocolate. Courtesy: the artist, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, and KOW, Berlin photograph: Ernst van Deursen

Recipes are a means of sharing knowledge: a way for someone who knows how to make something to inform someone who doesn’t. But a recipe also institutes rules by describing how something should and should not be made. Tea is made from boiled water, not boiled milk this dish is what it is because it is baked, never fried. Recipes create systems and guidelines and, importantly, they also reveal priorities. For example, the chocolate sculptures first produced in 2014 by the Dutch artist Renzo Martens and the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (also known as the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League or CATPC), which are intended to accumulate financial value so that the proceeds from the commodification of art can be transferred to plantation workers in the Congo. Rather than a luxury to be eaten, the chocolate gains value from its existence in the art world – the recipe provides for a visual or intellectual pleasure rather than a gastronomic one. The intense smell of chocolate that wafts out from them is one of the few reminders that these statues could be eaten.

This series of chocolate sculptures has been produced through Martens’s Institute for Human Activities (IHA) – an organization-cum-art project with the purported aspiration to gentrify the Congolese jungle. Martens takes up urban studies theorist Richard Florida’s controversial idea that the arts are financially beneficial to the cities that foster them, but applies it to the agricultural hinterlands of central Africa in lieu of Western city centres. In an attempt to twist the economic value of art into a tool for fighting global inequality, members of CATPC – some of whom previously worked as agricultural labourers on chocolate plantations – mould sculptures from clay, which are 3D-scanned on location. They are then cast in chocolate in the Netherlands, where members can access the financial benefits of the international art market. Better than the small mark-ups on chocolate made for eating, the chocolate sculptures realize much higher profit margins. And, if chocolate isn’t luxury enough, in 2019 several of the statues were re-cast in gold. Income from the sale of these works has since allowed the CATPC to purchase land near Lusanga for agroforestry and landscape restoration. It is a community organized through its financial terms.

Cedrick Tamasala, How My Grandfather Survived, 2015, chocolate, 38 × 21 × 24 cm. Courtesy: the artist, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, and KOW, Berlin photograph: Ernst van Deursen

In comparison, the community and convivial setting of Davis’s bush tea service is not limited to the tea service itself: it also involves the arts organization she hosts on her family’s farm. Fresh Milk offers residencies and programming with the goal of supporting artists from around the Caribbean, facilitating connection and exchange. Similarly, La Granja Transfronteriza and the IHA are much larger than a single project. La Granja also does a range of diagnostics and mapping projects, in addition to hosting lectures, vocational training, events, a computer lab and a community farm. IHA hosts exhibitions, events and conferences, and oversees an 85-acre ‘post-plantation’ that includes community-owned gardens and experimental forestry projects. Food is at the core of these works as much as it is an ancillary detail it serves as an impetus, a beginning, an invitation.

Davis explains that the name Fresh Milk is partly a reference to milk’s ability to nurture the young – just as the tea service attempts to foster difficult conversations, as La Granja is meant to help the neighbourhood, and as the added value of chocolate sculptures is meant to support plantation workers in central Congo. Of course, nurturing is not an apolitical act. There is something innately patronizing in it nurturing is what parents do for children, what those with power do to help those without. It is the very act of ‘nurturing’ that risks reproducing the colonial relationships these works ostensibly seek to undo. Cárdenas Osuna, Davis and Martens are each outsiders in the worlds they desire to ameliorate. Cárdenas Osuna is from elsewhere in Mexico Davis is a white landowner on a poor black island Martens is a Dutch artist in the rural Congo. But something about food – its consumption and its histories – has offered them a way in: more specifically, something about food combined with the aesthetic capacities of art.

Annalee Davis, (bush) Tea Services, 2016, installation view, The Empire Remains Shop, London. Courtesy: the artist photograph: Tim Bowditch

Common to these projects is an attention to community. Food offers a means of reaching outward, of making connections, of building relationships. They take advantage of the symbolic qualities of food, of nourishment and sustenance, and also the idea that food is something shared and something around which communities and cultures organize. Yet the slippage between thinking about food and thinking about recipes is crucial. With a recipe, the ends become the means – the object is not the final dish, but the rules and knowledge systems it takes to get there. Rather than simply aestheticizing the act or possibility of nourishment, these works ask: How to nourish? What is nourishment? And how can we adjust the world into something that is better able to nourish a wider range of people?

Davis’s (bush) Tea Services is a project that can go in many different directions while the situation is choreographed, the content of the conversation follows the interests and understandings of its participants. Likewise, La Granja Transfronteriza is an act of research, its cookbook and other activities attempting to help while also attempting to discover how to help. In Martens’s work, however, the only unknown seems to be how the profits will be spent Martens assumes that access to the financial and cultural resources of the art world will benefit the Congolese plantation workers, and cleverly designs a system to funnel those resources in their direction. The La Granja cookbook and the tea service use food as a way to listen, whereas Martens uses chocolate to tell – to tell Congolese farm workers how to exploit the system and to tell the art world about inequality.

Torolab, ‘La Granja’, 2014, exhibition view, Galería OMR, Mexico City. Courtesy: the artist and Galería OMR, Mexico City photograph: Enrique Macías

The open-endedness of Davis’s and Torolab’s projects is reminiscent of a long history of artistic happenings and aleatory projects that hazard an unknown outcome. While more directly engaging with the art world at its core, the predetermination of Martens’s project makes it seem closer to a political programme at times, like it should be the work of some sort of neoliberal NGO – which is perhaps the point. Martens is testing an iterable solution, a recipe that can be cooked by anyone at any time. Though to an extent Torolab and Davis attempt to offer models for redressing the wrongs of colonialism, these are recipes that rely on the skill and attention of the cook as much as the directions offered. The idea is not that any white person in Barbados can facilitate a meaningful conversation about the enduring legacies of settler colonialism or slavery or plantation economies. Even with a recipe, the cook is as important as the ingredients.

Annalee Davis is an artist, educator and writer. In 2011, she founded Fresh Milk and she is a co-founder of the residency programme Caribbean Linked (2012) and the visual arts platform Tilting Axis (2015).

Renzo Martens is an artist based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Kinshasa, the Congo. With Martens, the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League was founded in 2014 and includes artists, plantation workers and an ecologist.

Torolab is a collective founded in 1995 in Tijuana, Mexico. In 2010, they established La Granja Transfronteriza, a participatory and community-based project aiming to develop and support the low-income area of Camino Verde, Tijuana, through food and other practices.

This article first appeared in frieze issue 205 with the headline ‘Pork Trotters, Bay Leaves And Chocolate’.

Main image: Annalee Davis, (bush) Tea Services, 2016, installation view, The Empire Remains Shop, London. Courtesy: the artist photograph: Tim Bowditch


Recipes Against Colonialism: When Food Becomes Activism

Food sits at the vanguard of cultural exchange. The first introduction many people have to foreign cultures is through their cuisines. And, to this day, it is through produce that the Columbian exchange has pervasively embedded itself in Europe. Yet, this framing of cultural exchange as progress minimizes the fact that food is also a repository of the past. Food is a Trojan horse for historical systems – of knowledge, power, labour – to sneak into the present. Which is where the representation of systems around those foods and food cultures becomes so important.

Annalee Davis, (bush) Tea Services, 2016, installation view, The Empire Remains Shop, London. Courtesy: the artist photograph: Tim Bowditch

Annalee Davis’s performance (bush) Tea Services (2016) begins with the broken shards of pottery she found scattered across her family’s property in Barbados – land that was formerly a sugar plantation and that is now home to a working dairy farm as well as the Fresh Milk art platform, which Davis founded in 2011. The fragments are from tea sets and assorted crockery, belonging both to previous owners of the plantation and to the enslaved people who laboured on it. Working with a local potter, Davis assembled the remnants into a new tea set, from which she serves bush tea – brewed from local wild plants – to guests while they discuss the histories of British colonialism, slavery and plantation agriculture in Barbados. Wild plants – including cerasee, blue vervain and lemongrass – are gathered from the uncultivated plots between fields. In Barbados, plantation owners would set aside some of this land for indentured servants and enslaved people to grow their own food. To an extent, what grows in these spaces descends from the efforts of these servants and enslaved people, but is also still a product of chance or nature. At the same time, what is available for bush tea represents a transmission of knowledge over centuries. It is hardly a coincidence that many of the herbs growing alongside these fields are edible or have known medical uses. These plants are the ingredients in recipes to cure insomnia, settle the stomach, induce abortion.

In Davis’s work, however, the tea is not a medical treatment. There is no recipe for the drink she brews. Rather, the recipe is for what happens next: how that tea is translated into an occasion. In this sense, the recipe transmits a different knowledge – not of how to prepare food or a remedy, but of how to share a meal in the fraught context of postcolonialism that is, with respect for, and acknowledgment of, the incredible devastation that preceded it. Colonialism, in effect, wrote the recipe for the tea: limit the land available for enslaved people to farm, limit what they could possibly grow for nourishment or for medical purposes, add the passing of knowledge across generations and continents, add water. La Granja Transfronteriza (Transborder Farmlab) is an initiative founded in 2010 by Torolab, an artist collective led by Raúl Cárdenas Osuna, whose members include Rodolfo Argote, Bernardo Gutiérrez, Enrique Jiménez, Ana Martínez Ortega and Shijune Takeda. The project aims to find novel ways to fight poverty in the Camino Verde neighbourhood of Tijuana. One of their first programmes was a series of creative-writing workshops that produced a set of annotated recipes – for example, Recipe: Elvia – Pork trotters in vinegar (2014) – and, eventually, a cookbook. The participants’ recipes are also stories: about their personal and familial backgrounds, their experiences of migration and how those histories are translated into food. While the workshop was meant to help members improve their writing skills, collecting these recipes and stories was also a way to acquaint organizers with the neighbourhood they were working in and to better understand what sort of services and resources would make a meaningful difference in the community.

Thomas Leba, Poisonous Miracle, 2015, chocolate. Courtesy: the artist, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, and KOW, Berlin photograph: Ernst van Deursen

Recipes are a means of sharing knowledge: a way for someone who knows how to make something to inform someone who doesn’t. But a recipe also institutes rules by describing how something should and should not be made. Tea is made from boiled water, not boiled milk this dish is what it is because it is baked, never fried. Recipes create systems and guidelines and, importantly, they also reveal priorities. For example, the chocolate sculptures first produced in 2014 by the Dutch artist Renzo Martens and the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (also known as the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League or CATPC), which are intended to accumulate financial value so that the proceeds from the commodification of art can be transferred to plantation workers in the Congo. Rather than a luxury to be eaten, the chocolate gains value from its existence in the art world – the recipe provides for a visual or intellectual pleasure rather than a gastronomic one. The intense smell of chocolate that wafts out from them is one of the few reminders that these statues could be eaten.

This series of chocolate sculptures has been produced through Martens’s Institute for Human Activities (IHA) – an organization-cum-art project with the purported aspiration to gentrify the Congolese jungle. Martens takes up urban studies theorist Richard Florida’s controversial idea that the arts are financially beneficial to the cities that foster them, but applies it to the agricultural hinterlands of central Africa in lieu of Western city centres. In an attempt to twist the economic value of art into a tool for fighting global inequality, members of CATPC – some of whom previously worked as agricultural labourers on chocolate plantations – mould sculptures from clay, which are 3D-scanned on location. They are then cast in chocolate in the Netherlands, where members can access the financial benefits of the international art market. Better than the small mark-ups on chocolate made for eating, the chocolate sculptures realize much higher profit margins. And, if chocolate isn’t luxury enough, in 2019 several of the statues were re-cast in gold. Income from the sale of these works has since allowed the CATPC to purchase land near Lusanga for agroforestry and landscape restoration. It is a community organized through its financial terms.

Cedrick Tamasala, How My Grandfather Survived, 2015, chocolate, 38 × 21 × 24 cm. Courtesy: the artist, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, and KOW, Berlin photograph: Ernst van Deursen

In comparison, the community and convivial setting of Davis’s bush tea service is not limited to the tea service itself: it also involves the arts organization she hosts on her family’s farm. Fresh Milk offers residencies and programming with the goal of supporting artists from around the Caribbean, facilitating connection and exchange. Similarly, La Granja Transfronteriza and the IHA are much larger than a single project. La Granja also does a range of diagnostics and mapping projects, in addition to hosting lectures, vocational training, events, a computer lab and a community farm. IHA hosts exhibitions, events and conferences, and oversees an 85-acre ‘post-plantation’ that includes community-owned gardens and experimental forestry projects. Food is at the core of these works as much as it is an ancillary detail it serves as an impetus, a beginning, an invitation.

Davis explains that the name Fresh Milk is partly a reference to milk’s ability to nurture the young – just as the tea service attempts to foster difficult conversations, as La Granja is meant to help the neighbourhood, and as the added value of chocolate sculptures is meant to support plantation workers in central Congo. Of course, nurturing is not an apolitical act. There is something innately patronizing in it nurturing is what parents do for children, what those with power do to help those without. It is the very act of ‘nurturing’ that risks reproducing the colonial relationships these works ostensibly seek to undo. Cárdenas Osuna, Davis and Martens are each outsiders in the worlds they desire to ameliorate. Cárdenas Osuna is from elsewhere in Mexico Davis is a white landowner on a poor black island Martens is a Dutch artist in the rural Congo. But something about food – its consumption and its histories – has offered them a way in: more specifically, something about food combined with the aesthetic capacities of art.

Annalee Davis, (bush) Tea Services, 2016, installation view, The Empire Remains Shop, London. Courtesy: the artist photograph: Tim Bowditch

Common to these projects is an attention to community. Food offers a means of reaching outward, of making connections, of building relationships. They take advantage of the symbolic qualities of food, of nourishment and sustenance, and also the idea that food is something shared and something around which communities and cultures organize. Yet the slippage between thinking about food and thinking about recipes is crucial. With a recipe, the ends become the means – the object is not the final dish, but the rules and knowledge systems it takes to get there. Rather than simply aestheticizing the act or possibility of nourishment, these works ask: How to nourish? What is nourishment? And how can we adjust the world into something that is better able to nourish a wider range of people?

Davis’s (bush) Tea Services is a project that can go in many different directions while the situation is choreographed, the content of the conversation follows the interests and understandings of its participants. Likewise, La Granja Transfronteriza is an act of research, its cookbook and other activities attempting to help while also attempting to discover how to help. In Martens’s work, however, the only unknown seems to be how the profits will be spent Martens assumes that access to the financial and cultural resources of the art world will benefit the Congolese plantation workers, and cleverly designs a system to funnel those resources in their direction. The La Granja cookbook and the tea service use food as a way to listen, whereas Martens uses chocolate to tell – to tell Congolese farm workers how to exploit the system and to tell the art world about inequality.

Torolab, ‘La Granja’, 2014, exhibition view, Galería OMR, Mexico City. Courtesy: the artist and Galería OMR, Mexico City photograph: Enrique Macías

The open-endedness of Davis’s and Torolab’s projects is reminiscent of a long history of artistic happenings and aleatory projects that hazard an unknown outcome. While more directly engaging with the art world at its core, the predetermination of Martens’s project makes it seem closer to a political programme at times, like it should be the work of some sort of neoliberal NGO – which is perhaps the point. Martens is testing an iterable solution, a recipe that can be cooked by anyone at any time. Though to an extent Torolab and Davis attempt to offer models for redressing the wrongs of colonialism, these are recipes that rely on the skill and attention of the cook as much as the directions offered. The idea is not that any white person in Barbados can facilitate a meaningful conversation about the enduring legacies of settler colonialism or slavery or plantation economies. Even with a recipe, the cook is as important as the ingredients.

Annalee Davis is an artist, educator and writer. In 2011, she founded Fresh Milk and she is a co-founder of the residency programme Caribbean Linked (2012) and the visual arts platform Tilting Axis (2015).

Renzo Martens is an artist based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Kinshasa, the Congo. With Martens, the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League was founded in 2014 and includes artists, plantation workers and an ecologist.

Torolab is a collective founded in 1995 in Tijuana, Mexico. In 2010, they established La Granja Transfronteriza, a participatory and community-based project aiming to develop and support the low-income area of Camino Verde, Tijuana, through food and other practices.

This article first appeared in frieze issue 205 with the headline ‘Pork Trotters, Bay Leaves And Chocolate’.

Main image: Annalee Davis, (bush) Tea Services, 2016, installation view, The Empire Remains Shop, London. Courtesy: the artist photograph: Tim Bowditch


Dallas Chocolate Festival

Due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19, many events are being canceled. The event editors at The Dallas Morning News are updating as many listings as we can and we suggest double checking with event organizers and/or venues to confirm. If you are aware of a cancellation we missed, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

Location

Dallas Chocolate Festival tells the "Story of Chocolate," for its 10th annual edition. The three-day festival brings in more than 60 chocolate makers and chocolatiers from around the world and locally for the 3,000 attendees to learn, taste, shop, and experience the artistry and craftsmanship of quality chocolate.

Friday night’s VIP Party is the first opportunity to explore, shop and sample. The evening will include light bites, adult beverages, gift bag and complimentary valet. 21+

The two-day family-friendly expo on Saturday and Sunday features samples, shopping opportunities, demonstrations, a kids’ area, food trucks and more. Hands-on workshops, including guided tastings and chocolate-making classes, will also be available for an additional fee.