Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Michael Schwartz, Terry Riley, Sandro Chia, and The Art of Hunger...




Before the new MAP hits the streets (patience, it will be worth it), MAP Magazine's online edition of the 'Pleasures' issue is worth a second look. I think this is the most interesting and unique magazine in Miami, and perhaps anywhere (there, I said it). 'Guest Epicurean Editor' Danny Brody (me) finds much to like (of course). From a food/wine/spirits standpoint, start with Terry Riley, Director of the Miami Art Museum (and Design District denizen), and Michael Schwartz, chef and eye-candy extraordinaire of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, in a conversation about the intersection of art, food, and the pleasures of both. This is not your usual 'interview', as Riley, an architect and former Director of Architecture at NYC's MoMA, plays interviewer and asks Schwartz the questions. This piece is a verbatim transcript of two very smart guys at the top of their respective games, bouncing notions and historical references off each other in a heady whirlwind of ideas. Riley is probably the most well-prepared dude I have ever met, and tossed a few curveballs at Schwartz. When I asked the chef afterwards what he thought of the whole experience, he said, "It was great...I think." See for yourself.

Also, if you are not familiar with the artist Sandro Chia, this issue contains a piece on his evolution from '80's New York art-star, alongside Schnabel and Basquiat, to Brunello di Montalcino winemaker. I interviewed him from his vineyard in Italy, and also spoke several times with his son, Fillipo, who runs the winery. Sandro Chia was at Danceteria in NYC when Madonna performed for her first time, and he and I, coincidentally, remembered the same clubs and heady atmosphere of NYC in the early eighties (CBGB's, Mudd Club, Max's, etc.). Very interesting guy, great wine, and great photos (and great wine!).

There's booze, and then there's good booze, as Jackie Gleason used to say. Follow the 'Booze Map' around Europe where, from Scotch to Calvados, from Grappa to Champagne, the place where it's created defines what's in the bottle.

With help from Mitch Weinstein (Weinoo of eGullet.org) in NYC, and Don Rockwell (donrockwell.com) in Washington, DC, MAP examines the phenomenon of 'hidden bars'-dark and tucked away like speakeasies of old, but legal-where the craft of the cocktail is the number one priority. And as an alternative to overcrowded bars catering to that section of the general public that just wants to get drunk and loud (also okay on occasion), at these joints you won't have to worry about anyone jostling your Gosling.
The Art of Hunger is all about comfort food this issue, and comfort cocktails, of course, as well. Is it possible to fuck up a hot dog? Can anyone make a decent drink in Miami? Go to http://www.themapmag.com/ and download the 'readable PDF'. I guarantee it will be worth it-or better yet try and get your hands on a physical copy of the magazine, which is gorgeous, with an amazing cover by Miami's own Brandon Opalka, and illustrations and photos by other local heroes.
(Photos/Illustrations courtesy MAP Magazine-for more info, see http://www.themapmag.com/ )

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