Arts + Artisans – Painting on plates and canvasses

Last Thursday, I was invited to my first Yelp Elite Event. Thanks to my friend, artist and devoted “yelper” Carmen Vega. The Art + Artisan event took place in the Distinction Gallery in Escondido. It was hosted by the ArtHatch Teen Program.  What is ArtHatch? It’s a local non-profit organization that provides a forum for at risk youth to become familiar with and appreciate other cultures.

Yelp sign

My friend Carmen Vega

This is the information that Yelp sent out prior to the engagement:

“This will be an Alice & Wonderland-like explanatory event: There will be something amazing behind every door in the gallery venue! Artist, local libations and more, you’ll be surprised at every turn. Artist in residence will be in house creating pieces before your very eyes”

Distinction Gallery

Distinction Gallery

The list of participating businesses included: Dolce Italia, Johnny Appleseed Cider, Vintana Wine + Dine and many more. They all offered samples to the “yelpers” visitors.  Vegan options? Not too many! But I had the most delicious 100% plant-based salad prepared by Chef Lance Roll also known as The Flavor Chef.  His salad included rainbow chards, strawberries and peaches drizzled with a delicate balsamic vinaigrette. He probably added a little bit of his business motto to the salad too: “Love is the ultimate spice”.

The Flavor Chef

The Flavor Chef

The featured artists included: Bryan Steward, Cathrine Edlinger-Kunze, Elena Karavodin, Jamie Kanes, Jennifer Anichowski, and many more.  I had the chance to talk to most of them about their inspirations and techniques.


Dali 2

I am scared

Gallery Main Floor


The evening went by really fast and Yelp’s promise of a “night of artistic adventure and delicious local businesses” was nicely delivered. I headed back home completely inspired and full of ideas.

As you know, I love spending quality time in my kitchen, developing new healthy recipes and experimenting with seasonal produce, color and textures. I enjoy the creative process as much as a painter does. At the end of the day, it’s all the same: My plate is my canvas. I truly believe there is art everywhere!

Over the next few months, I am going to be learning how to add color to my dishes by drying vegetables ( maybe some beets, cabbage, carrots) and grinding them into powders.  This is one of my most-anticipated lessons at Rouxbe Cooking School.


Photo Credit: Rouxbe Cooking School

While I am looking forward to using these beautiful colors in my dishes, I am equally excited about applying these powders to real canvasses. A couple of artist at the gallery gave me some nice suggestions including mixing the powders with walnut oil and linseed oil. I am hoping to create highly concentrated pigmented powders that will stick nicely to the canvas. We’ll see how this all plays out. I haven’t painted in decades but I already know what I am going to call this one. It has something to do with Mise En Place!

This will probably be my fall season project. Stay tuned!