Art fairs are always a feast for the eyes, but the tastebuds are another story. It could be a delicious treat, then, if you’ve got the right dish in every city. For the jet-setting art scenester, make sure to stop in at the right restaurant before Instagramming the day away. Just as many of the art fairs this year are sure to please, here are some dishes to match each, and the chefs behind these signature treats.
Art Basel Hong Kong runs March 27-31 in Hong Kong, and shows a wide variety of international fare − far more than just noodles. For an eclectic dish, saunter on over to French chef Pierre Gagnaire’s restaurant, Pierre, which is in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. It’s where he conjures up a dozen dishes that are graced with a fusion French flair. During this busy art fair, stop by the restaurant for their express lunch dish – grilled squid with venere black rice – or perhaps the duck foie gras soup with clams and tandoori spices. Now that‘s luxury.
While taking in the beauty at this year’s fair, which runs April 5-8, stop by the 1st arrondissement for a legendary dessert unlike any other. Parisian pastry chef Sébastien Gaudard is known locally as “the Tom Ford of the Parisian pastry world,” and for a good reason — try his designer chocolate éclair is, a stunning treat paired with a cocoa-sprinkled cappuccino to keep you buzzed. The tea room upstairs at the patisserie also serves a wide range of desserts that locals describe as Proustian.
This fair, which kicks off in Brussels from April 19-22, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. While Brussels isn’t the sexiest city in Europe — it’s a little rough around the edges — it still has its hearty appeal. Brussels chef Laure Genonceaux, of the five-star restaurant Brinz‘l, recommends her signature dish: Pan-fried gambas, sweet potato mash, vegetable pickle and curried mayonnaise. It’s filling with a sprinkling of glam.
This city-wide event where local galleries open new exhibitions explode over April 27-29 with talks, pop-up shows and art parties. Some might assume this event is the quintessential hot dog event of the art world, but we think it could better be described as the currywurst, a delicacy of Berlin. While most designer chefs will turn their noses up at this street food classic, you can get yours at Curry 36 in Mehringdamm, or visit the Currywurst Museum in the central district of Mitte, not far from the central hub of galleries at Potzdamer Platz. It’ll give you a taste of the famed Berliner Schnauze.
The quintessential collectible design fair returns from June 12-17 to showcase objects d’art, furniture, lighting and talks with design luminaries in Basel. Bavarian chef Peter Knogl brings a minimalistic touch to his dishes at the Cheval Blanc restaurant at the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois Basel, where he has earned three Michelin stars. The chef recommends oysters with ponzu and green apple, or the smoked eel with beetroot, black garlic and wasabi. Get it while it’s hot.
Code, which runs from August 30 to September 2 in Copenhagen, has cutting-edge art and fresh voices. But the foodie capital of Scandinavia has equally upscale dining choices. René Redzepi is a Danish-Macedonian chef with his own book (published by Phaidon) and offers one of his signature Nordic dishes called ‘the hen and the egg.’ It’s conceptual, to say the least; a wild duck egg with wild herbs on a bed of hand-picked hay. If you’re feeling adventurous, try it at his Noma restaurant, which is rated one of the best restaurants in the world.
Artissima, which runs from November 2-4 in Torino, blends old world Italy with new school artists.What better way to take in the culture than with Massimo Bottura, an Italian chef and art collector?He has a signature dish with an arty title: ‘Beautiful Psychedelic Veal, Not Flame-Grilled.’ Inspiredby Damien Hirst‘s psychedelic spin painting series, this veal dish is presented on a big plate, splattered with colourful sauces, including arugula, beetroot, orange and red wine-reduced veal jus. Since Osteria Francescana rose to the top of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, a trip from Torino to Modena will be worth the ride.
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Writer Nadja Sayej
Illustration Summer Tsui