The Cornell Street Studios in Kingston will host “The Culinary Experience” this Saturday, October 12 from 6 to 10 p.m. The fundraising food-themed art show and event will be an evening full of appetizing things to see and do and taste: an art exhibit featuring works related to food in some way, created by over 30 local artists; food-tastings supplied by local restaurants; cooking demos by local chefs; and live music by local groups Passero (who play modern interpretations of world music and original music for dancing with a Latin flair) and Breakfast in Fur (whose music has been called “psychedelic folk”). The Brooklyn-based trio Stevie and the Lion are coming up to play at the event, too; they describe their songs as “soulfully written tunes with heaps of sass.”
It’s planned as a family-friendly event for all. Admission to “The Culinary Experience” costs $10 for adults, free for kids under age 12, with 25 percent of the proceeds going to the Queens Galley Food Pantry in Kingston, a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization with programs that support the nutritional needs of children, low-income families and seniors at risk (www.queensgalley.org). There will also be a silent auction, for which the Queens Galley will receive 100 percent of the profits raised. Items to be auctioned off include gift certificates to local restaurants, as well as donated art and jewelry by participating artists.
The ringleader at the heart of all these festivities is Renee Darmstadt, who has run the Cornell Street Studios out of the cavernous spaces at her Dad’s business – Darmstadt Overhead Doors, at 168 Cornell Street in Kingston – for the past five years. She has filled the space with huge themed art exhibits twice a year, hosted yoga and Zumba classes and a variety of unusual offerings like hula-hoop exercise classes and be-a-pinup-model sessions, where participants got made up like real ‘40s pinup girls and photographed, going home with a CD of photos of themselves.
“I’m just really lucky I have this space because of my Dad, and it allows me to be creative,” says Darmstadt. “He and I come up with ideas together. He sees what I’m doing, and comes up with ideas like the car show. He gives me feedback, and he likes to be creative, too.”
The idea for the food-themed show came about, she says, because they like to give back to the community in the fall show; and after doing an animal-themed benefit last year for the SPCA, the idea of using food as a theme seemed a natural to pair with a fundraiser for the Queens Galley Food Pantry. “These shows happen because of the art and the artists,” says Darmstadt. “It’s their creativity: That’s what inspires the whole show.”
All of the tastings at “The Culinary Experience” will be donated by the participating restaurants, so the food is included with the cost of admission. Darmstadt says that she hopes that the event will highlight “all the great restaurants we have in Kingston and the surrounding areas.” Participants include the Big Cheese from Rosendale and Kingston eateries Kodomo Asian Bistro, Gabriel’s Cafe, Tony’s Pizzeria, Elephant and the newly opened Anchor Pub on Broadway. Darmstadt says that they also received gift certificates from Mother Earth and Adam’s Fairacre Farms to buy food for the chef demos.
Presentations are planned by Peace, Love and Cupcakes of Woodstock on cupcake baking and decorating and by Diane Reeder of the Queens Galley and Kelly Ann Miller of Kelly Miller Cooks, who will demonstrate how to make butternut-squash-and-ricotta gnocchi. Local Kingston appliance store Earl B. Feiden will supply a Frigidaire stove and refrigerator so that the chefs can do their thing.
Doors open for “The Culinary Experience” at 6 p.m. Cooking demos and live music will start at 7 p.m.
The Culinary Experience: Food Art Show & Benefit, Saturday, October 12, 6-10 p.m., $10, Cornell Street Studios, 168 Cornell Street, 2nd floor, Kingston; (845) 331-0191, www.cornellstreetstudios.com.