Chicago Artists Coalition turns 40 this year! Their annual fundraiser, Starving Artists, is today. The popular event will raise money for  CAC’s mission, programming, and Maker Grant. Tickets are available here. One of the exciting collaborations for the evening will be between Artst Diana Gabriel and Chef Chris Pandel.

Chris Pandel opened The Bristol, a Michelin Bib Gourmand, which boasts a menu of locally-sourced, seasonal dishes with a Mediterranean influence, in 2008. The Illinois born chef won Eater’s award for Chef of the Year in 2012, and his second restaurant, Balena, was a 2013 James Beard semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant in the Midwest.

Diana Gabriel makes process-based, site-specific works from string and other fibers that are responsive to nature and often rooted somewhere between logic and a daydream. For Starving Artist, Gabriel will create an immersive installation of large tassel forms. The piece Diana is working on for Starving Artist is called Ciclos.

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“I’m very much into the slow food movement and was happy to find out that Chris Pandel, the chef I was paired with, is all about local food.  I like the idea of seeing the world around you grow. That includes the food you eat and people you surround yourself with. I think transformation and growth is one of the most beautiful things we can experience as humans.

In relationship to food and art, the bridge is “nourishment”, an important part of growth. In food, the idea of nourishment is pretty obvious on a biological level. But if we dig a little deeper, art and food nourish through curiosity, creativity and the connection to someone else’s vision.”

Diana gets us cooking early and shares her Family’s Colombian Coconut Rice recipe with ITAK.

Colombian Coconut Rice
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  1. 2 cups of rice
  2. 1 Medium coconut
  3. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  4. 3 Cups coconut milk
  5. 1 Tsp sugar
  6. 1 Tsp Salt
  1. 1. Wash and soak 2 cups of rice. Set aside.
  2. 2. Find a medium coconut from the store, open up a couple of the coconut eyes (they are normally softer than the rest of the husk), and pour the water into a cup. Crack the rest of the coconut and with a spoon, scrape the meat of the coconut and throw into a blender with the coconut water. Strain the mixture, leaving the coconut milk and the shredded coconut in separate containers.
  3. 3. In a pot with medium heat, pour one tablespoon of oil (olive, vegetable, or coconut) with a third of the shredded coconut -save the rest for another time.
  4. 4. Wait until it browns. Strain and pour the 2 cups of rice, mix, and toast for a couple of minutes. Add warm water to the coconut milk to make 3 cups and add to the mixture. Leave uncovered. Mix in 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 of salt. Wait until the liquid is no longer visible to cover and lower the heat. Leave for 20 minutes and turn off heat.
  5. For a crispy crust that everyone will fight over, take a small cup of water, sprinkle some over the top, cover once again, and leave on low for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. (1) You can make more rice using the leftover shredded coconut with a store bought can of coconut milk.
Inside the Artist's Kitchen

Published by Kristina

Hey, I'm Kristina, I write most of the posts around here. I'm an artist, lighting designer, native Vermonter, pancake maker, bread baker, and now writer. I get far more excited about real maple syrup than anyone should.

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