Food as art, the table a canvas 

Last Friday, woodworking artist Peter Zubiate and caterer Tim McDiarmid (aka Tim the Girl, of the non-profit venture EatSmart SA) launched the Special Projects Social, a series of invitation-only dinner parties in unexpected places, the first of which was held at kitchen-less Zubiate Projects (112 Broadway). “A Dinner Party,” as the $100-a-ticket Contemporary Art Month “performance of food and design” was billed, drew a crowd of roughly 40 guests who all sat at tables Zubiate constructed from locally fallen trees.

The items that best exemplified the marriage of art and food were tea-stained hard-boiled eggs stuffed with a mixture of barbecued black cod, fresh herbs, and egg yolk, topped with an anchovy-wrapped olive. With swirling patterns reminiscent of batik or raku, the eggs seemed to reference all the different textures of wood throughout the room.

At the table, guests served themselves lamb and vegetable tagines on ceramic plates made especially for the occasion by the artist Katie Pell. The artist (Zubiate’s wife) said the words scrawled on the plates were song lyrics and that each of us would take one home as a gift. Mine reads, “Shave your face.” While Pell’s artwork adorned the walls and a dangling installation by fashion designer Angelina Mata acted as a conceptual chandelier, Zubiate’s tables (which range in price from $4,600 to $5,400) spoke for themselves: satisfying to touch and full of intricate little surprises.

For information about upcoming events, which will feature different artists, musicians, menus, and locations, visit “The Special Projects Social” page on Facebook or email

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