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New Menu to Connect Visual and Culinary Arts

Friday, July 29, 2016

Chef Nick Wallace and his team take time off to conceptualize innovative new dishes
Press Contact: Julian Rankin | jrankin@msmuseumart.org | 601-960-1515

(Jackson, Miss…) From August 2 – August 16, it’s Summer break at The Palette Café at the Mississippi Museum of Art (the Museum). While the cafe will not serve lunch during this period, Executive Chef and Culinary Curator Nick Wallace will be busy with his team conceptualizing new menus inspired by Mississippi foodways traditions, local ingredients, and the art on the Museum walls.

Wallace, a native of Edwards, Mississippi, has long been influenced by his experience on the farm. Since joining the Museum, he has found added inspiration from the artworks on view in The Mississippi Story, the Museum’s ongoing, free, public exhibition of works from the permanent collection. Wallace can often be found roaming the galleries, studying scenes of farm life and pool halls that hearken back to his childhood, and quilts illustrating family meals at a shared table. His artistic appreciation and culinary prowess will now be fused in forthcoming menus that draw explicit connections between the narratives depicted by Mississippi visual artists and the storytelling that informs his own culinary creations.

“Whenever I need solitude or inspiration, I walk through the galleries,” said Wallace. “Looking upon the quilts and paintings of meal time, I see my mother and my grandmother, who ignited my culinary passion. When I stop in front of certain photographs or sculptures, I remember what it was like growing up on the farm – dog at my side, picking blueberries barefooted and eating tomatoes off the vine. So many of our stories are intertwined, and my new menus at the Museum will connect not only culinary art with visual art, but also bring people together to share the common bond that food makes possible.”

During what Wallace is calling his “farm-fresh research” period, he’ll be working to highlight the many farmers and purveyors that he regularly supports, including Foot Print Farms, Reyer Farms, Beaverdam Farms, and The Garden Farmacy, to name a few.

The Palette Café will resume normal lunch service on Tuesday, August 16. That same week, from Thursday, August 18 – Saturday, August 20, Wallace hosts his monthly pop up dining experience, called ‘sipp Sourced, which celebrates home grown ingredients through ephemeral, themed menus.

The Mississippi Museum of Art’s mission is to “engage Mississippians with visual art.” The Museum is located at 380 South Lamar Street in Jackson. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday, noon to 5 PM. The Museum is closed Monday. The Mississippi Museum of Art and its programs are sponsored in part by the city of Jackson and Visit Jackson. Support is also provided in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Mississippi Museum of Art’s exhibitions, programs, and special events, please call 601-960-1515 or 1-866-VIEW ART (843-9278), or visit www.msmuseumart.org.