I took a little R&R after the installation and the opening of my show at Accola Griefen Gallery to parts of New England that I have never been to. I visited Gilded Age mansions in Newport imagining Edith Wharton‘s characters sipping tea in the sumptuous music rooms and playing croquet on expansive lawns in long white lawn dresses and parasols (perhaps too many episodes of Downton Abbey and other Masterpiece Theater episodes), and walked along the wind-swept but peaceful beaches at a quaint Connecticut town, Stonington. But I was really excited to visit Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson and Wales University (a culinary school) in Providence, RI. This eclectic museum covers wide-ranging topics in American food culture including, diners, saloons, Pullman car dining, over the top wedding cakes, industrial size cooking instruments, etc. This is a really fun place to visit if you are interested in any type of food related industries. Here are some of the more fun photos from the museum.
One of the most interesting appliances that were displayed was something called Duck Press, which was used to make a French dish called Pressed Duck, “in which the breast and legs are removed from a rare roasted duck. The rest of the bird is compressed in the duck press, like the one here, which extracts all the juices. This extracted juice is combined with red wine, butter and herbs and flamed with cognac to produce a sauce which is served over the sliced meat.” Another unique appliance was Potato and Vegetable Peeler circa 1940s, which was used to peel large quantities of potatoes and other root vegetables by tumbling over the rough surface inside the drum with cold water.