Reactor

PS1 One Ups MoMA’s Thai Curry Kitchen With a Québécois Cafeteria

by Hrag Vartanian on March 22, 2012

Québécois cuisine in New York hasn’t been the same after M. Wells Dinette closed in Long Island City. But wait, the boîte will be resurrected as the new cafeteria-ish eatery at MoMA’s hipper sister in Queens, PS1. Sure, Rirkrit Tiravanija’s curry kitchen, aka “Untitled (Free)” (1992), is feeding gallery goers at the MoMA mothership on 53rd Street, but anyone can eat Thai nowadays. Québécois is what all the cool kids are doing. C’est super cool!

Chef Hugue Dufour and his wife Sarah Obraitis (psst, she’s American and not Québécois) are the masterminds behind the small joint that captured the stomachs of New Yorkers and even mustered a spot on Bon Appétit‘s Top 10 New Restaurants in 2011 list before it closed. Its menu featured concoctions that sounded more bizarre than they were, like General Tso’s sweetbreads and maple syrup coleslaw (FYI, French Canadians are obsessed with maple syrup, some proof).

Now the duo are back, and in an interview in a Québécois magazine Dufour gives us an idea of what to expect with the new venture inside PS1 (h/t Gothamist):

«La salle à manger sera dans une salle de classe, les gens feront face à la cuisine au lieu du tableau et les plats seront servis sur des cabarets avec des compartiments de style boîtes japonaises Bento. Ce sera une expérience complètement différente de M. Wells, même si nous garderons certains classiques. Nous voulons aussi explorer la cuisson sous vide, qui n’est pas tellement exploitée à New York.»

Translation from Québécois French: The dining room will be in a classroom, people will face the kitchen instead of the table and the dishes are served on trays with compartments in the style of Japanese Bento boxes. It will be a completely different experience than M. Wells, even if we retain certain classics. We also want to explore sous vide cuisine, which isn’t much used in New York.”

This isn’t the first time M. Wells Dinette has worked with PS1. Last December they hosted a winter carnival at the LIC institution (again, how Québécois). Klaus Biesenbach, director of MoMA PS1 and chief curator at large of MoMA, is quoted in PS1’s press release as saying:

“In our growing emphasis on presenting all aspects of contemporary practice, MoMA PS1 is welcoming M. Wells as adding the experience of innovative and excellent food to our offerings of contemporary art, performance, experimental architecture, music, fashion and design.”

Oh, goodie. No word if Rirkrit Tiravanija’s curry kitchen, aka “Untitled (Free)” (1992), will be opening up a LIC franchise to compete, maybe they can open a food court! Je l’espère!

Original image via Lame Adventure

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  • http://benjaminvalentine.com/ Ben Valentine

    “In our growing emphasis on presenting all aspects of contemporary practice…” 
    I guess eating could be called a contemporary practice… Or we could just call it eating.

    • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

      You’re soo February 2012.

      • http://benjaminvalentine.com/ Ben Valentine

        food as art is soo early 90’s

        • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

          Retro chic.

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