Chef Provocateur Craig Thornton On the Art of Underground Dining
“The opening dish is venison, ripped apart and strewn onto the plate to look like a bloody and decayed piece of meat,” says Craig Thornton of the visceral food he will be serving up at Cut Your Teeth, the collaborative installation made with artist Matthew Bone that opens today at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. “You are eating something that looks eerily similar to a deer carcass, but the dish itself includes moss, blackberry beet gastrique, coffee cocoa crumble and purple cabbage.” Armed with a range of culinary experience—from learning his trade at Thomas Keller’s Las Vegas bistro Bouchon to becoming Nicholas Cage’s private chef—and having recently received profiles in The New Yorker andHollywood Reporter, the man behind culinary sensation Wolvesmouth is captured here by filmmaker Jordan Bahatin a Downtown Los Angeles loft during one of his monthly conceptual dinners. “The Santa Monica installation is the first foray into a direction I’ve wanted to take Wolvesmouth for a long time,” says Thornton, who will be working with art impresarioJeffrey Deitch when Cut Your Teeth moves to New York. “It is a snapshot of everything we push away to keep this perfect idealized box of what we think reality is, leaving a lot of people devoid of knowing where their food comes from.”
Cut Your Teeth runs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, October 16 through October 26 and in New York City November 7 through December 14.