July 8, 2015

An evening with @heyitsmatthew at @blackbird_chi

8:55 pm in art,art events,chicago,faestfood dustin hostetler

As you probably know, Chicago artist Matthew Hoffman is this year’s Faesthetic cover artist. I think he’s really great. Like… really really great.

Blackbird is also really great and it has been on my “to do” list since relocating to Chicago. I was very excited when Matthew recently invited me to a private art inspired dinner at Blackbird. His art, I should add.

BB has been doing this on again, off again artist inspired series for a while, and it doesn’t seem to be heavily advertised. Note to Blackbird: grow this series and promote the hell out of it. It’s a fantastic concept.

The idea is the kitchen collaborates with a notable artist on a concept driven meal, and the consumer gets both delicious inspired food along with some sort of artist hands on involvement. In the case of Matthew’s event, the themed food focused on Strawberries and Salmon, and the takeaway was a limited edition mini sculpture.

The evening started with strawberry cocktails, thankfully not including salmon. There wasn’t assigned seating, and since I was flying solo, I ended up being surrounded by my friend’s wives. No complaints here as they were all fantastic dinner dates.

As the meal began, the chefs came out to explain their idea for the dinner. They talked about Matthew’s artwork, which typically focuses on some sort of word play with a short sentence or phrase. They hoped that the 4 courses would read in the same way, with all of the ingredients making up the letters and words in their simple statement. They wanted you to leave feeling like like the concept was clear, and boy oh boy was it ever.

Would I order each individual course in the future? Probably not. But together, everything worked as a perfect celebration of Strawberries and Salmon. Other than the dessert, which just focused on Strawberries, each dish had a great balance of the two featured ingredients.


To start, we were served a visually beautiful salad with a Strawberry and Beet cured King Salmon. It was perfectly delicate and rich, with a wonderful bit of sliced green Strawberries, something I certainly would like to see more of, in general. Everything was sprinkled with Poppy seeds and herbed Buttermilk. I would have loved a second serving.


Next up was a strawberry gazpacho which, while yes cold strawberry soup sounds more like a dessert than an appetizer, it had a nice balance of the sweet to salty. The addition of smoked Salmon roe seemed to delight to everyone at the table, and I particularly enjoyed the charred Strawberry and curds floating around the bottom of the bowl. These guys know how to play with food.

As we ate, our glasses were constantly filed with either a rose, or a chardonnay. I went with the white, which was a crisp delicious palate cleanser.


For the entree we were served a nice portion each of roasted king Salmon and braised Pork. The Salmon was… good! The braised pork, even better, while being a bit off the ingredient theme of the evening. Many remarked on how well it was prepared, crisp on the outside and melt in your mouth on the inside. Of course, there were more Strawberries, this time roasted, as well as some charred Fennel puree.

It should be noted (in case it’s obvious from these photos) that each dish had a small delicate piece of Matthew Hoffman’s art served along side the food. One piece was a small phrase made out of wood, another a small phrase made out of laser etched plastic. It was hard to figure out what it all meant, until dessert arrived.


A huge portion of strawberry summer pudding with Parmesan Cheesecake arrived. Strawberry jam, olive oil and basil finished the dish. It was a bit overwhelming, but everyone of us was up to the challenge. I’ll admit, at this point I was on strawberry overload. Every tastebud in my mouth was just saturated with a acidic high note of the berry.


We were also provided a small wooden tray, with two bite size candy like pastries on top. A chocolate number, and another lighter in flavor number that… I think had some sort of popcorn powder on it? I have no idea what it was, but it was delicious, and thankfully lacking in Strawberry.


As people started to take note of the wooden tray, a few people flipped it over to reveal a mirror like surface. Several clever dining guests realized all of the small pieces of art from the other plates clicked together on the tray, creating a sculpture stressing the importance of slowing down and taking note of whats happening around you. A refreshing statement as we all live in a world that’s moving way too fast.

Throughout the dinner, Matthew would walk around the room, talking to the 20 or so guests and you could tell he was really enjoying himself. We all were. It was a lovely event, and I hope to make the next one.

(photos provided by Blackbird.)

March 26, 2015

!¡ @andyrementer for @oreo !¡

2:57 pm in art,faestfood dustin hostetler


I’m in NYC for the week, working out of Chelsea Market. On my way in to the office this morning, I look up and what do I see? A glorious Andy Rementer billboard celebrating a most delicious cookie. More via Adweek.

February 19, 2013

mcgarveybarlow A new food blog

2:11 am in art,conversations,dreaming,faestfood dustin hostetler



good friends of Faest have started a new food blog & you should take note: mcgarveybarlow.com

July 16, 2011

How do you eat Sardines?

3:00 pm in conversations,dreaming,faestfood,video dustin hostetler

After talking with some friends about our love of Sardines, I drunkenly decided to make a little how-to of one of my favorite ways to eat the little bastards…

Soon after, my friend posted up his own take on these delightful little fish…

So now my question is… how do you eat Sardines?

September 23, 2009

Dear Diary… I Love New York


I don’t normally post a lot of personal shit on this blog, but I recently had a great weekend in New York and I wanted to share it with you. Whenever I get a chance to leave Toledo, I try to pack as much into my adventures so I have a lot to dwell on when I get back to Ohio.

Check out this view from my hotel room. I was staying in China Town, literally at the base of the Manhattan bridge. Thankfully the room was really insulated, so I didnt hear the traffic… but talk about a crazy view!


As soon as I got into town, I met up with one of my best friends. We walked around trying to find a bar, and ended up at a cool spot called Apotheke. From the outside it looks like an old chinese bar thats out of business, but when you go inside it feels like you are in a mad scientist’s den. The bartenders all wear lab coats, and all of the drinks are amazingly complicated. We had deconstructed Old Fashions as well as a saffron infused bourbon martini. Very good.. and very expensive.


Following the drinks, I had some rather dodgy chinese food. The seafood smell was so strong, it burnt my nose. Surprisingly I lived through it.


Not to focus too much on the food portion of my trip, but the next day I swung by Shopsins for an absolutely amazing sandwich. I had recently watched I Like To Kill Flies and it was quite surreal to know all of the employees without them knowing me. If you are ever near the Essex St Market, I urge you to stop by.



After lunch, I swung by the Museum of Art and Design and headed up to the 7th floor. The views from their event space are incredible, and I felt lucky to have this vantage point, even if it was a rainy day. Seeing the top of the trees in Central Park was pretty amazing.


The reason for my visit to the MAD was to help install a small show I curated for a Fashion week event. BESPOKEN, an up & coming men’s line based in NY & London was showing their new season and thought it would only be appropriate to have art on the walls… It’s a museum after all! I invited 5 artists to make work based on the theme of “hands” since all of the Bespoke clothes are made by hand. Whoops that Smile Maker piece is upside down!


The reflection on the glass of the view was so cool…


MWM‘s piece had a lot of great textures going on…


Dan Funderburgh‘s piece was laser cut paper…



After installation, I went to Criff Dogs with a friend where I had some bitchin’ veggie dogs… And then drinks at Please Don’t Tell. You can’t go wrong with any of the drink choices. I had a Tamarind infused cocktail that tasted like a sweet cigar and it was absolutely deeeeelightful.


The next day, I hoped in a cab and headed back to the MAD. The Bespoken event had a fantastic turn out, and both the clothes and art were well received by all…



Everyone from Fashion TV and Vogue to the New York Times showed up. As a poorly dressed fly on the wall, it was a surreal experience…


Thankfully Fumi showed up (pictured next to her lovely piece that now hangs in my home!) and kept me entertained. We were both slightly out of our element, and loved every minute of it.


Later that night was the real reason I came to NYC. I was lucky enough to have an opening in SOHO as part of a project I’ve been working on with MTN Dew’s Green Label… Check out that crazy line up of artists! I was totally humbled to be a part of it.


The show featured new works from myself as well as Jeff Mcmillan. The party was so much fun, but somehow I neglected to take any decent pictures. Thankfully Freshness showed up, and took plenty for me!


Afterwards Florian and I went to a crazy party at the Tribeca Grand, where we proceeded to kick ourselves out by making fun of people’s hats. We roamed around the city, looking for suitable watering holes and ended up in a basement bar… with amazing food (that we very much needed)


Charcuterie plate from heaven (I took off being pescetarian for the night)


Before I headed home the following day, I met up with some long lost internet friends for .. what else.. more food? Vegan Dim Sum to lessen my guilt of the animals I consumed the night before…


…and accompanied by babies.. just to remind myself of the future.


Thanks to all of my friends for entertaining me, Mtn Dew for having me out, the LTD crew for hooking me up with everything, Bespoken for the unique opportunity to be a part of fashion week, and all of the artists who graciously offered their talents to the show; Fumi Mini Nakamura, Nick Tassone, Matt W Moore, Dan Funderburgh and Bradley Askew.  Also, thanks for putting up with this most self indulgent post. New York, I miss you already.

September 17, 2008

fine line @ front room / cleveland

5:52 am in art events,faestfood dustin hostetler

this past weekend, i was lucky enough to be a part of a group show at the front room gallery. the theme of the show was artists who are also designers, and the eclectic mix of art in the show was fantastic.

prior to the opening, Ryan Santos took us to Pho Superior for the combo #4 which many say includes the best sandwich in Cleveland. I for one agree.

ive been involved in a ton of shows on both coasts, and there is something distinctly different about an art show in the midwest. the turn-out was great and everyone was really excited to see some new things…

Ryan Santos was a great cleveland host. here we see him posing in front of some of his own art. he’s taking some time off from visual arts, to focus on culinary arts. he’ll be opening his own natural catering business soon, and i look forward to having him cater our chicago gallery openings.

Damien Correll was also in the show, and showed up for the opening. as ive mention before, he’s a fanatastic artist, and it’s a thrill to see his hand-made work in person. he’s also a super great person, which is always a refreshing change of pace. make sure to check out his recently updated website.

anyways!… if you’re looking for some fantastic affordable art, hit up the front room, before they sell out the show!

August 13, 2008

faestfood paging dr. reed

2:55 am in art,faestfood,Uncategorized faestfood

hello from faestfood.
blog posts about our favorite food & drinks, collected from the think faest community. for our inaugural post, i wanted to tell you about the best summer drink to ever hit the midwest, and coming soon to a bar near you.

take 1 can PBR, pour it over ice, add a lime and drink with a straw. named after, and created by the amazing Harper Reed, the Doctor Reed is my favorite drink this summer. try one, but make sure you follow the directions.
PBR + Ice + +Lime + Straw = Awesome.

More food & drink posts coming soon!