Culinary Imaginings, the photography exhibit showing chefs’ kitchen tools, was on display at Worcester’s Center for Crafts. Donna Dufault’s first solo show has been a multi-event extravaganza with one big party that ended it.
There was an opening reception. Then, a spoken-word throwdown called Hungry Minds took place on February 1. The final installment kicks off Saturday, February 27 at 5:30 p.m. The Center will host a Pasta Dinner benefit to close the show. Guests will see art and receive it. Artists and Center supporters handmade 200 plates. The plates will be displayed in The Krikorian Gallery where Donna’s Culinary Imaginings currently hangs.
According the Center’s executive director Honee Hess, 100 of the 150 tickets to the event have been sold. Hess continued that increased interest over the past few years in food and photography sparked the show’s popularity.
Chris, who was a featured speaker at the storytelling event Hungry Minds, vividly remembers the moment Donna asked to take photos of his kitchen accoutrement rather than prepared feasts or action shots from the line.
“The minute she told me her idea, I said, ‘Absolutely!’” said Chris.
Perhaps Chris’s perspective came naturally because of the years he spent in the kitchen. One of his first culinary lessons was in his grandmother’s basement hand-making pasta, which is now a staple at his restaurant—all of the pasta at Rovezzi’s is handmade. And, he put in years at his father’s Worcester restaurant, also called Rovezzi’s, which closed in 1992.
Ever since learning to make pasta, Chris’s favorite kitchen tool has been his hands, however, his hands didn’t make it into any of the photos hanging in The Krikorian Gallery. None of the photographs include people or food, however, the work of human hands graces each shot.
Whether it’s the beat-up stacks of frying pans in Chris’s kitchen or measuring spoons thrown on top of Chef Bill Nemeroff’s hand-written recipe notes from his time as head chef at The People’s Kitchen in Worcester, Mass., the craft of cooking is present in every one of Donna’s photographs.
Bill said he didn’t consciously see the art of his kitchen tools but he’s had an infinity for art and design in the kitchen since he was a kid growing up in Virginia Beach. At the age of 8, he made friends with the local fish monger to buy oysters and clams. Even then, he remembers seeing the beauty in preparing delicious food.
Stories don’t accompany each photo but the images certainly inspire you to see that the tools’ owners love their craft.
Kitchen-tool photos from here to New York make up Dufault’s show, which is a must-see before it comes down.
“Many of Donna’s pieces have sold, and I expect the Pasta Dinner will sell out too,” said Hess, who is very pleased with patrons’ enthusiasm for the show.
The Worcester Center for Crafts, located at 25 Sagamore Rd. in Worcester, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.