Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Very Good Idea: The Neighborhood Chef

Posted By on Sat, Feb 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM

There is a wonderful melding of art and cuisine happening in Tucson.

When I spoke to David Aguirre of Dinnerware Artspace last year he said the creativity of many local artists extended beyond the studio and into the kitchen, and he saw it as a great way to help artists supplement their income while developing another creative talent. His idea was to buy a food truck so those artists could have a mobile kitchen with which to express themselves. The truck was purchased and used at one event that I know of. It should also be noted that Aguirre is heavily involved in and a huge supporter of the local food-truck movement at large, and that the Food Truck Round-Ups benefit Dinnerware Artspace.

Dinnerware Artspace also shares a physical space with the new Borderlands Brewing Company, which has been steadily gaining momentum since opening its doors a few months ago.

Now Aguirre is once again delving into the culinary side of things with a new event called Neighborhood Chef. The first one is loosely scheduled for Tuesday, March 6, at Ralph's Gas Station on the corner of South Fourth Avenue and 19th Street, in Armory Park, and will feature cuisine by Jamie Castro of food truck Jamie's Bitchen Kitchen. There will be music and maybe live art performances. Aguirre, good man, you are a genius.

It should also be noted that a group of artists associated with Aguirre also hold amazing underground supper clubs. The underground supper club is a concept that is big in other places, but hasn't really taken off here. They typically include multi-course meals, sometimes with copious amounts of good wine and libations, in intimate and sometimes unusual settings. My prediction is that this will be the next hot thing to hit the Tucson dining scene. Actually it's sort of happening already, but very few people know about it because it is, well, underground. So far we've got a couple of them we can tell you about, but more are in the works. You can click over here and here for more on those.

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