Archive for January, 2014

26
Jan
14

Two Paintings


Over the last month and a half I’ve become the proud owner of two Igal Fedida abstract paintings. But as I’ve said before, on these pages, about the artist:

He is a modern painter with a message that extends beyond time. His colors are bold, Hebrew letters appear almost invariably, his brush strokes reveal a lot more about the subject matter than do the works of far more photo realistic artists. In short, though he paints Jewish art, his paintings speak to Jew and non-Jew alike, his works stir up emotions far beyond what the eyes can perceive. While looking at his works, you see the colors dance, you see the colors explode; no definable shape is discernible, yet everything that exists or ever existed is in them.”

The first one I acquired, is 12″x 12″ painted on paper…

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IgaFedpaint2

…”Between heavens and earth” represents – to me – the light breaking through the chaos as Creation starts to take shape and life though not fully defined, is just emerging. On the lower right corner the Hebrew letter “Bet,” the first letter of the book of Genesis is fully and beautifully shaped, it shows that though the elements were not yet recognizable, even through the Chaos everything was there and followed a very definite Divine plan.

The second work, which I got a few weeks later is a 40″ x 40″ mixed media on canvas…

IgaFedpaint

…”Explosion of Bereshit” happens shortly after the first depiction of Creation above. The Hebrew calligraphy quotes the first four verses of Genesis:

(1:1) In the beginning of God‘s creating the heavens and the earth — (1:2) when the earth was astonishingly empty, with darkness upon the surface of the deep, and the Divine Presence hovered upon the surface of the waters — (1:3) God said, “Let there be light, and there was light. (1:4) God saw that the light was good and God separated between the light and the darkness.
(The Stone Edition Artscroll Tanach translation)

That early supernal light, as it acquires strength, become a beautiful combination of colors, a pleasing canvas on which the Almighty’s creations will find a home. But… what about the viewer who heretofore denied the involvement, denied the very existence of a Divine Entity? To him/her the painting pointedly poses the question: can such an event as Creation be the result of random cataclysmic happenings that just resulted in life as we know it? 

Fedida‘s paintings may not solve philosophical dilemmas of faith, but they certainly present a clarification and a realistic interpretation – based on his kabalistic studies – of how Creation might have happened… Because, gentle reader, while looking at his works, you see the colors dance, you see the colors explode. While no definable shape is easily discernible, if you look carefully at the small details – the sudden turn of the painter’s brush, the shapes hinted – you soon realize that everything that exists or ever existed is represented here.

CS

21
Jan
14

Ribollita, Zuppa Toscana


It’s been snowing non-stop, since early morning. It’s CoOOolD out there!

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SnowStorm

Having come back from a long day I could think of nothing better to warm up with than one of my favorite Tuscan soups:

Ribollita

Rebollita

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • water, as needed
  • 14 oz canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock *
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lb 2 oz kale (preferably Tuscan kale**, if you can find it!), trimmed and sliced
  • 1 small day or two old ciabatta loaf (substitute any flat bread, if you can’t find the ciabatta, torn into small pieces)
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin oil, to serve

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions, carrots, and celery for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the vegetables are golden and caramelized.
  2. Add the white beans to the pan and pour in the tomatoes. Add enough of water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 20minutes. Add the parsley and Tuscan kale and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bread and add a little more water, as needed. The soup should be thick.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Ladle into warmed serving bowls and serve hot, drizzled with extra virgin oil.

Try this soup and you’ll understand the true meaning of comfort food!

–oOOoOOo–

* Vegetable Stock

Yield: 8 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or corn oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped leek
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 4 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fennel
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 bouquet garni

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and leek and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the remaining vegetables, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the water and bouquet garni, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes,
  2. Strain the stock into a bowl, let cool, cover and store in the refrigerator. use immediately or freeze in portions for up to 3 months.

–oOOoOOo–

**

Be warned, once you’ve tasted Tuscan kale, you’ll find it hard to go back to the more easily available variety.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

08
Jan
14

A Conversation with Chef David Kolotkin


This evening at 10:00pm (Eastern Time), we will be talking to Chef David Kolotkin, cookbook author (The Prime Grill Cookbook)  and Corporate Chef at Prime Hospitality Group. We will discuss what makes a Chef, coming up in the ranks of today’s brigade system kitchens and much more.

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DavKoll

Those of you who’ve been faithfully reading this blog, know that both SYR and I wrote many times about Chef David, you also know that because of his superior culinary skills, because of his people skills, his down to earth – friendly – personality, he is our favorite Chef among many great ones.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, listen to our last broadcast with Sotheby‘s Senior Vice PresidentJenifer Roth – on Israeli and International Art, and the fascinating world of antique Judaica with Consultant on Books and Manuscripts, David Wachtel

Please tune us in this evening at 10:00pm  (Eastern Time) for a fascinating show, pretaped at The Prime Grill Restaurant (25 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019 – 212.692.9292). We will be waiting for you!

CS




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