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A dinner party is a time for hosts and guests to intimately connect. A time to communicate with friends, a social gathering while brooding over that intense bordeaux surrounded by the intoxicating aromas of the meal to come. To be invited to such an event is a special treat which is what Adam Hilborn and Alain Parizeau, co-owners of Barbershop Gallery (1718 Queen Street West) have done. The two invited 15 people to dine with Adam before his solo show “Homeward Bound” at the gallery. The rare opportunity allowed guests to discuss his body of work and get first dibs on purchasing a piece before the show opened to the masses. We had the chance to catch up with Adam and discuss how the dining concept all came about.

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What is the connection between art and food?
Art and food share similarities on two basic levels, the creator and the consumer. For this evening we tried to pair what would be enjoyable and suitable to the tone of the show and what the artist created with the chef. This way you get a real intimate experience in an unexpected way.

What gave you the idea to host a dinner with the artist?
Alain and good friend, Jonathan Ramos, were sitting in the back of the gallery one day drinking beers and telling stories. Alain was discussing how he wanted to start something different with our openings. People said the opening parties were too crowded and they couldn’t see the art or talk to the artist. Alain told Ramos he wanted a more intimate experience catered towards these people and Jonathan suggested we invite them over for dinner in the gallery. Brilliance! From that moment on we started planning a pre-viewing dinner with everything from finding the right chef to pair with the artist, to the table setting design.

Who were the chefs and what did you serve?
The chefs were sisters, Sara and Justine Wood of Les Louises. They run a private fine catering business based in the National Ballet of Canada. After brief discussions a menu was formulated:
Hors d’oeuvres
: Moroccan lamb popsicles with an eggplant basil sauce; Mini crab cakes with wild mushrooms; Caramelized onion triangles
Main
: Chilled tomato consommé; Arugula with red and golden terrines and hazelnut praline; Seared halibut with a fresh tomato, pancetta and enoki mushroom ragout, spring onion mash and zucchini ribbons
Desert
: Bruléed peach; Vanilla bean mini pavlovas

Established in October 2008, the Barbershop Gallery is a space which operates a gallery out of the front and the pairs art/design studio, Parishil, out of the back. With an expiring lease looming, the gallery will be closing it’s doors at the end of the month. Be sure to stop by the space Friday, September 25 to bid adieu and celebrate Barbershop’s year long memorable mark on the art community.

Photographs by Alain Parizeau, video by Alexis Parizeau.

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