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Food with artistic flair

Atlanta hotel offers high tea inspired by Picasso masterworks

January 15, 1998
Web posted at: 1:41 p.m. EDT (1341 GMT)

From CNN Senior Food and Health Correspondent Carolyn O'Neil

ATLANTA (CNN) -- From a critically acclaimed movie about his life starring Anthony Hopkins, to the traveling art exhibit that draws sold out crowds -- even a play written about him by comic Steve Martin -- the mystique of and appreciation for Pablo Picasso crosses many boundaries.

And now an Atlanta hotel adds one more arena to the list -- Picasso as an inspiration in the culinary world.

For art lovers who happen to be food lovers too, certain images emerge. Picasso's "Fruit Dish" and "Green Still Life" depict food in the Spanish master's unique and powerful style. Like many artists throughout the ages, Picasso was inspired by the simple beauty of food.

Executive chef Brooke Vosika of Atlanta's Four Seasons Hotel took his inspiration from Picasso. From the shapes and colors Vosika saw at an exhibit of Picasso's masterworks at the city's High Museum, the chef created an afternoon tea visually different from English tradition.

"I think it's the colors," he said. "When you look at Picasso's works and you see the interesting colors he put on the canvas -- we try to do that with flavors. We tried to take as many flavors as we could, combine them with the colors and make that our masterpiece -- the food, whereas Picasso's masterpieces were on the canvas."

And after guests have enjoyed the bright yellow chicken curry sandwiches and cherry tomatoes stuffed with crab, they can pick up an artist's palette made with white chocolate and take a bite.

"We tried to pick as many of the colors that Picasso would have used in some of his most bright and vibrant paintings, and we've taken those colors and transformed them around on the rim of the plate to decorate that also," Vosika explained.

Picasso's works reveal a fascination with food and wine. The artist's images will certainly last longer than the creations on Vosika's plates -- but at the Four Seasons, a taste of Picasso tops the menu.

Tea - Click to Enlarge
Artist's palette - Click to Enlarge
Sandwich - Click to Enlarge
Yummy - Click to Enlarge
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