Gina Beavers (Paintings)

The biggest, most obvious difference between paintings of food and the real, edible version that inspires them, is that paintings are flat, one-dimensional creations, while food, in its glorious reality, is a three-dimensional object, whose sole purpose is to be touched, picked up, and consumed. So, when I came across these wonderful paintings by artist Gina Beavers, I was instantly struck by their elevated structure. There is definitely a sculptural aspect to the work, which gives the food more of a “living” feeling that you wouldn’t necessarily get in a more traditional painting. Looking at the art, you are filled with an urge to reach out and grab a piece of the acrylic food on the canvas. There is also an unnerving sense that, at any moment, Gina’s food specimens might come alive and grab you instead! Or, perhaps, I've just been watching too many episodes of the Walking Dead! If you'd like to check out more of Gina's work, you can do so right here.  [Photos courtesy of  Clifton Benevento]


Cookbook Excitement: Bake It Like You Mean It

Pastry chef and author, Gesine Bullock-Prado, is a woman after my own heart. Her cookbooks are always filled with recipes that are not only delicious, but visually exciting as well. Her new cookbook, Bake It Like You Mean It, is no exception. The book is completely devoted to unique, graphic, and beautiful cakes! Each chapter centers around a different kind of cake technique. You know those sweet and colorful rainbow cakes that have been popping up everywhere over the last few years? Have you ever wanted to make one of those, but have been just too intimidated to try it? Well, Gesine will show you exactly how to do it! In fact, her new book specializes in just these sorts of eye popping desserts. The kind that, when cut, reveal intricate layers of patterns and designs, such as hearts, checkerboards, helixes, and stripes. For more info on Gesine’s new book, click here. [Photos by Tina Rupp]


Olive & Sinclair

I love every aspect of these chocolate bars by Nashville company Olive & Sinclair. The first and most obvious attraction is the packaging. You can’t help but be won over by the graphic, vintage-inspired wrapper. Next there are the unique flavors: salt and pepper, Mexican style cinn-chili, buttermilk white. (Don’t even get me started on the bourbon nib brittle.) I want to try them all! But the best part of all, tops on the “why I love this company” list, is the fact that the chocolate at Olive & Sinclair is handcrafted, slow-roasted and stone ground in small batches, using both new and vintage machinery. Owner, chef, and visionary Scott Witherow is a firm believer in the bean-to-bar process and uses single origin cacao beans to create a chocolate bar that feels so much more special and one of a kind, than your average ol’ candy bar. Check out the video above to find out more about their process. It’s a great combination of old and new chocolate making. Click here to check out all of the Olive & Sinclair products and to shop online.

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