The Art & Cooking of Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Georgia O’Keeffe, Vincent Van Gogh & More

Mex­i­can cui­sine is as time-con­sum­ing as it is deli­cious.

Fri­da Kahlo fans attract­ed to the idea of dupli­cat­ing some dish­es from the ban­quet served at her wed­ding to fel­low artist Diego Rivera should set aside ample time, so as to tru­ly enjoy the expe­ri­ence of mak­ing chiles rel­lenos and nopales sal­ad from scratch.

Sarah Urist Green’s Kahlo-themed cook­ing les­son, above, adapt­ed from Marie-Pierre Colle and Frida’s step­daugh­ter Guadalupe Rivera’s 1994 cook­book Frida’s Fies­tas: Recipes and Rem­i­nis­cences of Life with Fri­da Kahlo, is refresh­ing­ly frank about the chal­lenges of tack­ling these types of dish­es, espe­cial­ly for those of us whose grand­mas ran more toward Jell‑O sal­ad.

Her self-dep­re­ca­tion should go a long way toward reas­sur­ing less-skilled cooks that per­fec­tion is not the goal.

As she told Nuvo’s Dan Gross­man:

The art cook­ing videos are immense­ly fun to make… And what I’m try­ing to do is reach peo­ple who aren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly out­ward­ly into art or don’t know whether they’re into art so they’re not going to click on a video that’s strict­ly about art. But if you can present art ideas through a cook­ing tuto­r­i­al per­haps they’ll be more open to it. I love to cook. And I love to think about that side of art his­to­ry.

To that end, she takes a cou­ple of bite-sized art breaks, to intro­duce view­ers to Frida’s life and work, while the toma­toes are roast­ing.

As tempt­ing as it is for old Fri­da hands to skip this well-chart­ed ter­rain, doing so will not make din­ner ready any faster. Why not enjoy the non-cook­ing relat­ed sec­tions with the eas­i­est item on the menu—a tequi­la shot?

Don’t trick your­self into think­ing there’s noth­ing more to learn.

For instance, I did not know the Span­ish for “I can’t get over this hang­over,” but Frida’s pet par­rot did. (Didn’t know that either.)

Green also offers some quick how-tos that could come in handy for oth­er, less time-con­sum­ing dish­es, like a sand­wich or a plate of home­made pasta—everything from how to make home­made toma­to sauce  to denud­ing prick­ly pear cac­tus pads of their non-edi­ble spines.

If you’re undaunt­ed by the Fri­da recipes, per­haps you should pro­ceed to Sal­vador Dali’s tow­er­ing Bush of Cray­fish in Viking herbs, or the Futur­ists’ high­ly sug­ges­tive Meat Sculp­ture. Oth­er recipes come from Vin­cent Van Gogh and Geor­gia O’Ke­effe. See above.

Books ref­er­enced in the videos include: Din­ner with Geor­gia O’Ke­effe; A Painter’s Kitchen: Recipes from the Kitchen of Geor­gia O’Ke­effe; Dal­i’s Les Din­ers de GalaVan Gogh’s Table at the Auberge Ravoux: Recipes From the Artist’s Last Home and Paint­ings of Cafe Life; and again Frida’s Fies­tas: Recipes and Rem­i­nis­cences of Life with Fri­da Kahlo.

View the full playlist of The Art Assignment’s Art Cook­ing episodes here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Futur­ist Cook­book (1930) Tried to Turn Ital­ian Cui­sine into Mod­ern Art

MoMA’s Artists’ Cook­book (1978) Reveals the Meals of Sal­vador Dalí, Willem de Koon­ing, Andy Warhol, Louise Bour­geois & More

Sal­vador Dalí’s 1973 Cook­book Gets Reis­sued: Sur­re­al­ist Art Meets Haute Cui­sine

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Join her in New York City this June for the next install­ment of her book-based vari­ety show, Necro­mancers of the Pub­lic Domain. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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