"Food will shape who you are" - Reflections on Palatable Brunch Panel

Everything from the art on the walls to the picture painted on the plate by the chef/artist are all important elements in creating a unique experience for guests...Food will shape who you are.
— Chef JJ Johnson

A few weeks ago, our Seed Street co-founder Hannah Bronfman participated in the dynamic Palatable Brunch Tour Panel about the intersection of art, food, culture and Harlem, presented by the FLUX Art Fair in partnership with the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Hannah was joined by Executive Chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson (The Cecil), Harlem-based entrepreneur Anahi Angelone, and dynamic visual artist Miguel Luciano. Hallie Ringle, assistant curator at the Studio Museum, moderated the panel.

From left to right: Moderator Hallie Ringle and panelists Hannah Bronfman, Anahi Angelone, Miguel Luciano and JJ Johnson. 

From left to right: Moderator Hallie Ringle and panelists Hannah Bronfman, Anahi Angelone, Miguel Luciano and JJ Johnson. 

The amazing Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem.

The amazing Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem.

Our panelists shared in the sentiment that food in the 21st century is deeply rooted as both an art and an experience; although its manifestation in our lives today can feel very contemporary, our food tastes and preferences in fact draw directly from our shared family and cultural histories. As Hannah summarized after the panel, “by aligning with this influential group of food enthusiasts who are all interested in unique ways of bringing food back to its roots, we can influence a young urban community and be leaders in helping our youth to make life-long healthy connections to food.”

JJ discussed his creative process, including moving to Ghana for one month to cook and research the food of the African diaspora, and shared how West Africa has especially influenced the food of the world. Hannah talked about her upbringing as a vegetarian, her life-long journey to expand her palette through her world travels, and how Seed Street is “working to reinforce a bond with food and an understanding of where food comes from by making farming cool again." Anahi discussed the process by which she plans and preserves the murals adjacent to her restaurants, and how a thoughtful selection can lead them to become hallmarks of cultural connection within a community.

We eat with our eyes first, and the way we approach art is similar. I’m interested in food history and the way food speaks about culture and migration.
— Artist Miguel Luciano

Thank you for all who joined us for this special event. Stay tuned for more news on upcoming Seed Street events.