In one of those sweet little profiles that make buying a whole issue of a glossy magazine worthwhile, this month’s Gourmet examines the work of conceptual artist and chef Mary Ellen Carroll. Carroll gained notoriety for a now-concluded series of food performance pieces she called “itinerant gastronomy,” or, in layman’s terms, “cooking fancy food in weird places.” (Example: a six-course meal, including homemade veal sausage, served to workers on the windy Goethals Bridge between Staten Island and New Jersey.)
The profile’s most engaging portion is only indirectly related to food, however. Wisconsin’s Kohler Company operates a program called Arts/Industry, which invites artists to come in and mess around with Kohler’s giant industrial technologies. Carroll seized upon the idea of using Styrofoam packing material as the mold for a kitchen sink. The resulting product, created after a hard-fought battle against physics and logic, was dubbed the “Flintstone” model, as its brutal white exterior seems as though it would be perfectly at home in the Paleolithic era. That said, it also has a rough-hewn beauty.