With an appetite for the avant-garde, the Watermill Center serves up their International Brunch Series on selected Sundays this spring. In April, theater company Acción Residente discussed their work while chef Jodi Marino prepared a meal. (Get tickets now for the next one on May 22. $75 a head. Details below.)
The center doesn’t hide their kitchen. As guests enter the austere building—an abandoned Western Union research facility when Robert Wilson took it over 25 years ago—they’re encouraged into the chef’s workspace. Visions of the meal to come included ramps prepped for salsa verde and the chef’s assistant baked homemade bread.
Mimosa in hand, guests were free to roam the main galleries. During his 30 days of rotating residency, Chilean street artist Basco Vazko “reinterpreted” the New York Post tabloid every day. Sounds of a printer jarred the otherwise peaceful space as part of his exhibit.
Everyone was asked to take their shoes off before venturing upstairs for a discussion and tour. Don’t say you were not warned if you get caught with mismatched socks.
The tour included a performance of Acción Residente, two men and two women in their 20s from Santiago, who mix gymnastics, dance, yoga and circus elements “to merge” with one another and their audience. “Scene work is done without a director, working “horizontally,” they told the crowd. Evidence of their workshop with Bridgehampton Head Start students, a crayon portrait of the group, hung above a Donald Judd desk.
Like the architecture and the art, Marino’s menu felt grounded. “A little vinegar in soup brings out flavor,” she said serving her cauliflower and jerusalem artichoke soup.
Guests engaged with the artists and made new friends over roasted local white fish with ramp salsa verde, fresh quinoa salad with greens and asparagus, goat cheese and heavenly lavender panna cotta with blackberry coulis.
Martha Clara Vineyards took care of the wines and the huge round table was set with stoneware and linen. Everything grounded to the earth and nothing out of place. Brunch perfection.
Join culinary artist in residence chef Eva Schmidt and a new crop of artists in residence on May 22 and June 12 at noon. In keeping with the theme, the chef values how “flavors move and find balance in the mouth.” The center is all about experimentation but inquiring minds will find a menu online one week prior.
Writer Su-Jit Lin-DeSimone took in a brunch during last year’s series.