The Milwaukee Art Museum announced today that it has promoted former sous chef Jamie Nelson to the role of executive chef.
There are two approaches to writing a menu that corresponds to an art exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum: creating food that looks like the art, or reflecting the historical context of the art within the food. According to Micah Kaufman, executive chef at Café Calatrava, the menu for the new MAM exhibit, "Kandinsky: A Retrospective," is some of both.
The new "Uncommon Folk" exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum is stunning. Equally impressive, however, is the menu at the museum's Café Calatrava, which was created to provide a cohesive artistic experience through sustenance.
Jamie Nelson is one of the worker bees in the kitchen at Cafe Calatrava. She's a slight, spritely sort with a quiet disposition and an unassuming manner. But, Nelson isn't exactly what she seems; in fact, in the kitchen, she's developing skills that one day will make her a force to be reckoned with.
At some restaurants, the menu almost never changes. At others, the dishes on offer get a seasonal overhaul. At Milwaukee Art Museum's Cafe Calatrava, the menu changes multiple times a year as the kitchen staff works to create a culinary experience that's in step with the latest exhibition on view upstairs. Right now, that show is "30 Americans," and for the past four months, the chef de cuisine has been Micah Kaufman.