Umami was created as a meeting ground to people who use food as a medium and who present their audience with a multi-sensory experience in the dining room, or gallery space. Our objective is to open avenues of collaboration between these artists and culinary professionals. Choosing food as a common thread allows the festival to present new ways to look at art and to integrate art into daily life. We offer an environment for non-commercial, ephemeral art and encourage artists who work with non-traditional mediums and forms. By bringing these artists together with culinary professionals through panel discussions and workshops, we wish to expose them to new audiences while stirring a debate around the role of food and food professionals in our society. Our intention is to use art to increase awareness of the power food has to influence and shape both diners and cooks.
Our goal is to establish the festival as a biennial event, which targets changing concerns at the intersection of food and art. This is a non-for-profit venture, sponsored by Roulette Intermedium, Inc. All proceeds from the festival go to support participating artists and educational projects.
Umami is engaged in a variety of educational projects aimed at both children and culinary students. In these workshops on food and art, Umami uses art to uncover new ways of thinking about food in our society.
* Umami is the fifth taste sensed by the human tongue (in addition to sweet, salty, bitter and sour). Umami is a Japanese word meaning “savory” or “meaty” and applies to a sensation common in meats, cheese and other protein-rich foods or to “earthy” foods such as mushrooms and soy sauce.