Lunder Institute Announces Chef in Residence Program

The Lunder Institute for American art is excited to announce a pilot chef in residence program. Acknowledging the impact of the culinary arts within the art world, and Colby’s unique position, both figuratively and literally, to the superior culinary community that exists in Maine and, specifically, Portland, the Lunder Institute seeks to create opportunities to engage with culinary artists around food, it’s making, its origin, its impact, and its influence.

The Lunder Institute is committed to acknowledging, exploring, and representing the broadest understanding and reflection of American art. This unique opportunity allows our campus community, as well as the wider Waterville community, to understand the greater relationship between food and its culture in American art, and how that relationship impacts the ways we understand our American history, our history with food, our history with the land, and the history between the cultures and people of America.

­Starting in April, the Lunder Institute will invite three culinary artists—Jordan Benissan, chef and owner of Mé Lon Togo, a West African themed restaurant in Rockland, Maine, Dave Mallari, chef and owner of the Sinful Kitchen in Portland, Maine, and a former Chopped contestant, and Louis Pickens, chef and owner of Black Betty’s Bistro, a catering kitchen and restaurant based in Portland, Maine—to present a supper club featuring dishes inspired by a work from the Colby College Museum of Art’s American art collection. Each artist will spend a week in residence in preparation for an evening for 12 strangers to share in food, conversation, and community.

The Lunder Institute will partner with DavisConnects, Colby’s career center, to offer more discussion around pathways within the food industry and the culinary arts and will offer a panel, on April 6 to introduce the three Lunder Institute chefs in residence to the community and to learn more about their practice, their career paths, and their work.

The Lunder Institute for American art will invite these three chefs back during the summer to offer supper clubs and participate in the Lunder Institute for American Art Summer Think Tank: ____________ American 2023. During this time, the chefs will interact with thought partners across disciplines, within the arts and beyond, to further the discourse around the relationship between the culinary arts, the history of food, land history and ownership, farming, and how that has impacted and influenced art practice for generations.

Image (Left to Right): Dave Mallari, Jordan Benissan, and Louis Pickens.