After opening one of arguably San Francisco's best outdoor dining experiences — which features iron-branded ice cubes and high-brow burgers — Palette's new indoor exhibit, Flavors of Photography, is an ode to the detailed, evocative nature of food photography.
Palette, the vibrant nexus of New American cuisine and local artistic expression, opened its dichromatic parklet to the public last month, serving up an array of Instagramable eats and drinks — all of which are backdropped by an equally captivating outdoor setup. And with the City now allowing for certain indoor activities to resume, the SoMa eatery has debuted a love letter to the whim and wonder (and oftentimes controversial reality) of food photography.
Flavors of Photography is the first contemporary art exhibit in The Gallery, Pallete's artist showcase, since the pandemic started in mid-March, forcing the restaurant to close its doors. The idea for the display came from the eatery's chef Peter J. Hemsley — who, himself, is also a lauded local creative.
“As a chef, illustrator, and painter, the intersection of food, cuisine, and art always held a multifaceted fascination for me," adds Hemsley in a release. “With the Gallery and the Flavors of Photography exhibit, not only are we showcasing the work of remarkably talented Bay Area food photographers, but we are also offering guests a new way to experience food that is different from a typical restaurant experience.”
The showcase features 85 photographs from Bay Area talent (like Eric Wolfinger and Kelly Puleio) in an all-white, high-ceiling studio. All the displayed images capture each artists’ perspective of how food, and all the things that accompany it, is an integral part of the human experience and just as personal as a home-cooked meal; one still from photographer Molly DeCoudreaux shows SF drag legend Juanita MORE! holding a palmful of the fresh meat in a tongue-in-cheek picture titled "Meat Grinder."
The Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Also: every piece in the collection is up for sale, and you can view them here. Come December, Palette’s winter exhibit, Abstract By Nature, will pedestal the mind-bending works of local contemporary artists Jun Yang and You Been Kim.
Image: “Colorful Donuts” by Leigh Beisch, courtesy of Palette