Sunday, 16 November 2014

Food and Ballet

Gita Mistry's Dessert in Honour of Isaac Lee-Baker
Photo Gita Mistry

Food has lots of connections with ballet. It is of course fuel for the lifts and jumps that delight an audience, But a good meal also complements a memorable evening in the theatre. Sometimes it is part of the scenario of the ballet as in The Taming of the Shrew where Petruchio starves Katherina into submission. Occasionally a great dancer inspires a chef to create a great dish as happened when Anna Pavlova visited New Zealand. Something like that happened on Saturday when my friend Gita Mistry and I saw The Great Gatsby in Bradford (see Northern Ballet at its best: The Great Gatsby in Bradford).

Gita is an artist in her own right. She is a chef who won the BBC's Eating with the Enemy contest a few years ago. She won over 4 of the country's top food critics.  She is also a dancer who has performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and other venues. She has even kept me company at the barre more than once.

Like me Gita was impressed with The Great Gatsby. She particularly enjoyed Nixon's choreography with its soaring lifts, the dancers' virtuosity and passion, the costumes which accounted for a fleet of pantechnicons parked outside the Alhambra. One particular dancer stood out for her - Isaac Lee-Baker who danced the hapless Wilson in the ballet. She was so impressed with his performance that she created the dessert that appears above in his honour.

We had intended to courier it to Quarry Hill tomorrow but temptation got the better of us. It was scrumptious. I mean seriously scrumptious.  I might add that it had far too much cream and sugar than is good for a dancer so we really did Isaac Lee-Baker a favour by keeping it beyond his reach.  But Gita has shared her recipe in DanceFood - A Dessert for Isaac Lee-Baker 16 Nov 2014 Gita Mistry Food.  And if Isaac really wants to throw caution to the wind I am sure that Gita could be prevailed upon to make another just for him.

Over the next few weeks Gita and I will be exploring the relationship between food and dance in all its aspects. I can't promise any new dishes but there will certainly be plenty of tips and useful information.

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