The New Britain Museum of American Art’s annual “Art of Food and Wine” fundraiser always draws a crowd what with its premium dine-around featuring foods from the area’s most prestigious restaurants and vendors pouring top shelf wines within the confines of one of the area’s most popular collections.
But this year there was a little added oomph to the event, a little celebrity power in the form of Gisene Bullock-Prado, the famed celebrity chef and cookbook author, who, by the way, happens to be the younger sister of actress Sandra Bullock.
“I’m glad to be here, this museum is beautiful,” said Bullock-Prado. Author of several cookbooks including her latest “Sugar Baby Cookbook,” Bullock-Prado, who lives in Hartford, Vermont, said there is yet another cookbook coming out but for now it’s a secret and will be released in 2014.
While the idea was to raise money for museum programs and at the same time enjoy the best of the best when it comes to food, wine and art, it was also a chance to catch up on some restaurant comings and goings. Former “Hell’s Kitchen” contestant Van Hurd, who seemed to have disappeared for a while, is alive and well as sous chef for Jordan’s Caterer’s. Meanwhile for those who have wondered what happened to Hartford On20’s very capable general manager Marwan Idris, he too is alive and well but in a new venue. He has taken on similar duties at Arethusa al Tavolo in Bantam.
But not to worry. The service will still be impeccable at On20. Taking over there is Brett Bushong, who had been working at Millwright’s in Simsbury.
We couldn’t decide if it was just an overactive imagination but museum executive director Douglas Hyland seemed peppier than usual, if that is at all possible, and we found out why when he gushed about plans for a new wing at the museum.
“We have always wanted more gallery space and an education studio and that is what the new space will provide,” he explained about the two-story addition. Thanks to benefactors including business mogul and art collector Charles Hamm and his wife Irene, former Cadbury head Todd Stitzer and his wife Marenda, and some significant state money, groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled for March 2014.
“It’s been our vision,” said Hyland. “We can’t wait.”
For more pictures go here.