SATELLITE BERLIN – Art in collaboration was pleased to produce its first event in San Francisco, CA.
It only seemed natural to bring the module VITAL FORCES – FOOD IN CONTEXT to San Francisco, being one of the food conscious places in the world.
By coincidence, we learned about Fritz Müller the great great grandfather of Kit's friend Michelle Graham, who owned several German restaurants in San Francisco on Market and 4th Street. The most famous was the Bismarck Restaurant, which later changed its name to The States Cafe in the WW1 era during the a growing anti-German feeling in the US. Fritz Müller and Sons also catered to World fairs, including the Panama Pacific Exposition in 1915 at the Palace of Legion of Honor.
Having seen photos of Fritz Müllers himself, his Bismarck Restaurant and the menu, we automatically connected it to our first discussion about Food Culture at the first table talk dinner in Berlin in January. Immigration always had and has an enormous influence on food culture, eating habits, change of ingredients and therefore change of recipes. So the idea of a concept dinner, in which we investigate into how German immigrants influence American Food was born.
The German influence on American food is kind of hidden, because it has gone on for so long. Almost one fourth of the American population is of German descent. During the mid 19th century until WWI, German restaurants set a high culinary standard in most major cities; but today they are hard to find even in traditionally German cities like Cincinnati, St. Louis and Milwaukee.
We created a menu, which triggers guests to make the historic references with their tongue, eyes and nose. Each course had have its own personal twist, either a contemporary take on something old, or a family recipe. Historic facts and guesses, along with a well chosen wine and beer pairing accompanied the courses via slide show and detailed explanations of recipies, how they either left their mark in American food culture, found their way to the New World or stayed behind on the Old Continent.