Heineken Dinner at Dolce Italian With Artist Alexander Mijares

Categories: Last Night

Nils Erik, Smile XXVII Studios
Artist Alexander Mijares during the presentation of the Suckling Pig entree
Some of the things we most look forward to during Art Basel are the unlikely collaborations. Take for instance the "Design Dialogue" series that included a conversation moderated by Hans Ulrich earlier this week with architect Jacques Herzog and rapper turned self-proclaimed icon, Kanye West. That's something you don't see every day, and Thursday's Heineken-sponsored dinner at The Gale showcased another such partnership.

Highlighting the relationship between a modern artist and the culinary arts, the Dutch brewing company and SAVEUR magazine invited an intimate group of guests to enjoy a five-course meal prepared by Dolce Italian's Executive Chef, Paolo Dorigato, and inspired by pieces from Alexander Mijares' newest collection. The Miami-born talent is best known for his colorful, Latin-infused work and has garnered an international following in the short time he has been painting.

The expertly-paired meal (detailed below) began with a tuna tartare covered in a mango and avocado marmalade, and accented with "electric buttons." At first look, most guests thought the addition of the buttons was purely decorative, but they were actually edible. The combination of their stimulating taste and the Petronzi cocktail made for an interesting punch to the taste buds. Among the five cocktails paired and served throughout the meal, this ginger and honey concoction was the crowd favorite.

The second course, inspired by a piece from Mijares's much-lauded sculpture series, was even more literal in its interpretation. Blue potatoes mimicked the blue tone of the stainless steel skull piece, and added more to the aesthetic than the taste. The serving was light and appropriate for the following course: a buttery ravioli stuffed with red beets, goat cheese, poppy seeds and tarragon pesto. This dish was, by far, the star of the night.

Up next was an over-the-top presentation of the suckling pig entrée, heavily coated and marinated in, of course, Heineken brew and served with a dry, acidic Italian Dolcetto. Finally, dessert paired a creamy, lemon meringue tart doused in cream, sugar and a berry reduction with a bright green after dinner drink (that tasted just like mint chocolate chip ice cream.) Let's just say, we would've gone for seconds if we could have.

Nils Erik, SMILE XXVII Studios

Nils Erik, SMILE XXVII Studios

First Course

Tuna Tartare
Mango Chutney, Avocado, Electric Buttons
Paired with the Petronzi Cocktail
(Gin, Lemon Juice, Honey Syrup, Ginger, Club Soda)

Inspired by You Give Me Butterflies
Acrylic on canvas, 2012
Alexander Mijares

Nils Erik, SMILE XXVII Studios

Nils Erik, SMILE XXVII Studios

Second Course

Blue Potato Salad, Green Tomatillo Salsa
Paired with Heineken Light or Roero Arneis, Prunotto
Piedmont, Italy 2011

Inspired by La Calavera Sculpture
Acrylic on stainless steel, 2013
Alexander Mijares

Nils Erik, SMILE XXVII Studios

Nils Erik, SMILE XXVII Studios

Third Course

Heart Shaped Saffron Ravioli
Red Beets, Goat's Cheese, Poppy Seeds and Tarragon Pesto
Paired with Derby Cider
(Bourbon, Apple Cider, Maple Syrup, Lemon Juice and Tarragon)

Inspired by Copyheart
Acrylic on Canvas, 2013
Alexander Mijares

Nils Erik, SMILE XXVII Studios

Nils Erik, SMILE XXVII Studios

Fourth Course

Cochinillo Asado
A la Madrileña
(Suckling Pig marinated in Heineken)
Paired with Dolcetto d'Alba, Bruno Giacosa
Piedmont, Italy 2012

Inspired by Don Quijote de la Mancha
Acrylic on canvas, 2013
Alexander Mijares

Nils Erik, SMILE XXVII Studios

Fifth Course

I dropped the Cake
(Note: A lemon-meringue surprise from the Chef)
Paired with Grasshopper
Crème de Menthe, White Crème de Cacao, and Cream

Inspired by El Payaso
Acrylic on canvas, 2013
Alexander Mijares

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