Art and Food: Rosa's and Tony's Demo and Dinner

Tomorrow evening is our long-awaited "Demo and Dinner" prepared by premier chefs Rosa and Tony Hanslits.  A small group of foodie fans will gather at Nicole Taylor's Pasta Shop in the shop kitchen to watch and ask questions, smell the smells and enjoy the wonderful flavors of a dinner prepared by the talented Hanslits couple.

The menu has been posted.  Yum.

My painting, "Rosa's Tomatoes" highlights this beautiful
ceramic bowl of heirloom tomatoes waiting to be made
into delicious pasta sauce. 
Some of us will be meeting this culinary couple for the first time.  But not me....  I have spent time with both of them. Many months ago, as I worked on my "Food for Thought" and "Food as Memoir" sketchbook and painting series,  I asked their permission to "sit in the kitchen" and make drawings in my sketchbook.

At Rosa Hanslits' Nicole Taylor's Pasta Shop, I sat at the big table while Rosa made crostini and her delicious Vodka Pasta Sauce for sale in her shop and at local farmers' markets. Her assistant, Willy,  made pasta in interesting shapes in the amazing pasta machine.  (Of course, I had to purchase some Vodka Sauce and fresh pasta for dinner that night.)
Willy making pasta.
Rosa's Crostini
The other half of the "Demos and Dinners" Duo is Chef Tony Hanslits.  In addition to doing "Demos and Dinners" with Rosa, the summer farmers' markets and a once a month dinner at the Nestle Inn in downtown Indianapolis, Chef Tony Hanslits is with the Chef's Academy, a local culinary school.  He and Rosa also owned Something Different, a top restaurant in Indianapolis for many years, and Tavola di Tosa in Broad Ripple.  

My morning spent at the Chef's Academy Pastry Department was delightful.  I was invited to sit in on the "Chocolate and Pastry Class".  Ah, the smells. The class was taught by Chef Pierre Giacometti.  I learned that this is hard work and that there are rules.  

Chef Pierre Giacometti
The Rules
Most interesting to me, though, was talking with the pastry class students about why they were here, what they liked to do best and what their future plans were.  Savon wanted to own her own shop.  She liked to cook and had been the main cook in her family while growing up.  Many students had been artists who were looking for an artistic way to make a living.
Savon, pastry student
Food and art, food and memoir and food as a livelihood for one of our own children.....I understand a little more about the classes, hard work and career decisions made by our own daughter, Maggie Wickes Callahan, who is an internship away from graduating from Le Cordon Bleu Pastry School in Austin, Texas.  You can read about her and her artistic culinary journey at

I can't wait to make sketches of her at work on her wonderful pastry creations.

 Maggie Wickes Callahan last August on her
first day of Pastry School at Le Cordon Bleu,
Austin, TX


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