Heading into the Nutripolitan Museum of Art, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. However, it's NYC, a city full of unique ideas, and I knew that this one was going to be awesome. My friend Jen came along for the festivities and as soon as we walked in, we were asked to "donate" a jar of peanut butter to the Food Bank just by putting a sticker with our name on it on the wall. Easiest thing I've ever donated!
|Jen and I with the wall of stickers behind us|
The invitation-only launch party was sponsored by a whole host of companies, but mainly put on by the fantastic folks over at Peanut Butter & Co. to celebrate National Peanut Month. The idea behind the gallery was basically, let's style peanut butter with a whole host of foods that may or may not go with it, photograph these creations and then display larger than life-size food porn posterboards.
|Some of the food porn displayed in the gallery|
|Jen's favorite was titled "Pizzelle Perfect"|
|The crowd with a rotating peanut butter art slideshow above the bar|
The space in Openhouse Gallery was packed to the brim with peanut butter lovers. I'm pretty sure they had more attendees than planned as the bar line stretched almost to the exit, but the creative peanut butter themed libations were well worth the wait. I sampled the PB&J Hooray which had Purple 3 Olives Vodka and egg whites shaken over ice with peanut butter whipped cream topping. It was quite the different sort of drink, but I liked the playfulness between the grape flavored vodka and the peanut butter on top. Jen tried the Peanut Butter Java Whiplash which had 3 Olives Vanilla, Chocolate and Espresso Vodka shaken with milk and topped with peanut butter whipped cream and chopped peanuts and graham crackers.
|Peanut Butter Java Whiplash (L) and PB&J Hooray (R)|
At a peanut butter party, one would expect peanut butter, but not quite in the myriad of combinations that were served by waiters who could barely pass their trays out the door before having to return to the kitchen for refills. The first thing I tried was the Peanut Slaw prepared by Chef Suvir Saran of Devi. It was rather spicy, but refreshing. Other savory favorites included the Peanut Potage by Chef Ben Leezal of Buerre d'Arachede et Cie. I still can't tell you what potage is, but it was like a viscous soup with maybe some potatoes and an essence of peanut. The Penne with Peanut Pesto and Chicken Sate were wonderful as well.
Onto more sweet options, waiters were passing around breads with four different combinations of peanut butters and toppings. Using Peanut Butter & Co.'s own flavored peanut butters, the combinations were White Chocolate Wonderful with fresh blueberries, Dark Chocolate Dreams with sliced strawberries, Crunch Time with toasted marshmallows and Mighty Maple with smoked bacon, although I think the flavors and toppings may have gotten switched around a bit. The Mighty Maple was my favorite peanut butter, but it was so nice to enjoy fresh strawberries for the first time in a while. To top it all off, we also tried Magic Bars, which are like an "everything but the kitchen sink" sort of sweet concoction. So delicious and I got the recipe!
|Dark Chocolate Dreams with a Toasted Marshmallow|
|Mighty Maple with Smoked Bacon|
The rest of the night was spent noshing, enjoying the art and palling around with my new monkey friend. Everyone seemed to have a great time celebrating an awesome New York idea brought to life.
|Me and my monkey friend|
To me, a great event is one that I leave happy, full and feeling like I've experienced something unique. Major bonus points come in the form of a great gift bag, and this party scored major awesome bonus points! Not only did I take home two jars of Peanut Butter & Co.'s famous peanut butters (Mighty Maple and Smooth Operator), but I also received Traditional Virginian Peanut Soup from Montebello Kitchens, a ladle to go with it, Protein Plus Peanut Flour, Sir Francis Bacon Peanut Brittle, Peri-Peri Good hot spiced peanuts, Q.bel peanut butter and chocolate cookies, peanut caramels from Liddabit Sweets and packaged peanuts from Ricky's Lucky Nuts. Let's just say I'll be getting my peanut fix for the next year.
|My awesome peanut goodie bag|
Thanks to my friend Jeff, who writes the awesome food blog I8NYC, I also scored a jar of Peanut Butter & Co.'s The Heat is On peanut butter. I can't wait to experiment with that one!
The Nutripolitan Museum of Art is open through tomorrow at the Openhouse Gallery in Soho. I would totally recommend going not only for the art, but every guest will get to take home a jar of peanut butter. In addition, Peanut Butter & Co. will donate one jar of peanut butter to the Food Bank for NYC for every person who visits the gallery.