Portland artists team with Miyake for edible experience


Forget dinner and a show, dinner and an art performance is the hottest ticket in Portland next month. Or is dinner itself the show?

You never know what rabbit acclaimed Portland artists Aaron T. Stephan and Lauren Fensterstock will pull out of the hat next. But this we do know: throw in Masa Miyake, the sushi king of Portland, live music and an edgy location like Thompson’s Point and you’ve got the beginning of a new “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” with a touch of “The Last Supper,” and a dash of “Clue.”

Tickets are on sale now for INSIDE OUTSIDE ABOVE BELOW, an installation that willquestion normative ways of eating and interacting within one’s community by creating correlations between construction, collaboration and consumption.”

And will involve a heap of imagination and trust. So bring your fun friends along with your appetite.

The husband and wife sculpting duo love to cook, eat, and wine and dine like troubadours. This time they invite the artistry of a James Beard finalist. Miyake, of the eponymous Fore Street restaurant and Pai Men Miyake, is a high-caliber choice.

The artists have devised an aesthetic framework for these culinary moments. Within the cavernous, industrial space, a mood grotto is being constructed.


On site Miyake will prepare multi-course meals for six nights — September 10,11,12,17,18,19. This is a true moveable feast. You’ll be asked to climb a ladder to reach your next morsel, so rethink the skirts and heels ladies (and dudes).

“A lot of artists have used food or dining as a way to create conversation, question authorship, and expand boundaries,” said Fensterstock, singling out Gordon Matta Clark and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

This is a continuation of a series of similar culinary artistic events the couple has staged. Last fall they transformed their home for eight nights into themed dinners sponsored by the Portland Museum of Art. The one I attended was a farm on table extravaganza that would put any event planner to shame.


Stephan foraging herbs for the next course at an October dinner party.

The couple clipped herbs growing on the table, and culled hidden veggies like potatoes, in front of us. Then they hustled into the kitchen to whip up the next course. The results were suitable for framing. Inside Outside Above Below should blow that out of the water. Get tix here.

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.