The Museum of Modern Art’s Long Island City branch is getting a permanent, resident Mediterranean restaurant in April that will have a very personal, Greek connection.
MoMA PS1 in Queens, one of the largest museums dedicated contemporary art in the nation, will open Mina’s Museum Cafe, inspired and operated by Mina Stone, a Brooklyn-based chef and cookbook author.
Stone, who is a favored chef in New York City’s artists and gallery community, draws much of her inspiration from her Greek heritage and her experiences of cooking with her Greek grandmother.
Her popular book “Cooking for Artists” was actually dedicated to her grandmother and most of the recipes in the book were inspired by recipes she learned from her grandmother, who played a major influence in her life as a chef.
“I actually dedicated the book to my Greek yiayia, she said in an interview. “I learned almost everything from her, she’s the most incredible cook and has definitely been a huge influence and inspiration.”
A prolific recipe-sharer, Stone’s yiayia-inspired recipes have appeared in dozens of publications, most recently, her Chickpea stew (Revithatha) in Bon Apetit as one of the publication’s 2019 “Feel Good” recipes.
Although the menu and other details haven’t been disclosed ahead of the restaurant’s April opening, chances are Stone will add many of her Greek-inspired favorites, including her simple for lentil soup, her favorite childhood dish growing up.
She shared her passion for simple and hearty Greek lentil soup with Conde Nast when asked what her favorite dish was:
“Faki: Greek lentil soup. It is such a delicious recipe that has lentil haters convert to lentil lovers, and it has only a handful of ingredients in it. It has been one of my favorite recipes since I was a child, which my mother is very proud of! “What other kid liked lentils?” she says, adding that:
“It embodies everything I love. Simple, healthy, aromatic, and delicious. In my mind, it is a beautiful dish, and the ingredients read like a poem. Traditional Greek food was often vegetarian, utilizing pulses (dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas) and vegetables as the main meal. I also think Greek cuisine is less known for its simple soups and vegetarian dishes—I like to expose how they can be the best.”
A simple photo that featured Greek stewed beans (fasolakia) was also posted on Mina’s new Instagram account.
According to the press announcement from MoMA PS1:
MoMA PS1 is partnering with celebrated chef Mina Stone and artist Alex Eagleton to open a new restaurant at the Museum in April 2019. Drawing on Mina Stone’s Greek heritage and fifteen years of cooking professionally in the art world, Mina’s will offer simple but creative Mediterranean-inspired cuisine designed to serve museum visitors, artists, and the vibrant community in Long Island City. The menu will change frequently to feature seasonally available ingredients.
Renowned for the accessible conviviality of her menus, Stone is best known for her acclaimed 2015 book Cooking for Artists, designed by artist Urs Fischer and featuring more than 70 of Stone’s family-style recipes alongside drawings by artists including Darren Bader, Cassandra MacLeod, Matthew Barney, Elizabeth Peyton, and Spencer Sweeney.
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