Boise Artist Camilla Dahlin's Work Inspires a Four-Course Meal 

The dinner was inspired by a version of this simple black-and-white design that Dahlin created (left).

Courtesy Camilla Dahlin

The dinner was inspired by a version of this simple black-and-white design that Dahlin created (left).

Instead of dinner and a show, a Monday, May 20, affair at Camel's Crossing in Boise's North End will be dinner and a showcase. The three-course meal from Brian Ferris, the wine bar's new chef, will be paired not only with pastries and a dessert course from local confectioner Figgy Bakes but a signature work of art by Camilla Dahlin whose work is credited for inspiring the rest of the event.

click to enlarge Camel's Crossing will host the Art Inspired Dinner. - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • Camel's Crossing will host the Art Inspired Dinner.
"We had an initial meeting where we talked about ideas and went over some logistics, and then I pulled my inspiration from whatever's going on in my world," said Dahlin, a soft-spoken hairdresser- and actress-turned-artist who works in watercolor and India ink. ".... Those conversations helped get ideas going, and then I sent the inspiration, just a description of the inspiration behind the painting that I'll be showcasing, to them and they were able to work with that."

The partners are calling the 30-seat event the Art Inspired Dinner, and Dahlin will be the star of the show. The work behind it, an enhanced play on the night's simple black-and-white logo (pictured above), will hang on the wall overlooking the diners as they eat, and at the end of the meal—which includes dishes like Caesar salad with boquerones (anchovies), grilled octopus and spring vegetables, fennel-rubbed pork tenderloin and deconstructed chocolate torte, all paired with wine—it will be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the Women's and Children's Alliance. While the design looks simple, Dahlin said there is a lot of meaning behind those two lines.

click to enlarge Dahlin's recent work has focused less on portraits and more on abstracts, minimalism and color studies. - COURTESY CAMILLA DAHLIN
  • Courtesy Camilla Dahlin
  • Dahlin's recent work has focused less on portraits and more on abstracts, minimalism and color studies.
"It's one curved line and then one line that's kind of more rigid I guess, or more angled, so it's really combining the kind of softness of femininity and then the masculine energy for a balancing of energies, basically, and creating unity and oneness," she said, adding that so far, everyone who has seen the abstract image has interpreted it differently.

As for how the logo will be enhanced for the night's signature art piece, Dahlin is keeping that under wraps until the dinner. At the end of the event, each guest will get their own miniature reproduction of the artwork to take home to remember it by, as well as a goody bag of artisan breakfast pastries from Figgy Bakes.

This won't be Dahlin's first collaboration with Figgy; she and bakery owner Katy Vestal have been friends for more than a decade, and have partnered in the past for dessert-meets-art events across Boise at spots like Form & Function, West Elm and Tasso.

click to enlarge Figgy Bakes and Dahlin have partnered for other events, including this pop-up at Tasso. - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • Figgy Bakes and Dahlin have partnered for other events, including this pop-up at Tasso.
"I just think she's just such an artist herself, it's really fun to work with her and we inspire one another," Dahlin said.

While branching out into a full-scale (and upscale, considering the $120 price tag) dinner is new for Dahlin, she's excited about the possibilities.

"It's been a funny thing that just happened, I guess, and so I'm excited that my artwork is inspiring the other people involved in the event," she said. "I've certainly been inspired by them and have so much respect for the chef at Camel's Crossing and his creativity in coming up with this menu ... Each of us are kind of bringing our thing to the table, literally."

Find the full Art Inspired Dinner menu and tickets here
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