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Release Date: June 22, 2009

Updated Menu by Chef José Andrés in Honor of Spanish Exhibitions in Garden Café España at National Gallery Of Art
Menu Served through November 1

Washington, DC (Updated July 20, 2009)— Celebrating the opening of The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits from Imperial Spain (June 28–November 29, 2009) at the National Gallery of Art, award-winning Washington-based chef José Andrés and chef David Rogers of Restaurant Associates present a revamped menu for Garden Café España. Offered beginning May 4 in conjunction with Luis Meléndez: Master of the Spanish Still Life (May 17–August 23, 2009), this extremely popular menu of signature Spanish dishes created by Andrés and inspired by the exhibitions is being served in the Gallery’s West Building Garden Café.

In honor of The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits from Imperial Spain, new dishes have been added to reflect Spanish recipes from the Renaissance and baroque periods. Two dishes were adapted from Arte de Cocina by Francisco Martínez Montiño, chef to Philip II, first published in 1611: Pepitoria (stewed chicken in saffron sauce with pearl onions and baby carrots, garnished with hard-boiled egg and poached chicken liver; à la carte, $14.75), and on the buffet, Empanadas de pollos ensapados (chicken and bacon empanadas with caramelized onion, raisins, and lemon).

Chef Andrés is host of PBS-TV’s cooking series José: Made in Spain, author of the companion cookbook, culinary director of the recently opened SLS Hotel and The Bazaar by José Andrés restaurant in Los Angeles, and chef/owner of THINKfoodGROUP (responsible for the Washington restaurants Jaleo, Café Atlantico, Zaytinya, Oyamel, and minibar by josé andrés).

Originally slated to run through September 17, the buffet and à la carte menu in Garden Café España has been extended through November 29, 2009, due to popular demand. It is served in one of the most distinctive dining spots in the nation’s capital, featuring a fountain with Herbert Adams’ sculpture Girl with Water Lilies (model 1928) near the West Building entrance at 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.

Garden Café España

In developing the Garden Café España menu, Andrés was struck by the fact that many of the fresh ingredients exquisitely portrayed in Meléndez’s paintings are still used today in traditional Spanish fare. À la carte selections inspired by the foods depicted include Aceitunas aliñadas al aceite de oliva con naranja y tomillo (olives marinated in orange and thyme-infused olive oil, $4.25), Ajo blanco con camarones, uvas, y almendras (cold almond and garlic soup with shrimp, grapes, and Marcona almonds, $11.00), and Sandía con queso de cabra (watermelon salad with goat cheese, pine nuts, and heirloom tomatoes, $8.75). From the buffet, a selection of Spanish cheeses and cured meats, Gazpacho al estilo de Algeciras (classic chilled Spanish soup made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and bread and sharpened with sherry vinegar), and Pisto manchego con flores de calabacín (Castilian-style zucchini and its blossoms, with peppers, eggplant, and tomato) also reflect Meléndez’s subjects.

These dishes directly inspired by the Meléndez exhibition are complemented by traditional Spanish fare, including Boquerones (marinated white anchovies) and Albóndigas con ciruelas (meatballs with plums) on the buffet as well as Cebolla asada con queso Picón (roasted vidalia onion with Picón cheese, oranges, frisée, and walnuts; à la carte, $8.25). As the summer heats up, Andrés and Rogers present two new salads on the buffet: Ensalada de endibias con queso de cabra, almendras, y naranjas (endive salad with goat cheese, almonds, and oranges) and Ensalada de lentijas con queso Picón (lentil salad with Picón cheese and aged sherry vinegar).

Delicious desserts such as Flan al estilo de mi madre (Spanish flan in my mother’s style, $7.00; also available on buffet) and Mermelada de naranja con yogur (orange marmalade with yogurt mousse, frozen orange, and kumquats, $8.00) round out the menu. Sangria, Spanish wine, beer, juice, soda, and bottled water are available, along with coffee, tea, cappuccino, and espresso. Suggested beverage pairings are provided for the entrées. The price of the full buffet is $19.25. Recipe cards for selected dishes are available free of charge.

Garden Café España is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. A special dessert and beverage menu is served from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays to accommodate visitors who attend the free Sunday evening concerts in the West Garden Court. Reservations are strongly recommended; please contact the café manager at (202) 714-7454.

For more information about the Gallery and its restaurants, please visit www.nga.gov/dining.

Luis Meléndez: Master of the Spanish Still Life
May 17–August 23, 2009

This exhibition of 31 paintings and nine still-life objects showcases Meléndez's extraordinary talent for rendering everyday objects with convincing detail, marvelous effects of color and light, and subtle variations of texture. After a precarious beginning to his career, Luis Meléndez (1715–1780) received a royal commission in 1771 from the Prince of Asturias (later King Charles IV) for an extensive series of paintings depicting "the four Seasons of the Year, or more properly, the four Elements, with the aim of composing an amusing cabinet with every species of food produced by the Spanish climate." The commission became the central event in Meléndez's life, and from this original set of 44 still lifes he reworked numerous motifs and arrangements, perfecting his talent in the genre.

Now recognized as the premier still-life painter from 18th-century Spain and one of the greatest in all of Europe, Meléndez has been overshadowed for centuries by the prolific and gifted Francisco Goya, his Spanish contemporary. In 2000, the National Gallery of Art acquired Still Life with Figs and Bread (c. 1770), an exemplary work by Meléndez and one of only 15 works by the artist in the United States.

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art.

The exhibition is sponsored by The Exhibition Circle of the National Gallery of Art.

It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits from Imperial Spain
June 28–November 29, 2009

The Royal Armory in Madrid, assembled at a time when the Spanish Crown was at the height of its international power, is the oldest and one of the finest and largest armories in the world. Armor drawn from the unsurpassed holdings of the Spanish Royal Armory is presented in this exhibition alongside portraits of rulers dressed in the same armor, painted by such renowned artists as Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Diego Velázquez, and Alonso Sánchez Coello. Several large and magnificent tapestries from the royal collection also depict the armor in use.

Together, some 75 works illustrate the role of luxurious armor in projecting an image of royal power in Imperial Spain. The exhibition includes full suits of exquisitely wrought armor as well as helmets, shields, and equestrian armor—worn in battle but more often in Renaissance parades, pageants, and jousting tournaments. The works of art on view date from the reigns of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I of Austria (1508–1519) and Emperor Charles V (1519–1558) to those of their successors, King Philip II (1556–1598), King Philip III (1598–1621), and King Philip IV (1621–1665). For the first time the armor will be exhibited together with the portraits in which it is depicted.

The exhibition has been organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the State Corporation for Spanish Cultural Action Abroad (SEACEX), and the Patrimonio Nacional of Spain.

The exhibition has been organized in association with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Ministry of Culture, with the assistance of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC.

It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

In-kind promotional support for these exhibitions has been provided by Chef José Andrés of Jaleo and THINKfoodGROUP.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc, and Instagram at http://instagram.com/ngadc.

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
 
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Department of Communications
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phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: pressinfo@nga.gov
 
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications – Converged Media
(202) 842-6804
a-guthrie@nga.gov

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Press Kit

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Exhibition Checklist (PDF 498 KB)

Curator Biography:
Alvaro Soler del Campo

Related Activities

Garden Café España

Garden Café España Recipes PDF 498 KB)

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