Recipes from Robyn Lea’s cookbook grace birthday celebration

Springs Tavern Curates Pollock-inspired Menu




Had Jackson Pollock lived, Tuesday, January 28, would be his 108th birthday. To celebrate the late artist, the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center will host a special three-course meal on Sunday, January 26, at The Springs Tavern.

Owners of the restaurant, Dan and Charlene DeSmet, will host the evening based on pages straight from Robyn Lea’s book, “Dinner with Jackson Pollock.”

Pollock resided in Springs from 1945 until his fatal car crash in 1956, and was always recognized as a master in the art community as an abstract expressionist. However, lesser known was his affinity for cuisine. With a forward from Helen Harrison, director of Pollock-Krasner House, Lea’s book depicts a different side to the splatter painter — baker, gardener, and dinner host. Along with the influence of his wife, Lee Krasner, and mother, Stella, handwritten pages of recipes and newspaper clippings once filled cookbooks belonging to the family.

Harrison said, “Until Robyn Lea’s beautiful book was published, few people realized that both Jackson and Lee were great cooks. They collected recipes from family and friends, and preferred fresh local ingredients, including vegetables from their own garden.”

The culinary records list over 50 menu items, many of which were traded with the local community, such as Jackson’s spaghetti sauce, Elaine de Kooning’s fruit and grain salad, Stella’s potato pancakes, and Perle Fine’s bouillabaisse.

“My favorite is the cream onion soup and the cross-country Johnny cakes,” Charlene DeSmet said.

The book gives a deeper insight to the artist and flavors of the area at the time. Fast forward over half a century, Springs Tavern will take select recipes from Lea’s in-depth volume and present an artfully curated menu.

The first course will be cream onion soup served with cross-country Johnny cakes, wild forest greens topped with tomato chutney, and shaved Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon and parmesan; the second course is Jackson’s whiskey soaked chicken with wilted collard greens and Southern style cornbread, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, with roasted root vegetables drizzled with walnut and maple dressing, Perle Fine’s bouillabaisse, and Jackson’s famous spaghetti; the third and final course lists brandied peaches with soft custard, rustic almond cake with raspberry sauce, and warm bread pudding with honey bourbon sauce.

Reservations are required. Tickets are $40 per person. Seating begins at 7 PM. The Springs Tavern is located at 15 Fort Pond Boulevard in East Hampton. Call 631-527-7800 for reservations. Learn more about Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center at wwww.pkhouse.org.

nicole@indyeastend.com