Do you have big plans for the summer solstice? Unless you’re hyped about catching some subterranean rays at Fulton Center, the city is probably not the ideal space for enjoying the longest day of the year. To fully appreciate the holiday that inspired the biggest bonfire ever recorded, a 37,000-person party at Stonehenge, and Galileo’s 1633 retraction of his ‘earth revolving around the sun’ theory, head up to Storm King Art Center for an outdoor meal imagined by chef Peter Hoffman of Back Forty West and Shelley Boris of Fresh Co.
The annual benefit dinner in the fields is served family-style under the stars. The collaborative menu draws inspiration from Storm King exhibiting artists Lynda Benglis and Luke Stettner. Stettner’s work involves biochar, a process which transforms living matter into charcoal, and the menu plays off that idea by featuring several charred ingredients including octopus, lamb, sweet potatoes and eggplant. “We didn’t want to be as confined by place this year, but allowed ourselves to be seduced by the artists when creating the menu,” chef Shelley Boris says.
This will be chef Peter Hoffman’s fourth year collaborating with Storm King for the event. “Cooking and serving food outside on the Solstice is an extraordinary experience. Time seems to be hyperextended, as if the evening could go on forever,” he explains. “As the light falls, the trees are silhouetted behind the setting sun, and the full moon is on the rise. The power of the place and all the ways it’s been used over decades, or centuries, is palpable and moving.”
Intoxicating stuff, right? Makes Manhattanhenge seem like a pedestrian anomaly. Get out of town, head upstate, and make the most of the longest day of the year. Fulton Center will still be here when you get back.