Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Persian food and art delivered to your door

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 2:36 PM

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Daniel Avazpour
Daniel Avazpour has no illusions about being a starving artist. The 32-year-old visual artist has been trying to establish a career, but in the current economy that's been difficult. So Avazpour -- who was born in Kansas City but is the son of Iran-born Parviz Avazpour -- came up with a concept that combines his art and his passion for the cuisine of Persia:

"The art project that I've been calling The Hideaway has started as a Persian food delivery service ... rather than calling this a job, I choose to call it a work of art. Along with this comes opportunity to collaborate creatively with the community ... in purchasing my food you play a vital role in this conception of this artistic experiment..."

Avazpour's art project works like this: For a donation ($30 for artists and $45 for advocates or art supporters), Daniel delivers a meal -- each entree serves two -- that includes either morg tanoori (an organic chicken stew with sauteed garlic, onion, raisins and spices) or morg fessenjan (organic chicken roasted in pomegranate walnut sauce). The entrees are served over sour barberry-infused basmati rice with almonds and pistachios and include an order of baklava. The main courses are delivered in a hand-made clay pot which Avazpour describes as "a personalized art object made in limited editions exclusively for Hideaway patrons." The clay pots are oven-safe so they can be be re-heated before serving the meal. 

"Think of the pots as collectibles," Avazpour says. "Made by local artists, each month there will be a new addition. Who knows, one day they may be worth money. In the meantime they are just cool tokens of appreciation for supporting a local artistic experiment." 

The clay pots aren't a gift, mind you: Avazpour hopes customers will exchange the "cool tokens" for a new set of pots the following month when new orders are delivered (the pots can also be purchased). "I trust people," he said. Since starting the food delivery on January 12, Avazpour confessed, "I've only been stiffed once."

There are caveats to this unusual culinary concept. All food orders are taken on the First Friday of each month and are delivered the following week. "Patrons must live in or near the Kansas City metro area," says Avazpour. "If not, I can arrange for orders to be picked up at a convenient location."

Tomorrow -- Wednesday, February 3 -- Avazpour presents an artist "performance" titled "Bitter/Sweet: The Artist at Work" from 7-9 p.m. at the Arts Incubator, 115 W. 18th Street in the Crossroads. For more information about the event -- which includes a four-course meal -- or to order food from The Hideaway, call Avazpour at 828-243-2513.

Avazpour has been relatively successful since he began distributing flyers for The Hideaway last month, but not everyone believes his project will lead to fame and fortune: "My father keeps asking me when I'm going to find a real job," he said.

 

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