Food and Drink Museum Hunts for Upper West Side Home

By Emily Frost on June 12, 2012 7:02am 

A proposed food and drink museum would feature international food that museum-goers can taste.
A proposed food and drink museum would feature international food that museum-goers can taste.
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Ninth Avenue Association

UPPER WEST SIDE — Imagine a museum where the main activity isn't looking, it's eating.

That's what Peter Kim and Dave Arnold have in mind. Arnold, the founder, and his team are in the process of creating the Museum of Food and Drink. 

"I believe food is culture," Kim, the project's Executive Director, told the Upper West Side's Community Board 7 last week. The board looked intrigued by the idea, which would combine two of the main elements that make the Upper West Side so rich — food and museums. 

"We're looking for a home for the museum," Kim continued, "and we think the Upper West Side would be an ideal spot."

The crux of the museum's mission would be educational, teaching people about the history of food, and from a diverse range of cultures. It would also be interactive — and that means actually touching, smelling, examining and most importantly, eating, food, said Kim.

In late March, the museum hosted its first fundraiser featuring some of the city's hottest restaurants, from Del Posto to WD-50, cooking dishes that represent some of the museum's proposed themes, such as caveman food and the food of ancient Rome. Other themes include New York Food from the Early 1800's, fad diets and space food. 

The founders are reportedly wooing celebrity chefs including Mario Batali to join the project. 

Kim said the museum is in the early planning stages. He is visiting other community boards across the city shopping for the most interested and welcoming neighborhood for what he hopes will be a thought-provoking and mouthwatering experience. 

Initially, the museum came very close to bidding on the Tavern on the Green as a potential site, but this March dropped their application at the last minute because the Tavern's RFP did not allow for a museum, Kim said.

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