Tim Gihring will eat your art

You may know Tim Gihring from his ever-present byline in Minnesota Monthly, thanks to his role as arts editor, a position he's held since 2003 at the local lifestyle magazine. Or you might recognize his name from the Minneapolis Arts Commission, where he's served as chair in 2009 (and is now secretary) while enriching the local arts scene. Otherwise you might have one of Gihring's photographs hanging on your wall, a find from his studio at the Northrup King Building.

When he isn't hot on the trail of the missing ruby slippers or checking out Don Shelby's tats, Gihring can be found dining out in his Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood at places like Gigi's and Piccolo.

1. Can food be art? Sure, anything can be art if it's created for the purpose of objectification. But food that's created to be art--as in music, painting, or any other medium--is generally trying too hard to comment on anything but itself. Now, food as culture--that's different. The specific creation of a dish says as much about a person, people, or place as any painting. Great curry, great barbecue--I respond to these things the same way I do to a great painting or song: by feeling completely satisfied, a little expanded, and like I need to run around the block.

2. What's the most artistic meal you've had in the Twin Cities (and where did you have it)? Piccolo. Four of us ordered the entire menu (currently 16 items, priced between $6 and $14), and they came out a few at a time, delectable small plates, like singles on a greatest hits of contemporary cooking album. It's a somewhat new way of dining, and arguably better for you, like indie food. Quality over quantity--there's an art to that.

3. How are the food offerings at our local art events like the Uptown Art Fair and Stone Arch Festival? Recently the Chef Shack showed up at Art-A-Whirl offering pulled-pork tacos, which is promising. Otherwise, it tends toward the worst of art-festival art: overblown, overpriced, and tasteless. Hit the local restaurants instead: Kramarczuk's or the Aster Cafe during the Stone Arch Festival, Duplex or Namaste Cafe during the Uptown Art Crawl.

4. How often do you get hooked up with Dara's leftovers at Minnesota Monthly? Never. I must be skipping the wrong meetings. And I hope she's reading this.

5. Someone has made a fake Tim Gihring MySpace page. Where would you take fake Tim Gihring to dinner if you could? What do you think he likes to eat? Fake Tim Gihring drives a Camaro, has friends with names like Lisa Sparxxx, yet makes twice as much as I do. So I'm thinking Manny's--the Bludgeon of Beef 50-ounce ribeye steak, bone in. He's buying.

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