Thyme Based Ice Cream in Twenty Layers in Honor of PICA’s Twentieth Anniversary

For ten days in September, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) sets the stage for visual artists and performers from all around the world to present their newest works, ideas and experiences at the time honored Time Based Art Festival (TBA). This year celebrates PICA’s 20th anniversary and in the spirit of the Festival’s propensity to “push the boundaries” we have cordially obliged with a special flavor to mark the occasion. What a thrill it has been!

The idea I created for this event is a way of making an ice cream flavor which I don’t believe has ever been attempted before. And to tempt your indulgences further, it has never been tasted before we debut it at The Works at The Redd event tonight. (We’ll also be there serving on Tuesday and Saturday!)

This is an ice cream with 20 flavors, in 20 acts, in 20 layers, portraying 20 years of art in our time.

The idea is to create a play on the word time.  Each of the 20 layers contains its own cast of ingredients and their tasty interactions with the “courageous herb” commonly referred to as Thyme, which since ancient time has acted as a protector, a symbol of respect, and a patron of longevity. This flavor tells the story of how an ice cream flavor can change flavors with each scoop as time unfolds. Sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s slow, sometimes it’s with a custard base, sometimes it’s with a fruit base, some thyme is infused, some thyme is sprinkled in fresh, some thyme is timeless…

This flavor is truly a work of art.

For me, the conception, research, rehearsals and production of this “Thyme Based Ice Cream” flavor was as much an art project as it was a menu item.  It took a small army of ice cream makers to make it happen.  This ice cream masterpiece employed the use of abstraction, craft, function, dimensionality, collaboration, composition, narration, science, tasting, manufacturing and eating. Thank you to my fellow ice cream makers Kat, Natasha, Emily, Daria, Kim and Tyler! And this is for you, all the folks at PICA and the TBA, and all the artists and performers of the world who have done so much to make the arts of our time accessible for our delightful consumption!

Have a good thyme!

Rudy Speerschneider

Ice Cream Maker

Salt & Straw Central Kitchen, Oregon

thyme based ice creamweb