Chocolate body painting for a cause at Food & Wine |

Chocolate body painting for a cause at Food & Wine

Andrew Travers
The Aspen Times
Aspen-based artist Rosalyn Pergande's drip-painting technique inspired Chef Daniel Theme to paint a live model in chocolate using the same style.
Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

What: Aspen Gala, benefitting the Shining Stars Foundation

Where: 308 E. Hopkins Ave. (formerly the Ute City Bar & Grill)

When: Friday, June 17, 7-11 p.m.

How much: $65


You’ll no doubt find chocolate-covered strawberries and almonds and various cocoa-encased edibles this weekend as you’re feted by the Food & Wine Classic. But one celebrity chef is making art out of chocolate and the human body, with some help from a local artist.

This blend of the culinary and visual arts began with a chance meeting on the street here.

Local painter Rosalyn Pergande was doing a live painting demonstration outside of a downtown art gallery a few years ago during the Food & Wine Classic when Chef Daniel Theme emerged from the crowd.

“He approached me and said, ‘Someday, I’d like to do this with chocolate and paint with you,’” Pergande recalled. “So we’re making it happen.”

The artist and the Aspen-based Uraguayan chef are joining forces Friday night at a gala benefiting the Shining Stars Foundation. He’ll paint a live model in chocolate, while Pergande paints her own piece alongside him.

Over the past decade, Pergande has developed a unique action-painting technique. She fills culinary mixing bottles with paint, which she drips from them on a stretched canvas laid flat and spinning on a turntable. Despite the rotating canvas, her work ends up figurative and representational — not abstract in the Jackson Pollock drip-painting tradition. Pergande credits her ability to work sideways, upside-down and on a moving target to her dyslexia.

The unusual approach and familiar culinary tools caught Theme’s eye. The private chef and sometime TV personality will be using her technique on a female model in chocolate (neither nude nor edible).

“He’ll be painting her with chocolate mixtures and she’ll be turned into this chocolate sculptural piece,” Pergande said.

Pergande plans to live-paint Theme and his model concurrently.

The benefit will also feature Frosecco, food by Theme, artwork for sale to benefit Shining Stars and live music. ~