When Cake Imitates Art: Afternoon Tea Receives a Warhol-esque Makeover at Four Seasons Hotel Beijing

 Wednesday, August 18, 2021 

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Blurring the lines between art and food, the new Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Hotel Beijing, “Becoming Andy Warhol,” explores the iconic artwork of the world-famous “Pope of Pop Art.”

Available now in the Hotel’s enchanting Opus Lounge, each cheeky bite of sixties-inspired pop artistry echoes Warhol’s visionary output – devised in collaboration with Beijing’s UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, whose latest exhibition of the same name is the most comprehensive exhibition of Andy Warhol in China to date.

Under the pioneering leadership of Executive Chef Jackson Wu, the Hotel’s skilled pastry chefs have unleashed their creativity in a playful exploration of retro art history: delicate cakes in the shape of Warhol’s famous pouting red lips; surprise summer cocktails served in Campbell’s soup cans; fuchsia flashes of Marilyn-inspired pinks; a bright “yellow banana,” replicating Warhol’s 1967 artwork for the debut album of rock band, The Velvet Underground; and even the skilfully-styled backdrop of wildly colourful sauce splats tantalise the palate with all the verve and vibrancy of Warhol’s palette.

Just a 20-minute drive from the Hotel, the UCCA exhibition features nearly 400 works from The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, USA, including some on display for the first time outside the museum. There’s even a Pop Factory replicating the bustle of Warhol’s Factory, complete with a replica of his famous red couch, where visitors can pose for photos just as Warhol’s muses did.

After feasting eyes and minds on Warhol’s oeuvre, visitors can head to Four SeasonsHotel Beijing to continue their sensory indulgence. And as with all works of art, the experience centres on the pastry chefs’ exquisite presentation, which pays dazzling homage to a host of fascinating Warhol facts:

Red Lips: colour-popping raspberry and strawberry are entwined with decadent Dulcey chocolate inside this stunning lip-shaped shell. Devoted to the ravishing qualities of the colour red, Warhol was equally fascinated by the mouths of his muses, as seen in 1962’s Marilyn’s Lips, a diptych reproducing the star’s mouth 168 times.
Banana: inspired by one of the most celebrated icons in American art history (the Velvet Underground album image of a banana covered by a banana-skin sticker that fans could “peel slowly and see”), the “skin” of this iconic morsel reveals a melt-in-the-mouth passion fruit, pineapple, coconut, mango and almond cake with white chocolate vanilla mousse.
Becoming Andy Warhol cocktail: secret seasonal ingredients combine in this bold delight, served in Warhol-esque red and white Campbell’s soup cans. Warhol’s iconic soup cans were first exhibited as a series of thirty-two canvases in 1962. While they appeared identical, close observation revealed slight variations in the lettering and the hand-stamped fleur-de-lis symbols – a playful reminder that even in repetition there’s room for creative invention.
In addition to its sweet indulgences, the Becoming Andy Warhol Afternoon Tea also showcases an artistry of savoury flavours including poached scallop, caviar and Champagne gel, and beetroot mousse and Iberico ham, plus many more superstar delights, from lemon cheesecake to traditional scones with clotted cream and jam.

The Becoming Andy Warhol Afternoon Tea starts from CNY 268 for one person and CNY 488 for two, subject to 15 percent service charge. Dietary needs can be catered to with advance request.

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