Patterns in Food

, and elsewhere

Rob Forbes, writing as Studio Forbes sent an email newsletter essay recently entitled Patterns in the Public.


The essay inspired me to take a look at my photos to look for patterns, and sure enough I found some (a beet salad above). They range from food (obviously) to ball games, to architecture and the city, and from arranged patterns to those that just happen.

Since many of the pictures involve food, I pronounced them fair game for this website. For those not involving food, I hope you find them interesting, bearing in mind that my career is architecture.

My pictures are un-cropped, but you can imagine the pure patterns that would present themselves with cropping.

Enjoy. I enjoyed taking every one and was pleased to have a reason to assemble them.


Tomatoes, oven roasted, then frozen are a great way to bring a taste of summer into the depths of winter.


Little artichokes at the height of season at the farmers market intertwine themselves in patterns promising goodness from the grill. Imagination is going to play a big role in this exercise.4_schrooms_cook.jpg

Mushrooms on their way to being pickled arrange themselves by size and buoyancy, sharing space and color with the herbs and bay leaf.


An array of smoked fish at the Mercado de la Ribera in Bilbao, Spain. I didn’t need fish, but I couldn’t imagine disturbing the beautiful display.


Food to the table. Our dinner setup in a gite in Le Conquet, Brittany. Sauteed pork with salads of endive, lettuce, radish, cucumber and sliced beet, all from the local market.



The classic Salade Niciose prepared for my wife’s birthday. We were joined by old friends from Boston. Luckily she was born in August, so we enjoyed a bounty of summer vegetables to accompany the Italian jarred tuna.


Finnish meatballs, a concoction of ground meats, allspice, bits of Carmody Bellweather, a mild and buttery Gouda-style cheese and lots of parsley. They are destined to be browned and then bathed in broth.


Mt. Tam cheese at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes, California, newly formed and waiting to be taken to the ageing chamber.


The ordered Chateauneuf du Pape vines in a Rhone Valley vineyard near Avignon, France. A bottle of the resulting wine is resting in my cellar.


The patterns of son Eric’s woodpile and barn interrupted by clothes drying in Maine’s summer breeze.


Must have been a great party to use so many and varied glasses.


A picture of an unusual building on the Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona, hurriedly taken from the top of a tour bus.14_centre_pompidou.jpg

The “other” façade of the Centre George Pompidou, lacy patterns of white structure dancing over the regular glass and steel window pattern; in contrast to the pink backpack with its pattern of white buttons.


MIT undergraduate residence Simmons Hall, architect Steven Holl‘s extraordinary study in the making, breaking and coloring of pattern.


An apartment building somewhere in northern Barcelona, again, quickly snapped from the top of a moving tour bus. Quite the contrast with Simmons Hall.


A formal and elegant patterned marble rail in Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Montmarte, Paris, France.


A 100th anniversary celebration overlays this ordinary stone wall on a small Barcelona street.19_san_sebastian_paving.jpg

How many patterns can you see in this walkway in San Sebastian, Spain?


A wood wall edges that very San Sebastian paving.


The Speaker Wall at the Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture (my alma mater). Each guest speaker to the school is immortalized here by a token of his or her choosing.


An unabashed arrangement of my tickets from the 49th San Francisco International Film Festival.23_giants_pregame.jpg

Children pass across the vast outfield of AT&T Park forming a colorful line across the field of green before performing the National Anthem.24_4256_hits.jpg

Each baseball stroked for a hit by Pete Rose during his career record is displayed in the stairwell of the Cincinnati Reds museum at Great America Park.


And finally, Andy Warhol’s Cow Wallpaper, and a couple of extra cows, in Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum.

A tough act to follow.






3 thoughts on “Patterns in Food

  1. Wow–

    I never thought my wood stacking skills would be featured next to Andy Warhol and Chateauneuf du Pape…fun. Good work.


  2. So where’s the recipe for the beet salad. It looks delicious. Besides the beets and endive…?


  3. Wendell,
    You can see the French Radishes, and the dollop of creme fraisch on top. The beets are red, white and chiogga, roasted, cubed and tossed together with Newman’s Own dressing.
    Or they could be a Chez Panisse Vegetables recipe of beets, cucumber and celery with a shallot vinaigrette.


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