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Issue 30 - Toast of the town

Whisky Magazine Issue 30
April 2003


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Toast of the town

Michael Jackson explains why he's being toasted in Wellington

The good news, from the viewpoint of my infantile, absurd ego (The Psychotherapist Who Claims To Love Me™) is that I am to be the subject of a statue. Or is it a relief? For the psychotherapist, perhaps.

The artist identifies himself as a sculptor, especially known for portraits in toast. Yes, bread that has been flamed, seared, or whatever the culinary buzz-word is.

That's the bad news. I mean, it's not going to last, is it? When I raised an eyebrow, my correspondent in New Zealand pointed out that the artist's toast work had been displayed on the side of skyscrapers. More impressive yet, his previous subjects have included Dame Edna Everage and the Mona Lisa (“If it ain't broke, don't fix it,” writes L. Da Vinci, of Rome).

The toast to Michael Jackson has been commissioned by a shop called Regional Wines (it also sells malt-based drinks), in Wellington, New Zealand's capital. The artist, Maurice Bennett, uses hundreds of loaves, and thousands of slices, per statue/relief, so they take some time, but you can see some of his earlier work on his website:

If my image doesn't break his Dualit, I'd like to return the compliment and toast Mr Bennett. I still have in my cellar some Lammerlaw, from Dunedin: “Light, clean, peat, grass and apricot in the aroma; firm maltiness in the palate; warm finish,” according to a well-known whisky book. Here's to you, Mr Bennett. Nice place, New Zealand. A beacon of culture and civilisation, I've always rec...

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