Artown’s At The Illusionist’s Table features illusionist Scott Silven and culinary delights from Mark Estee.
WRITTEN BY KYLE YOUNG
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ARTOWN
July is just around the corner, and with it comes Artown, the month-long summer arts festival in Reno. This year, about 500 events by more than 100 organizations at nearly 100 locations citywide will be part of the festivities. Most events are free or inexpensive to attend. One event not to be missed is At The Illusionist’s Table, where food and magic will come alive at Liberty Food & Wine Exchange.
Scott Silven, world-renowned Scottish mentalist, has partnered with chef and restaurateur Mark Estee to deliver an evening full of illusion, mentalism, storytelling, a gourmet three-course meal, as well as a wine and scotch pairing.
A meal prepared by Chef Mark Estee is sure to please
Locals of Northern Nevada may know Estee from his many successful restaurants, including Liberty Food & Wine Exchange (owner), chez louie (owner), The Union (owner), and Campo Mammoth (managing partner). He and his teams prepare artisanal foods using fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. According to Kristen Tauer of Women's Wear Daily magazine, Silven became interested in magic at an early age when his grandfather would demonstrate small pieces of magic. Silven expanded his knowledge of mind-bending feats after taking a lesson in hypnosis. He graduated college with a degree in theater. His skills in magic, hypnosis, and theater created the perfect opportunity to make a living with performance art.
Mentalist Scott Silven will twist your senses using food, drink, and storytelling
These days, Silven focuses on a particular type of illusion called mentalism.
“The type of illusion I do, mentalism, it’s the idea of connecting with an audience, connecting with a participant on one of the deepest levels possible,” Silven told Tauer, explaining that he achieves the high level of intimacy between himself and the audience by tapping into sense memories tied to food and drink. The scotch pairings aren’t just tasty with the accompanying food courses — they also connect audience members to periods in Silven’s life.
Mentalism, unlike more traditional forms of illusion, does not dupe audience members with props miraculously appearing and disappearing. Mentalism differs in that, “You’re doing what you’re saying you’re doing when you ask people to think of something and you’re going through a process together in revealing that,” Silven said.
A mentalist act produces a seemingly miraculous outcome through what seems to be mindreading. The ultimate goal is to help you rediscover your imagination. Silven concludes the description of his act by comparing it to a painting. The value of a remarkable painting is partly in how it was produced, but the deeper value comes from the art’s ability to invoke emotion and thought. At The Illusionist’s Table is not a series of technically proficient magic tricks alongside food and alcohol; it is a piece of participatory art that uses taste, sight, and memory to remind audience members why it’s a pleasure to be alive. Every performance of At The Illusionist’s Table will include a maximum of 24 audience members to ensure that every experience delivers optimum intimacy and wonder. Admission to the event is $250 per person. Reservations may be made by calling 775-322-1538. Note that this is a 21-and-over event, and late seating will not be permitted.
Look for Artown events during the whole month of July
For a complete list of the incredible events available during Artown, visit Renoisartown.com.
Kyle Young is a freelance writer born and raised in Sparks. He writes articles about food, events, and the oddities native to Nevada. He loves food and magic.
At The Illusionist’s Table
For adults 21 and over
Liberty Food & Wine Exchange, 10 North Sierra, Reno
775-336-1091 • Libertyfoodandwine.com
For reservations, call 775-322-1538.
Admission is $250 per person (includes three-course dinner paired with wine and scotch tasting)
Performance Dates and Times:
July 6 6:30 – 9 p.m.
July 7 5:30 – 8 p.m.
July 7 8:30 – 11 p.m.
July 8 5:30 – 8 p.m.
July 8 8:30 – 11 p.m.
July 9 6:30 – 9 p.m.
July 10 6:30 – 9 p.m.
July 11 6:30 – 9 p.m.
NOTE: This is a sponsored post.