Unexpected Harmonies: Albuquerque's FoodGore merges art and ice cream

For Laura Mayaneli Brown and Niles Keith, ice cream and art are the perfect ways to build community. Both residing in Albuquerque, N.M., the two were brought together by a shared love for food, creativity and having a good time.

Ever since their first show in Sept. 2015, Brown and Keith have been hosting a pop-up gallery space and DIY ice cream parlor to showcase local artists and satisfy a sweet tooth. 

"Food Gore actually started as an egg necklace," says Brown. "I was always telling Niles how I loved eggs, and with his background in prosthetics and makeups, he made me an egg necklace. We just thought 'Wouldn’t it be sick if we could just sell this?'" 

From there, the couple began hosting shows. They initially began selling the egg necklaces and Brown's homemade ice cream — she's a chef by practice — but expanded into inviting their friends and other local artists to share their work. 

"Our first show happened, and had a lot of cool feedback," Brown says. "So we decided to feature our friends." 

The focus is on the lightheartedness of the event.

"I want [attendees] to have fun," says Keith. "I don't want anyone to go to an art gallery and feel bored." 

It's hard to be unhappy or bored when eating ice cream; Brown and Keith have worked hard to ensure guests feel welcomed, but also encourage them to try something new. The ice cream flavors served are unique — you will have a hard time finding just plain vanilla. 

Keith's favorite is an avocado chocolate chip. The avocado base is surprisingly creamy and sweet — people might just hesitate at the sight of the green color. 

Brown's favorite is a flavor called Girl Gang. It's a combination of berry and cotton candy ice cream. 

"It's so pretty," Brown says. "But I also love what it's about and what it represents." 

A crowd pleaser is one of the first flavors Brown experimented with: a outlandish fusion of vanilla, marshmallow creme and potato chips. It's name, appropriately, is Shmonster. 

Brown and Keith make an effort to keep the events as local as possible. They source ingredients from local farmers — Brown even works at a local CSA — and to feature Albuquerque-based artists. Even so, there is an element of excitement that many people are searching for. 

"I think our with our flavors — they're so different and we want people to experience new things," Brown says. "We want to try new things, feel excited about cool foods, support the local artists, food-makers and farmers."  

Eventually, Brown and Keith would like to purchase a ice cream cart. They even have designs for the cart ready to go — getting the funding is all that is left. 

FoodGore's upcoming show is March 31 at The Shop Breakfast & Lunch, an Albuquerque-based cafe. If you're from the area or stopping in, it's worth checking out. You can learn more about FoodGore here