Mickalene Thomas’ recipe for duck with chimichurri

Try Mickalene Thomas’ take on a much-cherished recipe for duck with chimichurri. As featured in our monthly Artist’s Palate series, a Wallpaper* homage to our favourite contemporary art

Mickalene Thomas artist's palate
Interiors: Olly Mason; Food: Liam Baker
(Image credit: Neil Godwin at Future Studios for Wallpaper*)

Mickalene Thomas’ provocative depictions of Black femininity and sexuality have made their way around the world, quite literally. For the latter half of 2021, the Brooklyn-based artist showcased unseen work in ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’, an ambitious four-part, multi-city presentation at Lévy Gorvy galleries in New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong. The shows featured interconnected bodies of work that ranged from paintings and illustrations to video pieces, expanding on the artist’s decades-long study of the Black female body as a vehicle of power, eroticism, agency and inspiration. 

Thomas debuted her latest large-scale Jet paintings, all inspired by vintage pin-ups from Jet magazine, which was known for its central role in Black American life since its first issue in 1951. The anonymous pin-ups were recontextualised by Thomas, using a diverse range of material techniques including silkscreen, oil, acrylic and rhinestones to celebrate their beauty, strength and individuality. In these works, Thomas not only co-opts the formal language of the avant-garde movement from the 19th and 20th centuries to convey freedom, fluidity and experimentation, she also inserts and emphasises the political paradigm of Black liberation – a true vanguard of American culture.

For the latest in our Artist’s Palate series, she has put her own spin on a much-cherished dish, Ferran Adrià’s duck with chimichurri, from his book The Family Meal. ‘I’ve been cooking this for over ten years,’ says Thomas. ‘The recipe is delicious and reminds me of my travels. The way I cook it makes everyone love it, even if they don‘t eat duck – some people think it’s chicken.’

Mickalene Thomas’ recipe for duck with chimichurri


1 duck breast
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped and deseeded
2 small chillies, chopped and deseeded
Juice of 1 lemon
Dried thyme, ground cumin, sweet paprika, coarse salt, to taste


Cook the fat side of the duck on a skillet on a high heat until cooked through and the duck skin is very crispy. Remove the duck and wrap in foil for 15 minutes, then slice. Mix the remaining ingredients together, then spoon over the duck, and serve.

* As featured in our monthly Artist’s Palate series, a Wallpaper* homage to our favourite contemporary art



A version of this article is featured in the March 2022 issue of Wallpaper*, on newsstands now and available to subscribers


Knife, £23; fork, £12, both by Cutipol; ’Tac A La Carte’ plate, £68, by Rosenthal, all from Amara. Cockwise from bottom left, paint in Woad, £52 for 2.5 litres, by Little Greene. ‘Segni Minimi 3’ rug, price on request, by Giuseppe Di Costanzo, for CC-Tapis. ‘Tigresse’ fabric in Terre Brûlée, £228 per m, by Dedar. ‘Opus Wall’ wall covering in Blu, £162 for 10m; ‘Fiftyshades’ fabric in Arancio, £47 per sq m; ‘Lacca Wall’ wall covering in Oro, £236 for 10m, all by Rubelli. ‘Tessere’ fabric in Blue Cucumber, £259 per m; ‘Alumnus’ fabric in Tomato Soup, £230 per m, both by Dedar. ‘Burano’ fabric in Multicolore, £68 per m, by Rubelli. ‘Jarrah Sydney’ wood flooring, price on request, by Kährs. ‘Campus’ fabric in Rouge Marinière, £151 per m, by Dedar. ‘CH163’ sofa, £9,965, by Hans J Wegner, for Carl Hansen & Søn. ‘Tessere’ fabric in Lemon Grey, £259 per m, by Dedar. ‘CH88’ chair, £514, by Hans J Wegner, for Carl Hansen & Søn. ‘Lacca Wall’ in Lacca, £236 for 10m, by Rubelli. ‘PANE’ rug, price on request, by CC-Tapis

Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.

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