David Byrne's Todomundo 2009 Thanksgiving Turkey Molding Competition


In its fourth annual incarnation, Talking Head David Byrne's Todomundo Thanksgiving Turkey molding competition definitely takes the cake for most inventive office party (not to mention the most tongue twisting title). For a few hours last Friday night, the colorful studio was home to eighteen molded turkeys, each created by the likes of creatives, musicians, and even the rogue philanthropist.


The competition: make a bird using the Qwiggle Turkey Game Hen Gelatin Mold. And in proper egalitarian fashion, each submission was awarded its own certificate of achievement. Pictured above is "Gilty Pleasure" — which was awarded "Haughtiest Cuisine Turkey" — by Emilie Baltz and Alec Bemis, made of maple bacon panna cotta and gilt in 24 karat gold leaf. Other notable entries were "Live Feed," a turkey that appeared to be giving birth to an iPod Nano, which played a video of a turkey on an endless loop, and "Purring Jell-O Turkey (Death Rattle)," a slightly creepy cranberry-colored turkey in an aluminum coffin that vibrated upon touch (giving Jell-o Jiggle a whole new name!). Mr. Byrne himself won "Most Wholesome Turkey" for his baby-food Napoleon-esque creation. One could only imagine what Cindy Sherman thought of her beau as she looked on from the sidelines... See photographs of all the turkey mold submissions at daniellespencer.com.


"Turkeyburger" by David Hunter. Photograph by Danielle Spencer.

The evening ended with a ceremonial sawing in half of the turkeys and degustation by all. Public voting took place, and the top there winners were selected: Third place went to "Live Feed" by The Builders Association: Though inedible, the promise of entertainment and electrocution seemed attractive enough to garner popular vote. Second place went to "Stud Turkey" by Alec Bemis and Emilie Baltz: Pure chocolate chili bourbon panna cotta in a "suede" jacket with edible rivets. And first place went to "Turkey Burger" by David Hunter: Aside from the tongue in cheekiness of this entry, the molder was commended on his advanced microwaving technique of the dough, thereby allowing him to bake the bread dough just enough without melting the un-oven-safe mold.

Hopeful contenders take note! There's always next year.

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