Marja Samsom. Photo courtesy of Marja Samsom, 2011.
Marja Samsom. Photo courtesy of Marja Samsom, 2011.
Marja Samsom

Resident artist Marja Samsom assumes many aliases, but she is most beloved at ARTonAIR as the "Dumpling Diva." A New York-based Dutch performance artist and chef extraordinaire, Marja explores the language of cooking in her work. Marja was born and raised in the Netherlands and moved to New York in the 1980s. She worked as a caterer while supporting her culinary and artistic career. She was chef and owner of The Kitchen Club, one of New York’s most celebrated and iconoclastic restaurants for twenty years, along with the similarly-minded offshoots Chibi’s and Chibitini. Her work has been exhibited and performed at numerous galleries and venues, including Gallery De Appel, Bertha Urdang Gallery, Hal Bromm Gallery, and Franklin Furnace. Before moving to New York, Samsom created a series of performances and super-8 films based around a series of alter egos, such as Miss Kerr and Miss Behave, that were performed and shown throughout Amsterdam. She is the host of the cooking program Cooking Up a Storm at ARTonAIR.org, a synthesis of her performative and culinary abilities. She has gained much recognition as a pioneering and inventive chef, working with traditional Japanese and Dutch recipes in thoroughly untraditional ways. After closing of The Kitchen Club in 2010, Samsom has continued holding cooking workshops throughout New York City at venues including the Japanese Culinary Center, the New Amsterdam Market, and Building on Bond – and has returned to much of the performance art that she practiced in Amsterdam.