Marilyn Propp + The Egg Plant Café and Catering

Handcrafted Creations, Meaningful Statements

Making paper is like making a good meal. They’re made from scratch. Paper pulp becomes paper, egg yolks become an omelet. Each decision by artist or chef is made to bring out the characteristics of an idea––the meaning of it all. Artist Marilyn Propp visualizes an under the sea world of beauty even through the destruction of the environment. Chef Aaron Morris at Eggplant Café and Catering brings to life a big idea on the plate––meals made from the heart using the freshest ingredients, right on the spot.  

In Marilyn’s work, there are distinct correlations between moving elements, layered to interact and create a pleasing aesthetic. The placement of the objects is dictated by what is happening in the paper. This is similar to how Chef Morris allows the placement of the food on plate to be dictated by the food itself.  

Marilyn Propp’s series Notes from the Sea reflects the clash/coexistence between the industrial and natural worlds through oil paintings on wood, relief prints with collage on handmade paper, and freestanding constructions of found objects.

In her works, industrial debris and fragments of sea life are entangled, often morphing into one another. Machine parts disrupt the free-flowing undersea life. Fueled by Propp’s concerns about environmentally destructive practices (devastation of coral reefs, plastic debris, and oil spills), she uses paint, paper, wood, and printing to present images of beauty that also offer reflections on destruction.

For Propp, handmade paper reflects both the undersea world and the way paper is made. It’s a watery material in which wet pulp is formed, drained, and pressed. Pigmented pulp, pushed through a grid, creates a textured surface like fish scales. Installed 3 inches from the wall, Propp’s layered works appear to float, creating the impression of glimpses into the depths of the sea.

“We're a small place with big dreams! Hearty, wholesome and hand-crafted meals, Friday fish fry, specialty coffee menu + full bar. Vegan Friendly also! All of our dishes are made from scratch with the freshest ingredients right when you place your order.” 

The name Egg Plant Café refers not to the vegetable eggplant, but to the fact that eggs are Morris’ specialty and the star at his café. All dishes are made from scratch in a skillet—not scooped out of a steam well, Morris says. He also makes all of his own sauces.

About the Chef
Chef Aaron Morris is the son of the owner and operates the restaurant with help from his mother, Sandra Morris, who keeps the books. He consults with his sister––an artist who lives in England––on décor, advertising, and vegan dishes. Aaron grew up in Racine and credits his love of cooking to the local chefs who got him started, including Chef Michael Heether from the Hob Nob and Chef Steven Matson from Waves Grill and Pub. Both have passed away, but Aaron still uses Heether’s recipe for clam chowder and Matson’s recipe for cranberry vinaigrette. Aaron gained additional experience working at high-end restaurants in Phoenix, Arizona for four years before returning home to Racine. In addition to inspiration from his sister, Aaron’s menu is comprised of all his favorite foods with an emphasis on great flavor combinations using fresh ingredients. He cooks in small batches and makes everything from scratch.