Following in-depth local market research and the success of recent food and beverage experiments, Newfields created a Culinary Arts Department. The department will oversee popular initiatives like the Beer Garden, as well as develop new programs such as the seasonal Pop Ups, including Tea House and Noodle Shop, designed to enhance the guest experience with art and nature. The Culinary Arts Department is led by Josh Ratliff, director of Culinary Arts. Ratliff, who joined Newfields in 2015, is a certified sommelier, and has extensive hospitality training. He sees a future where the culinary arts are integrated into Newfields’ seasonal programming, attracting a wider audience. This edible programming came to fruition this spring with Pop Up: Tea House, which has transitioned into Pop Up: Noodle Shop. These culinary experiences are part of Seasons of Japan, a year-long celebration of culture at Newfields that includes exhibitions on Japanese paintings, samurai swords, and groundbreaking fashion. Pop Up: Noodle Shop, which is located on the upper level of the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion, is a continuation of the Tea House. In the same space, this second pop-up presents another key Japanese food: ramen. Noodle Shop features a variety of noodle combinations, including vegetarian and meat options using Indiana ingredients. The menu still features a selection of distilled, brewed and traditional teas, as well as a variety of Japanese snacks. “At Newfields, ‘food and beverage’ is not an afterthought, or a perfunctory amenity," Ratliff said. "It is an immersive access point to your art and nature experiences. And, each taste, smell, texture, and color we serve has a layer of meaning joined to the efforts of our art curators and horticulturalist."