It shouldn’t come as a surprise that food is more than just fuel; a way for our bodies to survive. Eating is a ritual, a cultural bonding experience. Thus its taste and our enjoyment of it is dependent on how, where, when and with whom we do it. If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t have a favourite coffee mug or a preferred pasta shape for a certain occasion. The artists introduced below manifest a deep understanding of the relation between the ambiance of the room, the company, the right tableware and presentation of the dishes.
All contributing to the level of joy we derive from the dining experience. Their projects are a mix of multi-sensorial stimulation and carefully curated conditions; serving the guests a feast for all the senses. Although it might seem like a lot, there’s also something beautifully simple in the free-spirited attitude that they present towards food.
BOMPAS & PARR
In the fitting words of Destiny’s Child: “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly”. What once was as a pair of other-worldly-jello-masters, is now a globally renowned studio; designing incredible eating experiences. From the use of AI to fluorescent sushi – Sam Bompas and Harry Parr have the avant-garde part down to a T. Furthermore, they seem to be equally as impressive when it comes to researching and understanding various cultures, which is shown through the respect of the sacred traditions, imprinted on every project they do. It’s even more awe-inspiring to see how they manage to smoothly blur the lines between the regard for cultural nuances and their abstract contemporary ideas.
Speaking of respect for tradition; this studio approaches it earnestly. Albeit, their philosophy remains light-hearted and humorous, at the same time. Their focus lands on up-keeping long-forgotten traditions like certain techniques of blowing glass. Started by two sisters: Laila and Nadia Gohar, Gohar World is all about taking a step back from the fast-paced reality and stopping to truly experience and enjoy the act of dining. Being a women-owned brand, their work takes on a subversive meaning by reclaiming the stereotype of the ‘good hostess’. Although, due to their incredible ambiance, it’s hard to call their events ‘everyday’ or ‘home-made’, they induce just the right amount of homeliness. There’s a certain nostalgic mood around them; a longing for ‘simpler times’.
PEPI DE BOISSIEU
Similarly to what I assume must have been the case with Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’, the dinners curated by Pepi de Boissieu raise an adequate question: ‘Can I touch it, or is this art?’. Their projects bring a unique museum-like feel to the table (literally). It’s like an exhibition; but you can actually touch, and even eat the art. Does it get any better than that? Yes, yes it does… because the studio doesn’t just allow you to eat at their exquisite feasts. They also say: “it’s ok to play with your food”. Furthermore, just like the more classical forms of art, theirs is not afraid to speak up about urgent matters like the plastic polluted oceans or the not-so-bright-looking future of water and our access to it. Their social and environmental awareness adds another layer to the already multi-dimensional events.