Thursday, December 23, 2010

Week 10 : Let's impress people with food design

"Don't play with your food !"

     How many times have you heard a wise voice telling you this? As a matter of fact, these voices certainly ignored that playing with food would become the newest marketing strategy in food industry. A new strategy among those numerous others. Before that, revolutions in food industry consisted in flavoring, or even in marketing foreign culture food (resulting in situations such as French people buying Peking Duck and Chinese buying Canelés ).

What is food design ?

The principle of food design is to improve the look of what we eat but it can also refer to the packaging. Common biscuits contained in a fancy packing is also considered as food design because the visual aspect aims for better sales. And let's admit that the visual design of many types of food tends to change in a quite drastic way than during the past decades, a more unusual effect is attempted, the shock triggers more attention to the product and makes you buy it.


     But mainly "design food" concerns "designed food", in other words it's the food itself that in remodeled in order to be unusual to eat or just to have an unusual shape, unusual colors. This trend has applications for common every-day-life  food and invades every shelf of the fridge and every shelf of the kitchen. Design food exists for breakfast cereal, for pasta, for chocolate and so on.

      In France the country of the best bakeries, and the best pastries, the greatest names like Fauchon, Lenôtre, Dalloyau are convincingly playing with food and we can't but love it. They transform the most classical pastries like chocolate eclair, Yule logs and others into real pieces of design.

     Indeed if food industries always tried to find new ways to sell us new products, this trend occured to be widely shared with the highest gastronomy restaurants in order to sublime their gourmet dishes. And nowadays many distinguished chefs "design" their creations. Everyone remembers molecular gastronomy, well let's say that now the trend is more on designing usual ingredients in a surprising way. It is called "culinary design". 

     There is even a school in Sacramento, California that teaches the culinary design. 

     Also, culinary design is used to make art, in the same way that Guiseppe Arcimboldo did during the Italian Renaissance.
Summer, 1573
     One of the most remarkable pieces certainly belong to the Italian artist Fulvio Bonavia.

     Because food design is also a trend in our homes, we'll show you some easy ways for you to have the initiative to bring some original shapes and colors during a dinner. 

     One of the most simple thing that will give a third dimension to you buffet is to dipose the starters on big sticks or on a "wooden tree" like this one :

Also you can design your fruit and vegetable very easily with knives to transform a usual dish into a real festival.

You can also give easily an funny look to very basic ingredients, you just have to enough imagination.
A first example with these pieces of ham that you can model like origami. 
A second example with these radish that look like flowers. Very easy, you cut them in order to make the petals then you put them into water so that the petals open up.
If you lack of imagination you can buy some funny tools like those toast stamps.
 This cookie stamp
 Those punches to create funny cookies :

You can even use this puch in order to fry your eggs, or your pancakes, or else according to your various ideas:

You can also mold glasses with water that you put in the freezer to get those very cold shot glasses that you can also use in order to serve appetisers than will be very cold.
You can also threat you guests with ice guns for an axplosive freshness in cocktails.

     With all these ideas we hope you are ready to impress your guests and don't forget what Voltaire said "Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity."
Enjoy your dinner !

Webography : 


  1. Wow, this article is food for the eyes!
    I believe that nowadays this marketing mania is applying to so many fields because of market competition. Unfortunately I'm afraid some invest a lot in the form and might forget about the substance. Anyway, I wonder how this is all gonna look like in 20 years !
    Thanks for sharing guys :)

  2. Of course you are right to doubt about the fact that even if it "looks" good we can still wonder what the taste could be. But if this strategy works it's because people do buy it and surveys show that people are ready to buy foodstuffs just because the box looks attractive...
    But we believe that with time people will take more care about the content.
    Anyway happy to share!