My Parisian Restaurant Map

Friday, March 25, 2011

Food Design: Aventures Sensibles Exhibition

Hidden in an alley off of the Rue du Faubourg St Antoine, right around the corner from Bastille, is Le Lieu Design.

From the 9th of March to the 30th of April, Marc Brethillot, one of the most prominent French food designers, and funnily enough, my student, has created an exhibition that gives us an introduction to all things edible and yet functional at the same time.

It's kind of hard to understand what this exhibition is really about; personally I know nothing about food design. But there are some really cool things to see, and I think that's basically the point. To see fun food fare that either brings an artistic side to food, or a culinary side to art.

For example:

These are big rocks that have been dipped in various liquids. I think it's supposed to be about the geological connection to food. To me, it looks like bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Then there are these beautifully decorated crabs and clams, by a tatoo artist I beleive, who wants to create a theme restaurant that 'tatoos' your food according to your personality (gothic, ethnic, tribal etc)

This is a really creepy piece that explores the connection between food and taxidermy; the head is preserved but underneath is a 'dish' cooked with various parts of the rabbit.

They also did a bird

Then there are simply some very beautifully decorated classics, like chocolate 

And colorful mexican popcorn 

And beautifully colored and shaped butter

There was also some cheese that was made out of plastic (I didn't even realize until the guide told me so)

And a vegetable puree that looks like a psychadelic pile of sh*t

There was spice infused chocolate shaped like little tajines

And other pretty things

This is fruit paste

All in all, its a cool show, even though it's kind of hard to really get what it's about. But the pleasure of going to this exhibition is that it makes you feel like a kid again, excited by the bright colors and different textures and designs and the almost perfectly plastic looking food (which turns out to actually be plastic). You find yourself thinking that the most beautiful pieces are definitley edible (nope) and that the ugliest ones are fake (wrong again). It challenges our notion of how food is presented and what it can be turned in to. But that's about as profound as I'm going to get here.