This pop up dinner is a collaborative effort between Monica Martinez and myself. We worked to develop the idea of creating a new landscape for presenting insects as a future food. From the lens of design we investigated the challenges of culinary norms and perception of food. How might we make edible insects commonplace for consumers in the western world? My contribution to this collaboration included the title of the event, visual language (menu design and social media graphics) and development of plate-forms for the menu. At the night of the event, I talked about the design choices behind each dish, the use of tableware and the RISO printed menu-poster for guests to take home.
From the lens of design:
How might we present edible insects as a future food?
In this collaboration, we were interested in removing the use of a white plate by offering a new landscape (table-setting) as a way to present edible insects as a future food. The goal of this pop up dinner was to open up a conversation about how we (designers and chefs) change peoples perception of food. We began our conversation of edible insects by acknowledging that the space in which guests were eating was in a Japanese noodle shop. Monica also discussed her personal narrative of pre-Mexican dishes as a way to bridge the past with the future of edible insects. This complex dialogue of past and future foods manifested in our sketches which became a visual and shared thought process for guests to see and take away after the meal.
La Tierra de Comida
During my presentation at the dinner event, I described the process of RISO printing and the concept of "La Tierra de Comida" or Eating Landscapes. The idea is to embrace the environmental elements surrounding the food and to translate the diner as a farmer, manipulating and cultivating the grounds from which food derives. These poetic concepts help frame the peculiarity and excitement of eating pre-hispanic dishes in a japanese noodle shop.
Social Media Graphics
The illustrations are derived from the sketches Monica and I produced during the concept development of this pop up. We wanted to give a sense of our process to audiences who are curious to learn about the future of food, alternative proteins and also, experimental forms for presenting food. I translated our concepts into social media graphics that would be displayed on Instagram, Facebook, Don Bugito's mail chimp newsletter and Eventbrite.
behind the scenes
This experience is just one of many. As Monica and I continue to refine our method making we expect to improve our prototypes and plan additional pop up dinners within the next few months. Meanwhile, I look forward to improving my casting skills as I continue to refine the notions of designing "eating landscapes" in the context of future foods.