Chef Ido Garini is an artist, although not in the traditional paint and canvas sense. He creates installations that offer a multisensory experience of food, forcing us to consider the role that sustenance plays in our lives.
Garini’s Netherlands-based Studio Appétit specialises in “eating experience design” to explore the contradiction between the primary place of food in our lives and how we have stripped our experience of consuming it down to a bare necessity.
As a trained industrial designer, Garini’s merging of the two disciplines seems to him natural and obvious. Every design element of his installations is meticulously considered, right down to the interior design and packaging.
He has even coined a new gastronomic term: “appetiting”, which essentially is a verb for producing something that is appetising.
“In our Appetiting Lab we investigate eating culture, habits, cravings and emotions that are triggered by food. We observe the never-ending role of food in our lives and experiment with the most basic questions such as why we eat, how we eat, and why we eat what we eat,” explains Garini, who is Israeli by birth.
For the Taste Festival in Berlin, Garini created an installation titled “What do you look like when you eat?” He built “research” eating stations where a variety of different food was served in front of a mirror. The idea was for people to examine their physical responses to the act of eating. He wanted participants to notice how widely they had to open their mouths to bite into a sandwich, how they pursed their lips to eat food off a skewer or the automatically sensual way most people eat a strawberry.
His latest installation, “Things of Edible Beauty”, combined product design with culinary art. The studio designed different types of jewellery, which doubled as utensils or serving pieces, and edible make-up. For example, a ring displayed a brightly coloured berry in place of a jewel and an edible lipstick that users customised by adding sugar or flowers. Whilst using, applying and tasting the trinkets and make-up, visitors were surrounded by taxidermy of food items adorning the walls.
Garini also introduced a fragrance for this exhibition that doubled as a food flavourant people could sprits into their mouths. The Amuse Bouche flavour collection for Spring/Summer 2015 will be followed by others for each new season. He describes it as “zesty and savoury” using mainly ingredients with lemon undertones.
“My favorite clients are the ones that are not afraid to experience something different or differently,” says Garini. “Eating is one of the only activities we do that stimulates all the senses at once, therefore it is one of most exciting celebrations of our existence.”