Foodie 'spectacular' pushes boundary between cooking and art

  • @NeelanjonaD

In the quest to push the boundary between cooking and art, the Experimental Food Society will be showcasing some of the best creations from the world of alternative dining at its annual "Spectacular" exhibition on Saturday.

The edible display and banquet will include contributions from artists including Michelle Wibowo, Sophie Edmonds of the Lady Greys and food model maker Paul Baker, to name but a few.

Dr. Morgaine Gaye who looks at future food trends will also be speaking at the event. She says that in the next two or three years we will be eating things for cosmetic benefit.

“One thing is how we are going to develop edible beauty products. We will be eating our beauty,” she said.

Dr. Gaye suggests that the things we consume will affect our physical appearance, such as chips that will get rid of cellulite.

Among the highlights are food landscapes by Carl Warner, while food magician John Van Der Put will be turning water into wine. Children can learn to make liquid nitrogen ice cream and cook an egg on a piece of paper from television presenter Stefan Gates.

In the age of Lady Gaga’s meat dress and Heston Blumenthal’s snail porridge, the Spectacular will whet the appetites of even the most bizarre foodies.

Contributor Stephen Gates, who has cooked in extreme locations from Afghanistan to Chernobyl, told The Independent Online what he will be doing at the "Spectacular":

"I do an insane kids' television programme called 'Gastronauts,' it is a BBC food series which is not to do with cooking but is all about getting kids interested in food. It's about all the extraordinary things that food can do and the things that it does to our bodies. We take kids on crazy adventures and get them to see that food is something fascinating not something scary. So we're going to do a workshop which does a whole load of things that we do in the TV series."

"We'll be making Ribena cavier and we'll be showing people bugs and the insects that colour marshmellows. We're going to be making different vegetable instruments, making a bassoon out of butternut squash and things like that. We might try some carrot flutes but they're quite tricky. Lots of fun things to taste like fungus. I have jellyfish that we're going to eat and I've got some silver leaf so we might guild some food with pure silver."

Gates first became interested in food after a trip to Japan where he ate Sashimi and discovered that food was more than just the staple diet of burgers and oven chips he was used to. 

"They came round and gave us all this food which was raw. I had been told not to eat raw fish, raw meat and suddenly you were. You were allowed to pick up food, dip it in raw egg yolk and eat it. I remember thinking: 'Food can be naughty. You can play with your food. You're allowed!' That was the moment I realised."

He says that the abundance of cookery shows on British television is down to a food revolution which is taking place across the nation. 

"I think it's about the British re-discovering food. It's been a long time coming. It's gone way beyond the sort of food that you get in France and Italy. People are playing with their food which I find so exciting. People are exploring it and using it as a tool for bringing them together. It's a sort of social tool. People are cooking a lot better now than they ever did."

Click here or on the image for a taste of the exhibition

The Experimental Food Society Spectacular is on Saturday 25 September in the Brickhouse, London E1,