Last week in Milan we saw an exciting food design collaboration between Marco Ambrosino, chef of 28 Posti restaurant, and designer Odo Fioravanti. It all started from the Italian word piatto which means both dish as the physical object and the course. The creative duo joined forces to create a design capsule collection and a gourmet menu specifically geared towards the international elites of Milan’s design week.
What intrigued us about this project is its similarities to our own 10 year collaboration of marrying food and design. We know from experience, it’s not easy. So when we came across these dishes that make guests participate and engage with the dishes in new ways, we couldn’t help but feel stimulated and inspired.
Marco and Odo make those who consume the food protagonists. They take you on a journey. Make a Dish / Make a Wish is a team game: between the designer, the chef and the taster. And this has been Pinch’s modus operandi since day one; delight and surprise.
The capsule collection shows a nice range of interactivity. First we see a crescendo of flavors, where guests are invited to consume in sequence from three mini-dishes each served on a separate podium. Which one should be consumed first is clear, since: the object becomes interface. “Like in a good interface, how to “use” the food is immediately obvious, it does not require explanations,” says Odo Fioravanti.
Then we see tableware that invites you to participate, to interact with the food: the dish is completed when you pour the gravy sauce using the funnel that overhangs the dish. This makes the guest feel a part of the process, like when your mom would let you pluck the basil leaves for a pesto sauce.
And maybe our favorite example, the illusionistic-playful effect typical of a lot of contemporary design where meat and fish, divided by a mirror, offer two different and complementary experiences.
However, the most intriguing aspect of Make a Dish goes beyond the pleasure of taste, discovery, or fun. It is another example that screams the value of design beyond the boundaries. Showing us how forward design thinking can clearly change and bring added value to everyday experiences.