An Insect A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

An Insect A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

It might (currently) be weird to admit but I’m quite interested in eating bugs. That is, with climate change upon us and food sources starting to shift there’s a growing interest in insects as a more sustainable source of food, and this concept is interesting to me. It’s also of interest to Noma and their Nordic Food Lab, which I covered on the site recently. Scientific American has a great write-up on their descent into entomophagy, the consumption of insects as food, and trying to prove that bugs are worth eating, for taste and sustainability purposes.

Eating Insects - Noma Science Bunker

The Nordic Food Lab has visited seven countries on five continents where entomophagy is practiced to learn more about traditional methods of preparation. Rather than importing an insect they’ve sampled, they seek edible equivalents that can be found in Denmark, such as members of the same genus or family that are prevalent in the region. Although they’re driven by deliciousness, they also emphasize sustainability. “We’re interested in sustainability in a more systemic way by focusing on how insects may fit into larger food systems,” Evans says.

From a creativity standpoint I find it pretty cool that a team of people is integrating locusts, ants, crickets moths, and bee larva into foods like beer, soup, and ceviche. There must be quite a lot of trial and error in a process like this though I’m sure it’s a part of the challenge. For me personally a larva ceviche sounds like it might be difficult to stomach but in the hands of a team like Noma can it really be so bad?

Bobby Solomon

September 16, 2014 / By

Noma Has A Science Bunker, Officially Making It The Coolest Restaurant in the World

Noma Science Bunker

Named almost consecutively (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014) as the Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant magazine, Noma is something beyond a restaurant. They’re best known for using locally foraged foods as well as their experimentation with food, using science and research to create startling dishes unlike anything you’ve seen before. To this end, Noma now has a “science bunker”, a series of refrigerated shipping containers which allows them to conduct experiments to discover new flavors. Scientist and research manager at Noma Arielle Johnson sums up the objective of the space quite well.

“It’s at some midway point between a test kitchen and a ‘lab’ lab,” she says. “Hopefully [the Bunker is] more like a kitchen. But we’re not actually producing dishes, we’re producing knowledge. In that sense it’s like a lab, but it’s a different discipline than a chem lab would have, it’s very much informed by the test kitchen and the service kitchen.”

You can read the full feature over on Eater.

Noma Science Bunker

Noma Science Bunker

Noma Science Bunker

Noma Science Bunker

Bobby Solomon

September 4, 2014 / By

Titillating Luxury: A Champagne Glass Shaped After Kate Moss’ Breast

Kate Moss - Breast Champagne Glass

Historically champagne has been known as a symbol of wealth and opulence. In the 17th century the champagne coupe was invented, elevating the act of drinking champagne, which became in fashion in the 1930s. Cut to 2014 and the coupe is getting a titillating new form in the shape of Kate Moss’ left breast. Yes, you read that correctly. 34, a restaurant located in the Mayfair area of London, has teamed up with artist Jane McAdam Freud to create the coupe, which is decorated with an art-deco pattern, and of course, Kate Moss’ signature.

There’s something entirely ridiculous about this concept that I love. From a press angle view point I’ve seen the story told that the coupe was originally shaped from Marie Antoinette’s breast, though that’s entirely untrue. Still, the extravagance of drinking champagne from a super model’s breast is too funny not to share. Is this the start of a new trend in sex organ shaped drinking vessels?

Bobby Solomon

August 26, 2014 / By

Clean, Honest Branding and Interior Design for Health Food Restaurant Mamva

Mamva Branding by Anagrama

Mamva, a health food restaurant based in San Pedro Garza García, Mexico, recently received some fresh new branding and interiors from probably my favorite design agency in the world, Anagrama. Mamva serves fresh smoothies, juices, salads, and paninis, so the branding and identity needed to feel clean, friendly, and honest.

Our proposal uses symbolism and easy, simple language to communicate friendliness and natural health. Drawing from the idea that eating healthy is the best medicine, we featured the snake thanks to its status as a symbol of health and medicine since ancient times.

The color palette and rough materials give a care-free tropical vibe. The logotype presents a built-in, all-in-one practical guide to everything Mamva, such as its schedule and phone number. The brand also uses a simpler version of the logo in seal form, a nod towards its excellent food quality.

You can see more imagery from the project by clicking here.

Mamva Branding by Anagrama

Mamva Branding by Anagrama

Mamva Branding by Anagrama

Mamva Branding by Anagrama

Mamva Branding by Anagrama

Mamva Branding by Anagrama

Bobby Solomon

August 11, 2014 / By

Chef Naomi Pomeroy Reminds Us How Lucky Are To Be Creatives

Naomi Pomeroy

I came across an interview with Naomi Pomeroy, renowned chef at Beast in Portland, who spoke with the Ace Hotel blog back in 2012. This year she won a James Beard Award and has been nominated almost every year for the past 4 years. This woman is damn talented.

In the interview they speak about Julia Child and the influence she had on Pomeroy, and this particular passage stuck out to me.

One thing about Julia Child is that she so clearly loved life. Do you think chefs are happier people?

I do think chefs are happier…usually. Sometimes we get too caught up in perfection and complexity though. I think that is why Julia makes such a great role model. She really showcased what is best about a GOOD chef. When something doesn’t go right, you just laugh, and turn to something else… It is a kitchen! We are COOKING and if we aren’t happy, we certainly SHOULD be. We are all so lucky to be doing what we love for work.

Replace “chef” with “designer” in all of those instances and I couldn’t agree more fully. Never lose sight of the fact that we have a pretty sweet gig, and however frustrating it can be, we’re lucky to do what we do.

Photo by Alicia J. Rose

Bobby Solomon

August 8, 2014 / By

Nora Luther Photographs Recipes As Dynamic, Floating Ingredients

Nora Luther Turns Recipes Into Flying Feasts

The earliest incarnations of the recipe come from 1600 BC in Babylonia, and since then, not a lot has changed (although we don’t use stone tablets anymore). A list of ingredients, a set of directions with cook times – this is really all you need. Berlin based photographer Nora Luther though has come up with a clever way of reimagining the recipe, by photographing all of the elements flying in mid-air.

Nora Luther Turns Recipes Into Flying Feasts

As she says in the project description, her intention is that “the look of the ready cooked dish is left to one`s own imagination.” The way she’s photographed the pieces of the whole are stunning, like a food ballet captured in mid leap.

Nora Luther Turns Recipes Into Flying Feasts

Nora Luther Photographs Recipes As Dynamic, Floating Ingredients

Bobby Solomon

August 8, 2014 / By

An Interview with Joey Roth, Who Brings A Newly Refined Design to the Sorapot

Sorapot by Joey Roth

I’ve been a fan of industrial designer Joey Roth for over five years now, and his commitment to quality has always been one of the traits I admire most about him. Recently he released a newly refined version of his infamous Sorapot teapot which is a marvel of design. The upgrades he’s made have transformed the object into the true vision he had for the product all along. Curious about these refinements and his future plans, I asked Joey a few questions to get some background.

Your original version of the Sorapot was the first product you released, and I’m curious to know what spurred your desire to make a teapot in the first place?
I love brewing and drinking tea almost as much as coffee, but it’s interesting to me as a designer because of the ritual involved in its preparation and enjoyment. The slow reversion of steeping tea leaves from dry rolled up balls to the full, translucent forms that were picked from camellia bushes is a transformation worth emphasizing through design. The Sorapot is a frame for this process, each of its design gestures playing a supporting role rather than taking over.

Sorapot by Joey Roth

Some may not know that this is a “refined” version of the original design, could you describe some of the changes and improvements you’ve made?
Sorapot 2 is a realization of my original design intent, enabled by better investment casting technology and my growth as a designer. It’s 40% lighter, its geometry is held to tighter tolerances, and it uses about half the stainless steel of version 1. I also re-engineered the spout to eliminate dripping and simplified the opening and closing operation. I made these improvements to eliminate annoying experiences like dripping and enhance pleasurable experiences like the feeling of a slightly warm stainless steel handle, further reducing the friction between the user and the tea.

Sorapot by Joey Roth

These days we always seem to be so busy with our lives. Do you think there’s anything significant about the process of making tea? There is a bit of work that goes into it.
I optimized Sorapot’s design for richness of experience rather than efficiency. Efficiency is a great design goal for cars or medical devices, but efficient tea comes in a bag and brews in microwaved water. Tea encourages single-minded focus and patience, and rewards manual preparation. Sorapot is designed to be a precise but completely manual tool for making, appreciating and serving tea that requires significant user participation. That said, I optimized the individual steps, such as cleaning and pouring, for efficiency, in the service of a rich experience.

Do you feel like you’ve truly realized your vision for the Sorapot?
I’ve realized my vision as of now, but it is continually growing.

Any other food-related products on the horizon?
I’m working on a coffee maker in collaboration with a Bay Area roaster that will be launched later this year.

It’s clear that Joey as a designer truly cares about the experience of the objects that bear his name. Many people would have said “good enough” and moved on to the next thing. I love that he decided that he didn’t get it right the first time and did something about it.

You can preorder the Sorapot now by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

August 6, 2014 / By

The Manual Coffeemaker Brings Ritual and Lovely Aesthetics Back Into Coffee Making

Manual Coffeemaker

Manual Coffeemaker

The world of coffee makers seems to be a ripe field for new development. After decades of Mr. Coffee and the rising tide of K-Cups we’re starting to see a concerted effort to appreciate the time and effort it takes to create something of quality, specifically in this case, a cup of coffee. I’ve written about another “high-tech” coffee maker recently, namely the Ratio Eight, but the Manual Coffeemaker seen here is much more simple, more akin to the classic Chemex.

Manual Coffeemaker, or MCM, is a pour-over coffee maker that lives on the countertop in a home or office, like a low-tech appliance. Hot water is gradually poured through fresh ground coffee in a filter, and brewed coffee slowly drips into the carafe, or even directly into your mug.

MCM takes inspiration from manual coffee brewers of the past, but completely redesigns the experience with a new form. Other manual brewers have more in common with pitchers or kitchen funnels, while MCM is designed to be a beautiful freestanding appliance—an appliance you truly love to see on your kitchen counter day after day.

Personally, I find it hard to find time to enjoy such rituals though I appreciate what Manual is trying to do here. Plus it’s nice to bring more beauty into the kitchen. You can pre-order one for your own space by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

August 6, 2014 / By

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