February 24, 2005

Controversial new "serviceware" designs for the bizarre Alinea restaurant

Via Core77

"We realized that the service of food has remained basically the same for the last 200 years. Looking at how cuisine had developed in the last ten years it became obvious that the need to support the food functionally and emotionally was crucial to the success of the cuisine itself. The involvement of the serving pieces and actual eating utensils plays an enormous role in the emotions that guests can experience while dining. The pieces can add humor, surprise, intrigue, excitement and even a sense of intimidation to the meal. When these emotions are triggered, it leaves a very personal stamp on the experience based on the individual’s reactions. I realized the synergy of food and the serving pieces helps the chef convey the message to the guest. A personalized emotional experience is created, solidifying a meal into a form of art."

These bizarre skewer systems are supposedly designed for function. I am skeptical. I am even more skeptical of some of the recipes. Food and restaurant design in generally I find incredibly discomforting. While I encourage the viewpoint that food is scared, special, and scarce. I am disgusted with the look of food presented with aesthetic concern. It is an easy criticism to make, the wealthy eating little slivers of meat dangling from metal versus mcdonalds versus starvation around the world. There are certainly orginal designs, but do they really respond to life dealing with conflicts all the variety in consumption. I think they add to them.

As a counterpoint check out this other Core77 feature titled "Value Meal: Design and (over)Eating"

Neither are entirely revolutionary in the way we eat, but both really point to room for change succesfully.



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