Food & Beverage

Apr 1, 2016

The Social Network par Excellence

Imagine the Barajas airport, made at a large scale, of jelly. Now imagine what is possible to do with jelly using hundreds of different moulds. This is the work that distinguishes Bompas & Parr, leaders in design based on taste, experience, culinary research, architectural installations, and contemporary food design. From London, United Kingdom, to the world, know the duo that is revolutionizing the concept of food design.


Cooking is so fashionable that there was a boom of courses, workshops, books, lectures, exhibitions and even television programs all over the world, where the presentation of the dishes is highly valued. The word gourmet entered the daily lexicon when it is needed to choose a place for a meal, but there is another innovative, artistic, and cultural concept that is increasingly considered - food design.

Composed of a creative team, cooks, designers, technicians, and skilled architects, the studio of Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, created in 2007, experiences, develops, produces, and make, art installations and artwork using jelly. Although they have been known for these works, they also do more conventional events like weddings, where they use other kinds of food, but making use of partnerships with engineers, artists, scientists and other specialists which confer innovation to the food presentation. Immersive flavours, a habitable cloud of tonic gin, multi-sensory fireworks, or a flaming sword to cut cake are examples of the creativity that distinguishes them.

As for jelly, there are many works conducted using a variety of architectural patterns, colours and sizes. They can be integrated into a meal or displayed as a centrepiece. One of the most emblematic work examples of this duo was the preparation of the Barajas airport in jelly, for the 75th anniversary party of Lord Rogers. They had previously held the "Architectural Jelly Banquet" at the "London Festival of Architecture", in 2008, to which attended more than 2000 people, and captivated the most important architects of the world, such as Lord Foster, Lord Rogers and Sir Nicholas Grimshaw. In 2009, they developed the "Jell-O Map" with more than 250 moulds for the "Early Show", from the United States television channel CBS. Thanks to the success of the work in jelly, they also edited the book "Jelly with Bompas & Parr", in 2010.

No less innovative it was a cityscape made of gingerbread for the 2013 Selfridges Christmas Party. In this cityscape they portrayed the lost architecture of London, such as Euston Arch, Old Bridge, Newgate Gaol and the City of London Lying-In Hospital, as well as unbuilt projects, like the memorial of Waterloo Battle. This edible city took 400 hours to build and occupied 10 square meters and 2.8 meters high.

The duo has worked with some of the most important cultural institutions in the world, such as Barbican Art Gallery, Garage Contemporary Culture Centre, Salon del Mobile and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and companies like Diageo, Cargill, Selfridges, Disney Louis Vuitton, Kraft Foods, etc. Last January, they exhibited in the British Museum Food in Borough Market, London, the first cultural institution in the world dedicated to the history, evolution, science, sociology and art of food. Linked to the culture of each country, the food wins several forms, let's look for example at the doughnut's format, which has a hole in it, a sweet that was inspired by a Jewish bread that was loaded on sticks to be sold on the market. Therefore, food, besides pleasing the eye, takes into account the distribution logistics that the design seeks to answer. Currently, it is common to find profiles dedicated to food in social networks, where very appetizing food images are exposed. In Instagram, for instance, the most famous are "The Art of the Plating" with 192,000 followers and "Gastro Art" with 185,000 followers. Despite being appreciated in many different ways, food remains the social network par excellence, connecting people around it.

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