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As part of FDL's new Dress the Plate' series we challenged some of Milan's most creative chefs to create dish inspired by fashion trends from this year's Fall/Winter 2013/14 collection.
'Gold', 'Tartan' and 'Black and White' were the three highlighted trends with each chef given pictures of famous fashion designers to help inspire an entirely new dish. First to Dress the Plate was chef Matteo Baronetto who produced a 'Black and White' dish, Lasagna with Black Ink Squid, using a dress created by Gianfranco Ferré as inspiration.
The series then moved on to 'Tartan' with chef Matias Perdomo from the Al Pont De Ferr restaurant. Perdomo created his own interpretation of the fabric inspired by a dress from the Italian fashion house Moschino. His Tartan Sashimi was a direct interpretation of the detailed fabric, a culinary task that the chef said took him around 36-hours to complete.
For the final piece in the series we decided to finish on something sweet, working with the dynamic team of Alessandro Negrini, Fabio Pisani and Mario Peqini from the two Michelin starred Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia restaurant.
The threesome were challenged to create their own interpretation of the fashion theme 'Gold' inspired by Italian designer Antonio Marras, producing a new plate with a strong image as a reference, something they say they have never done before. What followed was experimentation with meringue, making a number of attempts to try and capture the flows and movement of their chosen dress. You can try the meringue recipe yourself at home and below you can hear what the Aimo e Nadia team had to say about the challenge.
How was the Dress The Plate challenge for you?
We were intrigued by the neat, powerful, gold dress and we wanted to create something as neat and powerful. And a dessert seemed to be a perfect way to come closer to the elegance of this shining look.
What is the idea behind your dish?
Gold and yellow, pearl and white, taste and texture. A really beautiful challenge. The pleats of the dress, particularly their 'plasticity', inspired us to use the Italian meringue, with a flavour of lemon in the mousse, and a cinnamon scent in the meringue.
What's your usual process when trying to create devise new dishes?
We always start from the ingredients, the particularity of their flavours, taste, texture, the knowledge of the methods of production, the history behind each product. Starting from all these elements we elaborate new ideas that express all this complexity and, at the same time, the new plate has to be closely related to the memory of our country.
What was the hardest part of this task?
For us the hardest part was to try and make something as beautiful as the dress!
What was the most fun part?
Choosing the title of the recipe: Dressing Gold.
What do you find interesting about the world of fashion?
Creativity, made in Italy, team work. All these aspects combined together make fashion a field of wide interest where ideas, products, energies can be developed with great results.
How do you think the world's of fashion and food are similar?
They both are characterized by a precise, recognizable style, as well as a big research into 'raw materials'. Moreover, in our opinion, the overview on the present and future trends includes the deep knowledge of the past, in both food and fashion.
What makes them different?
Food is a personal, hedonistic experience and, while the consumption of a meal lasts for a short time, its memory can be very long-lasting. Food can also be much more related to a specific geographical area.
If you were asked to design a fashion piece what item of clothing would you design and what would it look like?
Hats. We would take inspiration from nature and design hats in shape of fruits and vegetables.
Do you think food can be art?
It can, it depends on the way we think about it. Maybe the difference between food nourishment and food as art is well expressed by this sentence: "Workers use hands, artisans use hands and brain, artists use hands, brain and heart”. Only if we use all the knowledge, experience, culture, skill, as well as our feelings, we will be to create something memorable and unique.