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Tapas, Spanish Food Design and Creativity
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Tapas, Spanish Food Design and Creativity

A chat with Juli Capella, curator of “Tapas, Spanish design for food”: an itinerant art show that will take Spanish food creativity from Tokyo to the USA.

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«Ferrán Adrià said: “To cook is to draw the food”. You can have food without design, but it’s boring. »: adds Juli Capella, curator of “Tapas, Spanish design for food”, an itinerant art show that will take Spanish creativity, related to food, from Tokyo to Washington, all the way around the world. From the freezer-oven to cook croissants with a gelato filling to the cutting board with a tube to collect crumbs for birds, utensils to make or present dishes, things related to tradition as well as innovation. Always with a humorous touch. Objects designed solely in Spain, in recent years, everyday objects including the oil-container that doesn’t spill, simple and economic, and essential to Spanish oil producers. Food-design is also a part of this.

The exhibit is organized by Acción Cultural Española, and sees involved some of the best chefs around - Ferrán Adrià, José Andrés of Jaleo, Roca Brothers of El Celler de Can Roca, Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz – and important designers such as Hayón and Urquiola. There are also works from two artists who work with food, Antoni Miralda and Marti Guixé.

Striking art works such the aromatic clamp-spoons by Adrià and Max Huber, or the Faquir-Cook grill. Two hundred pieces of food design with a common fil rouge and question: what is the role of design versus food and gastronomy? «Design is a tool that betters our daily eating experience, makes it more sophisticated (we eat almost 100.000 times in a lifetime). If we didn’t invent design, we would still be living in caves, naked, homeless, without furniture, without comodities. Thanks to architectural design, furniture, fashion, we made progress. It’s the same with food. The primitive pots and knives were useful, but not creative. The invention of the oven, the Minipimer, the Roner, help us prepare good food, innovative food. The whole experience of eating is better for it. Design is everywhere, it has many values: function, beauty, symbology… each kitchen, each table setting, represents the culture of the place.»

e are now looking at Spanish culture, their relation with food and design, because it’s in the moment. «The Michelin Guide speaks clearly, as well as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and many other guides on the subject. In the past years, Spain has climbed the ladder and obtained records, prizes, acknowledgements for its cuisine, its avanguard. The country’s size nor its previous fame didn’t impact its recent success. A success that depends somewhat on the revolutionary force of Ferrán Adrià, a new generation of expert chefs, daring chefs, their genius, their techno-emotional cuisine, and design as the key ingredient. Spain is exporting tapas, creativity, small portions and wide variety, a sort of fast-good, an alternative to American fast-food, to Italian pasta, to French sauces, to Japanese sushi, to Mexican burrito eccetera. It’s a Mediterranean way of life, healthy, fun, social… You don’t need to translate the word Tapas, it’s unique, it’s Spanish”.

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