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September 28, 2018

Understanding the art of food with Vilma Luostarinen

Alyssa Jaffer

To call London-based food designer Vilma Luostarinen an artist would almost be an understatement. She has a talent for merging art and food to curate culinary experiences – everything from meals and menus to installations and symbolic food relics. Tomorrow she’s hosting a workshop at The Collective Old Oak called the Symbolist Kitchen, to teach us about food history and the significance of certain ingredients, and even help us design our own edible talismans.

Here, she shares some insights on her most Instagrammable shots – and they’re on a whole level up from your basic #foodporn.

1. A Swedish dream dish

vilma luostarinen

“Sol Luna Latte was a canapé menu I designed for a group show with Swedish artist constellation The Dream Society. An edible poem inspired by a dream and ancient cosmologies.”

2. Pretty in pink radicchio

vilma luostarinen

“One thing I love about exploring food as an artistic medium is that nature has already made most of the work. With my projects I want to inspire people to take a closer look at all the amazing colours, patterns and textures in ingredients.”

3. The Cookbook of Emotions

desk decor

“A worry-dish made with ‘seaweed, sushi, and sparse, picky food.’ Cookbook of Emotions is a workshop developed together with artist Natasha Rosling, where participants are invited to contribute to a growing recipe book of emotions.”

4. A mindful picnic

vilma luostarinen

“A curated walk and picnic lunch for the National Trust earlier this year, where artist Natasha Rosling and I explored food as a way of connecting human body and landscape.”

5. Fermentation experimentation

vilma luostarinen

“In the colder months I enjoy being indoors experimenting in my kitchen. Fermentation is a lovely way of preserving veggies and bringing some fresh and acidic flavours to your plate throughout the year. Not to mention all the good bacteria! Here’s just some very simple white cabbage with juniper berries and turmeric.”

6. Tile textures

vilma luostarinen

“I’m an incurable materials nerd and this shot is from one of my favourite shops to browse: Planet Modulor in Berlin.”

7. Food on the table

vilma luostarinen

“Nearly every Saturday, you can find me at the Stoke Newington farmers market. When I first moved to the UK from Sweden, I was amazed with all the beautiful produce you can access all year round – even in a city like London. I challenged myself not to buy any supermarket vegetables all winter, and didn’t miss it for a second.”

8. The Italian job

“This summer, I spent two weeks with a bunch of charming nuns in a monastery in Italy, helping out in their kitchen. The daily rhythm, stillness, beauty and strong sense of care and respect was just from another world. I can’t wait to go back.”

9. Super superstitious

“To prepare myself for a long trip I was feeling worried about, I made this talisman-bundle with protective objects. Do I need to say that it worked?”

10. Not your ordinary rock collection

rock collection

“A collection of forgotten memories. These were objects used for an installation in Stockholm called Dream of the Palace, a composition of sounds, light, projection, objects and flavours inspired by old memory techniques and the tip of the tongue phenomenon.” ⚉

Members can register for the event on The Collective app. See more content from our amazing events programme on our blog.

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