Food for thought in designers' conference

Associate Prof Richard Mitchell, of the Otago Polytechnic Food Design Institute, displays an example of food design - a modernistic interpretation of black forest gateau. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Associate Prof Richard Mitchell, of the Otago Polytechnic Food Design Institute, displays an example of food design - a modernistic interpretation of black forest gateau. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Dunedin's rapidly rising status in food design circles will be reflected in a international conference being hosted by the Otago Polytechnic later this year, organisers say.

High-profile culinary artists and designers from throughout the world will converge on the city for the International Food Design Conference and Studio, which is being hosted by the polytechnic's Food Design Institute, formerly called the School of Hospitality.

Organisers said about 200 people were expected to participate, including about 60 from overseas countries, including Denmark, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Turkey and Argentina.

The three-day conference starts on July 2 and will explore the interplay between food and design and consider the food design industry's future.

Associate Prof Richard Mitchell is responsible for the conference and sees it as a ''great opportunity'' for the food industry to get involved with the public and boost understanding of latest trends.

Food design is a wide-ranging concept that includes the use of art and design principles in the visually appealing presentation of food and drink.

Prof Mitchell said Dunedin had become well known for producing a distinctive ''Dunedin Sound'' in music and for the successful iD Dunedin Fashion Week.

The ''very exciting'' forthcoming conference was also ''very much putting Dunedin on the international map'' in food design, he said.

The Otago Polytechnic's new bachelor of culinary arts degree, introduced two years ago, was already recognised as the only design-led culinary arts degree in the world.

Guest speakers include internationally respected chefs and food designers, such as leading US chef and author Emilie Baltz.

Another overseas participant is Chloe Morris, a London-based artist who has a bachelor of arts degree in interior architecture, but spends much of her time combining ingredients in order to tell stories, by using food.

Latest food design research findings will be passed on in the mornings, and participants will work together in later studio sessions.

In the evenings, members of the public could appreciate food experiences designed by collaborative teams of local and international chefs and designers, organisers said.

- john.gibb@odt.co.nz

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