How Christina J. Wang Combines Food, Travel And Fashion

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

hong-kong-630x630Most fashion designers would never think to put an automated Japanese toilet on one of their designs, but that’s precisely what makes Christina J. Wang’s whimsical, colorfully illustrated scarves so desirable.

Since launching her line of printed silk, cashmere and lightweight wool scarves in 2014, the New York City–based painter turned designer has produced various limited-edition collections that reveal both a cheeky sense of wanderlust and an expert’s insight into a particular city or place. Last December, Wang debuted a special scarf emblazoned with various treats from NYC pastry chef Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar. Her latest spring collection, a tribute to Hong Kong, Japan and New York, features a mash-up of quirky cultural symbols and objects — such as the Japanese toilet, or the diverse foodstuffs of Asia’s World City — that make the scarves more than just souvenirs, but rather zeitgeist-y depictions of some of Wang’s favorite things. “That’s important for me in every scarf and everything I do, for it to have an authenticity and personal connection behind it,” explains the 29-year-old designer. (more…)

Plate Deconstruction: Jose Andres’ Yogurt-Pine Snow

Friday, December 14th, 2012

It’s always cool when a chef as accomplished and celebrated as José Andrés still admits moments of uncertainty, especially when the outcome is no less masterful. Take his “Yogurt-Pine Snow” dessert at minibar in Washington, DC. “This dish started out as a simple idea — a concept consisting of pine and yogurt,” Andrés tells us. “The idea came from childhood memories of eating snow off the pine trees that had amber-colored sap dripping from the tree. But we really did not know what form or shape this was going to take.”

One glance and it’s obvious that the resulting plate took on a literal presentation. And why shouldn’t it? Dramatic and spellbinding at once, the light dusting of yogurt-turned-snow evokes the natural beauty of the forest and the wintry season, and yet it’s entirely befitting for the avant-garde eatery’s menu. Read on for Andrés’ nostalgic interpretation.

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Feasting On Art: Food for the eyes, recipes for the appetite

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

“I’m interested in still life because it’s an easy mode of visual communication that gives pride of place to the sustenance we all need to survive. They are a visual history of a the produce and regional dishes of a specific culture” explains Megan Fizell, the writer and art historian behind Feasting on Art, a blog that offers up food-centric artwork paired with recipes befitting the visuals and the context of their creation.

The Sydney-based American also recently curated the show at Sydney’s Brenda May Gallery, Art + Food: Beyond the Still Life, the first of a series that will continue next fall with Sugar, Sugar, an exhibition of artwork created entirely with sugar.

As a Food Republic exclusive, we asked Fizell to pick five of her favorite food-based photographs, each one more striking than the next. Scroll down to take them all in, but first read on about Fizell’s process, as well as some of her favorite grub spots in her hometown Down Under.

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Plate Deconstruction: WD~50’S Scrambled Egg Ravioli

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

“Not only is the filling a scrambled egg, the outside is also an egg—more specifically, egg yolk,” explains chef Wylie Dufresne, as we poke and examine a curious yellow cube. The self-contained edible, an egg wizardly transformed into Scrambled Egg Ravioli, is the headline component in a dish from wd~50’s “From the Vault” menu, a collection of the restaurant’s greatest hits, so to speak.

Though the dish itself has become a golden oldie at Dufresne’s groundbreaking restaurant, where gastronomy is perenially approached with original thinking, he tells us that its concept was originally inspired by a classic Italian pasta filled with scrambled egg. “I thought it’d be fun to do that, but what if the outside was eggs, as well as the inside.”

On the plate, the “ravioli” is joined by charred avocado and pickled kanpachi (a type of Japanese amberjack). “In many ways, it’s kind of like a breakfast,” Dufresne says of the dish. “The way you’d have scrambled eggs, potatoes, maybe a little bit of fish.” Pasta, eggs, breakfast…all such humble-seeming words that fade at first sight.

Read on to get the breakdown from Wylie himself.




The Art of Champagne, Artfully Illustrated

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

We Americans might call it “Champagne For Dummies,” but leave it to the French to class up what’s pretty much a simplified guide to the Dos and Don’ts of bubbly. The newly debuted Champagnes Protocoles de G.H. Mumm includes 100 rules of conduct for all things Champagne-related, presented alongside a stylized and witty series of illustrations by the Israeli artist Noma Bar.

To freshen up its delivery of etiquette and savoir faire without the fussy attitude, the 185-year-old French Champagne house enlisted Bar to encapsulate the protocols in 12 chapters, ranging from how to choose the right type of bubbly for any occasion to opening one’s bottle with a saber (and for the most practiced show off, there’s even sabreless sabring).

The first four chapters comprising protocols 1-38 are currently available online and oniPhones, with the next chapters rolling out on a monthly basis, starting in June.

A Design To Banish Label Snobbery

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Sometimes the best way to avoid label snobbery is to forgo the effort of creating a slick-looking sticker altogether.

In the case of Cantamanyanes, a small-batch wine handcrafted in the Tivissa region of Catalonian Spain, the pared-down, hand-painted bottles wordlessly convey what the wine is all about: a wine that travels from earth to table, without the interference of distributors and other middle men. The work of Spanish design firm Enserio, the bottles are half-painted in a solid, light brown hue to represent the local soil.

Of course, “no distributors” means you’ll have to travel to Tivissa to get your hands on one of the 600 bottles available—or just look for similar less-is-more packaging bottle trends on this side of the Atlantic.


Rotting Food Never Looked So Good

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Appropriately titled the One Third Project, Austrian photographer Klaus Pichler’s arresting imagery of decaying food is a response to a UN-commissioned study in 2011, which revealed that one third of the world’s food-industry products go to waste.

Beyond that staggering figure alone, the horrific irony of this statistic is that while some 1.3 tons of edible goods are discarded yearly, 925 million people in the world face the daily threat of starvation.



Designing Your Urban Kitchen

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

An open kitchen has its perks — it allows you to entertain guests while preparing a meal, for example — but the all-in-one-kitchen and living room layout comes with its share of drawbacks, too (for example, couch pillows that smell like last night’s beef stew). More often than not, the impetus behind the open kitchen plan, especially in urban apartments, is to maximize real estate rather than accomodate an actual flow of space. Reed Woodson, founder of the design firm Beedus & Jardin, faced this kind of layout when renovating his own apartment in NYC’s West Village. The final product is one enviable kitchen that deserves to be seen from the living room sofa.

Here, he offers some expert advice on the subject.



Will Torres Is Not a Fan of Liquid Diets

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Will Torres knows a thing or two about getting fit. As the powerhouse owner behind Willspace, the discreetly low-key personal training studio in NYC frequented by Bravo’s Andy Cohen, among many other stylish gents bearing jacked physiques under their fitted suits, workouts are his love and labor. But what we didn’t expect when we stopped by his newly opened 2,000-square-foot gym in the West Village, was to find someone who’s as equally passionate and knowledgeable about food as he is about total body conditioning. A self-professed Brussels sprouts lover and peanut butter addict, Torres gives us the rundown on his daily calorie intake, and explains his beef with juicing.



Alex Carleton Shares His Dress Code

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Growing up, most of us either owned one of L.L.Bean’s hallmark backpacks, or knew someone who did. And while you have to hand it to the classic brand for enduring the test of time and continuing to do what it does so well (outdoor basics, backpacks, camping gear), the 100-year old company adopted a new look, so to speak, when it tapped designer and Rogues Gallery founder Alex Carleton to oversee the launch of its spin-off line L.L.Bean Signature. The label, which debuted nearly two years ago, offers the kind of effortless, everyday styles that guys can wear to meetings in the city as well as weekend jaunts out of town.

Carleton, a Cape Cod native with previous design stints at Abercrombie & Fitch and Ralph Lauren, is a natural fit for the job. He definitely knows a thing or two about all-American dressing — and some rules to live by. Currently based in Portland, Maine, Carleton takes every chance he gets to pounce on the area’s local produce and fresh seafood offerings. Clean living is something he constantly strives for, at home and afar (although he does come cop to a soft spot for gourmet marshmallows).