Andrew Stellitano thinks the experience of eating should be about more than just taste. Bringing techniques normally associated with design into food production, the
24-year-old is making food not just a sensory, but also an aesthetic pleasure.
‘After I graduated I started working on processes,’ says Stellitano. ‘I found laser cutting, particularly, really interesting. You can get digital images on food and manipulate food digitally, which opened up a lot of possibilities.’
Food as art
For Stellitano, the merging of design and food came naturally. Studying graphic design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design at the same time as working part-time in a kitchen, he became interested in the idea of food as an artistic medium.
Setting himself up as a food designer, he has been commissioned for projects ranging from a laser-cut tiramisu for Gucci, to a dehydrated banana leaf doily to creating the sweets for our future of retail installation, the Sweet Shoppe.
‘With Sweet Shoppe I was asked to make the sweets in various flavour profiles and categories, which was really exciting,’ he says. ‘So I researched it extensively, and came up with the three different profiles that would fit with the ones given. I did a huge amount of research into it and came up with some exciting results.’
The future of sweets
For Sweet Shoppe, Stellitano was asked to create a range of confectionery that gave customers a glimpse into the future. One of the processes he used for the project was freeze-drying fresh fruit. It is a technique he thinks will be popular in the future.
‘Dehydrating in general at the moment is really quite popular, but freeze-drying is going to be something you’ll see a lot more of,’ says Stellitano. ‘It preserves the nutrients in the food and the structure, so I’ve played around with those, and sort of rehydrated them with alcohol and stuff.’
Not just taste
Stellitano’s other key area of interest lies in how taste is affected by the other senses. Drawing on work done by neuroscientists on how sight and smell have an effect on taste, he says eating should be a multi-sensory experience. ‘To get something that you can consume, both through taste and smell, it’s really interesting,’ says Stellitano.
1. Be visually striking. Processes such as laser-cutting in food mean consumers expect visually stunning results.
2. Consider all the senses. Stellitano says sight and smell have a huge effect on taste.
3. Be open to new processes. Freeze-drying and dehydrating give food new and unexpected textures.
4. Be futuristic. Food that offers a glimpse of the future is interesting and exciting for consumers.
5. Draw from the past. Andrew Stellitano still looks to traditional, old-fashioned sweets such as sherbet, for inspiration.