Dating back to 1154, pasta is a staple of the traditional Italian diet, with the average citizen annually consuming over 60 pounds of the delicious stuff in an enormous variety of forms. Created using a simple combination of flour, eggs and water, the material can be moulded, manipulated and manoeuvred into just about any shape imaginable, going on to be either stuffed or covered with a flavoursome accompaniment before serving. A beloved cuisine worldwide, a magazine has now decided to push the foodstuff down more ornate – if slightly less edible – avenues.
Here, in celebration of the fourth instalment of tantalizing food and culture journal The Gourmand, AnOther presents an exclusive preview of Tradizione, Costruzione; a unique shoot for the magazine in which set designer Gemma Tickle, and photographer Aaron Tilley joined forces to create their homage to Italian architecture, using the country’s most famous foodstuff. With the magazine scheduled for release later this month, we caught up with the creative duo to chat about their first foray into the world of culinary construction.
What inspired you to work with pasta?
Gemma Tickle: It was the many varying forms and textures combined with its strict traditions.
Aaron Tilley: We eat it all the time but forget how architectural it is as a material.
How did the partnership come about?
GT: We wanted to work together on a project, this was just the first!
AT: I saw some of Gemma's work in Viewpoint Magazine and loved her style.
What is the ideal material for food architecture?
GT: Anything modular: biscuits would work well. I have always wanted to make pink wafer parquet flooring, a bit impractical but it would look and smell amazing!
AT: Cheese, you can manipulate it into crazy forms and it has such intriguing textures. It's funny how blue stilton has a marmoreal quality to it.
"I have always wanted to make pink wafer parquet flooring, a bit impractical but it would look and smell amazing!" — Gemma Tickle
What other building would you most like to re-create and from what food?
GT: The Parthenon made from Polos, The Yellow Brick road from butter bricks, and the Lloyds building from all varying tinned foods without their labels on.
AT: Or the Gherkin made from pickled cucumbers? Or the pyramids of Giza made from toast? This making me hungry!
What is your favourite type of pasta?
AT: Home-made papardelle
Do you think you'll now be more inclined to use food in your work?
GT: Yes! Food always inspires me, it’s like an infinite pallet of materials to work with!
AT: Definitely - it's always fun to take materials out of their original context. The leftovers aren't bad either.
Issue 03 of The Gourmand is out next week, available to pre-order here.
Text by Rhiannon Wastell