With a growing cultural fascination with food as an artistic medium, chefs are called upon to create dining experiences that intrigue, innovate, and inspire in additional to providing an essential service through a satisfying meal. Chefs can be viewed as designers. In a sense, professional kitchens act as mini design
studios and manufacturing plants, innovating and transforming ingredients for small-scale production. The product is edible and therefore it is a highly multisensory consumer product that requires design for all five senses.
Like an architect, a modernist chef takes a vision for a product and transforms raw materials into structures and forms. This catalyst will link architecture to food and mechanical engineering. The guest instructor, as well as the host/co-instructor, will provide a new perspective on design and design process. The students will learn a variety of new techniques for manipulating and designing with food product.
Many of the modernist techniques that chefs are now using involve transforming a liquid into a more solid form such as a gel, foam, paste, or emulsion with both traditional and less traditional methods.
In the class, students will be challenged to apply their architectural knowledge to the food industry to design a dish that would be considered modernist cuisine. They will experiment with a variety of different ways of transforming food liquids into solids that can be manipulated, cast, formed, and constructed into edible design. The week will follow a design process with lectures and workshops related to food manipulation. Students will be challenged to take their own ideas from concept to plate. We will plan for guest critiques and talks from local chefs and (hopefully) several restaurant outings.
Barry Kudrowitz, Assistant Professor
Barry Kudrowitz is an assistant professor and director of product design at the University of Minnesota. He received his PhD from the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), studying humor, creativity, and idea generation. Kudrowitz co-designed a Nerf toy, an elevator simulator that is in operation at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., and a ketchup-dispensing robot that was featured on the Martha Stewart Show.