Ananas-Ananas is the Creative Studio That’s bridging the Conversation Between Food & Art
PHOTOS BY: KATIE JUNE BURTON, ALMENDRA ISABEL, HAS ALEXANDRA
Founded out of Mexico City, Elena Petrossian & Veronica Gonzalez opened up their horizons with their newest project, Ananas Ananas, a creative studio focused on fine art and cuisine. With both having a background in graphic design, the two extended their trades into the culinary world in search to bridge the artistic language that connects food and visual arts. As they’re making their way around Mexico and North America to share their interpretations of both worlds, their model is far from what you’d expect for a traditional “agency”.
The goal of Ananas Ananas is simple, and definitely not of a “normalized” way to enjoy an installation or dining experience. The two exhibit ways to romanticize the act of dining, and allows their audience to interact with food that is in a multisensory and experimental method. Unlike other mediums their work is meant to be enjoyed mindfully and in the present. It’s really a one-night-only artistic experience.
We had a chance to talk with Elena and Veronica on how they were inspired for this project at Divina Comida , their edible garden experience hosted in West Hollywood.
Tell us about Ananas Ananas How did you come about hosting these dinners?
We ran into each surprisingly with a solid interest in common: using food as a universal language. We believe in getting people together through food and that’s how it all started.
So what came first, the background in fine arts or the kitchen?
Both of us grew up around food and the love of food. We started growing professionally as designers and soon translating that into the kitchen. We don’t have professional training in cooking, we never thought about it since we are both from strong cultural backgrounds and most of the traditions we grew up with are around food and cooking.
Tell us your background in food and art?
Elena went to school for graphic design and Veronica for product design but both of us have been cooking at home, for friends, family etc since we were young.
What inspired you to bridge the two together?
We had both noticed that those worlds hadn’t collided yet, at least it’s not a common thing. We’ve seen the pop-ups with the Ice Cream Museum and the Candy Museum in Los Angeles with more of the similar kind of experiences coming up, they’ve done a really good job of creating spaces to immerse yourself in that world they are creating however it’s not edible. As designers and lovers of food we wanted to create a studio that catered to this new artistic way of presenting and eating food.
How do you define cuisine and food as art?
Food questions about the cultural background it belongs; from ingredients, manners, flavors and textures, migration is a great example of this self expression. Its the people that get together to create this rich exchange of knowledge that performs an artistic medium
What inspirations have you drawn to concept your installations?
As designers we believe on the constructions of visual needs that satisfies a purpose. Each project and menu are different to the other since we immerse on each as a new opportunity to link people to food.
How do you view the culinary practices between Mexico and the US that you find fascinating?
How do you wish to change the way the food industry wastes food? That’s a big ethos to your projects.
We actually take this very seriously and are still learning as we go what practices we can implement in order to have the least amount of food waste during our events. The most effective way that’s worked for us so far is composting. We are also very interested in fermentation, pickling and preserves such as jams and jellies and we’d look forward to create something new out of “food waste” so that’s another work in progress for us.
How did you two meet?
What do you hope to inspire with Ananas ananas?
Our goal is to create scenarios that re-think the way we see food, the way we eat it and the way it get us together. That’s how we hope people to experience our edible installations
Where do you see the studio growing into? Would it be more art focused? Or cuisine focused?
This project is a balance between both. It’s art focused because since we work with studios and galleries to showcase our work and one of our dreams is to be able to create an installation and exhibit in an art gallery as fine art but everything would be edible and guests would be able to eat and deconstruct our work. And we also want it to be cuisine focused because we express ourselves by using and presenting high quality ingredients and recipes. We’ve attended beautiful designed theatrical dinner experiences but for some reason the food its never memorable. For us it makes sense to create an integral experience in which pairing goes further with space, textures, flavors and ambience.