Кatja Gruijters: Food Design as a sense of life
2 June, 2011
Katja Gruijters, world-popular Dutch food designer, tats from chocolate, makes plates of bread, edible sculptures from fruit and by means of her unique projects she catches public attention to severe social problems. June 1st, Katja held a seminar “Food Design and Innovation” in Kyiv hotel “Vozdvyzhenskyi”. After the seminar she was very kind to answer some questions from drinkinform.com.ua
Katja, I do understand that all your art projects are like your kids, however, which of them is the closest, the most favorite?
Well, now I would say about my new project “Beautiful by nature”. It is how to minimize food wastes. In Europe, in the Netherlands particularly, this is a very severe problem. That is why I established “Beautiful by nature”. This project is mostly targeted to large production companies – I want them to get an eye on waste situation. It is also very important to make people well informed, as they take the issue of consuming various products unwittingly. We should understand what to eat, what to throw into ashes, what is quality product, we should get closer to nature. I`ve noticed that Ukrainians have closer relations to nature, than people from other European countries. Actually, operation principles of European food industry require immediate reconsideration.
Do you know what people think and say about Katja Gruijters and her creativity?
Funny question. I do not bother myself with it. I have my own ideas, I make them real, it inspires me. I don`t care about what other people say about me.
If not food design, then what?
Well, I don`t know! Food design is my life! When I just started with it, I spent a lot of time and attention to form and meaning. Now, with certain experience, I try to combine food design with social issues. For me it`s important to create projects giving inspiration with their optimism.
Which drinks are you the most pleased to work with?
Beer. I`m really fond of beer-making process. Besides, first syllable in my surname means an ingredient of well-forgotten recipe from middle-age brewers. “Gruit” is herbal mixture what was added to beer: it gave flavor to the drink, cooled it and extended its life. I have a lot of literature with information about the ingredient, it is scented with numerous secrets. I dream of creating our family beer. My brother as well as uncle are ready to join me in it.
Where do you get your ideas?
Well, for example, I look after the leaves on trees…I am fond of watching everything. Of course, culture and traditions give me huge inspiration. You may think that Katja Gruijters inspires many people herself. But for me other people are the source of inspiration as well.
Tell me about typical breakfast of famous food designer?
My breakfast changes from time to time. I don`t like heavy breakfasts, I simply need some snack. I cook fruit shake and its content is always different. A glass of such shake is enough. And yoghurt with cereals and fresh fruit, of course.
Do you really live without coffee?
Oh! Thanks for reminding. Coffee is my energy. I am a big coffee nerd. In the morning I try to grind the beans to make my coffee aromatic and fresh. Then I take coffee-press, fill with water…I like this process, it is really vital for me. If to talk about other drinks, I like, it`s your birch juice. We don`t have it, it`s some exotic drink so to say.