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Smoked Food Styling at Temple Hotel

This was a fun commission from Harpers Bazaar to reimagine a series of dishes for Temple Hotel in Beijing. 
Temple is a great restaurant and Chefs Johnny and Franck were really fun to work with. 
"Smoked Food" here does not refer to smoke cured or smoke infused food, but the use of that much loved but now neglected piece of table landscape - the ashtray. 
Over the years, many great designers have considered the aesthetics and function of ashtrays and created their own solutions. They make an interesting design study. 
I have a small collection including designs by Ettore Sottsass, Achille Castiglioni, David Fletcher, Dieter Rams. 
The idea is that these largely redundant objects are also suitable for serving food - particularly finger food served with a sauce.
After sketching some ideas, I discussed with Franck and Johnny and they did an amazing job creating the dishes. Some were rejected when we came to the styling phase as they were too fussy. The end result works well and reflects some of the aesthetics of the Temple restaurant itself - particularly the gold leaf and strong red which echo the light installations by Ingo Maurer.