Caesarstone’s first conceptual cookbook with recipes by food design studio Arabeschi di Latte

ARTICLE / 21 JAN 2017 / BY DIMITRIS PANAGIOTIDIS

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Icefish Fritters. Photography: Tom Mannion © Caesarstone 2016.
A Material Menu: Designs for the Culinary Aesthetic. Arabeschi di Latte for Caesarstone / arabeschidilatte.org.
Photography: Tom Mannion. Published by Caesarstone on November 2016 / caesarstone.com.

Leading quartz manufacturer Caesarstone announces the release of its new book ‘A Material Menu: Designs for the Culinary Aesthetic’, created in collaboration with food design studio Arabeschi di Latte and its creative maverick Francesca Sarti. Exploring the boundaries between food and design and the inspirational capacity of Caesarstone material in the kitchen, the book continues on Caesarstone’s collaboration with Sarti, first commenced for the quartz manufacturer’s 2016 Milan installation. Designed by Micha Weidmann Studio, the large format book features a series of eight conceptual recipes and food stories inspired by the 4 elements Air, Ice, Earth and Fire. The recipes are represented through a series of commissioned, compelling photographs by London-based Tom Mannion and styled by Sarti, combining Caesarstone’s quartz surfaces with unique art-design accessories and thematic derived food produce, such as black chanterelle mushroom, icefish, purple cauliflower and burned sage.

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A Material Menu: Designs for the Culinary Aesthetic. Photography: Tom Mannion © Caesarstone 2016.

“The book gave me the chance to develop our Milan menu and work on eight new recipes to represent the elements that would provoke the taste buds, tantalise the eyes and echo Caesarstone’s work surfaces in a way that would further explore the boundaries between food and design. I think of this as a feeling of ‘rawness’ – to show the materials in a way that appeals to all the senses, which really echoes Caesarstone’s aesthetic.” said Francesca Sarti, Arabeschi di Latte.

Visually resonating with the Caesarstone surfaces presented in Milan and drawing inspiration from the unique qualities of the material, each of the book’s eight new food creations provides a modern interpretation of traditional dishes and reflects its corresponding element utilising purposefully selected ingredients and cooking techniques. In this context, element-invoking Caesarstone designs provide the colour and work backdrop for the development of these culinary conceptions, further adding to the overall dining experience. The Restaurant by Caesarstone & Tom Dixon installation consisted of four kitchens inspired by the four elements – Earth, Fire, Air and Ice – and was designed by renowned British designer Tom Dixon with an elemental food concept by Arabeschi di Latte.

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Stones Sandwiches. Photography: Tom Mannion © Caesarstone 2016.

Earth is perhaps the most deeply warming, comforting and homely of all the elements. It is the perfect starting point for all recipes because without the earth to grow crops and nurture animals, there would be very little to cook. These recipes for Stones Sandwiches and Italian Testaroli pasta are a witty expression of the very nature of earth and some of its ground-dwelling inhabitants.

 

Stones Sandwiches – The idea for these terra firma inspired treats came about through musing on the idea of mudlarking and truffle hunting, seeking out treasures from the ground. Each ingredient in this subtle combination has a deep relationship with the earth itself. The black chanterelle mushroom only exists by its symbiotic relationship with trees nourished by chalky or sandy earth. Cereals and herbs may be more prosaic fruits of the earth but their very abundance makes them staple ingredients in many recipes.

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Salty Lemonade. Photography: Tom Mannion © Caesarstone 2016.

Water is the basis of life on earth. In its natural state – sea or freshwater, liquid or frozen – it always contains some dissolved salt. This fact – and the coolness of ice – inspired the recipes for Salty Lemonade and Icefish Fritters to represent this refreshing and essential element.

 

Salty Lemonade – Water and salt have an enduring elemental relationship: 96% of the water in the hydrosphere (all water on earth, including ice and clouds) is saline. This recipe for Salty Lemonade pays homage to this partnership. Inspired by Vietnamese Chanh Muoi pickled citrus fruit, the lemonade uses lemons preserved in salt, or more precisely, by the water that gets drawn out of the lemons via the salt.

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The Dark Trophy. Photography: Tom Mannion © Caesarstone 2016.

Fire is a mesmerising and fascinating element, mystically transforming many unpalatable foods into highly delicious treats. Sage smoke adds an aromatic note to the often disregarded cauliflower, crowned by roasting to achieve a nutty taste. Meanwhile, the sweet goat’s cheesecake, Torteau Fromager, elicits a delicate kiss of bitterness when lightly charred.

 

The Dark Trophy – What could be more majestic than a sage-smoked and roasted triumphal cauliflower? This simple recipe has its roots in ancient mysticism as sage smoke is one of the oldest methods of purifying people and interior places. Sage, when burned, is also believed to impart spiritual wisdom and clarity which is why we refer to wise people as ‘sage’. The potency of sage combined with the element of fire combine in this recipe to transform flower buds into flourishing delicacies.

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Egg Tower. Photography: Tom Mannion © Caesarstone 2016.

Invisible, uplifting and essential for life, air also serves as the elemental structural ingredient in the following recipes for Egg Tower and Snow Soup. Air may seem like nothing, but without it, these recipes – and life itself – would simply not exist.

 

Egg Tower – Imagine a fantastical edifice of torrone and meringue made of raw, cooked and frozen egg whites, constructed using eggs from different birds. Neither the cooking, baking nor freezing determines the final character of this delicious tower, but the incorporation of air into the egg white.