Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tapas - Spanish Design for Food @ The Moore Building

According to Penelope Casas' excellent book "Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain," the original tapa was a slice of cured ham or chorizo, served compliments of the house, and - according to some - placed over the top of the customer's wineglass to keep flies out of the sherry. In other words, it was a simple, effective, and delicious confluence of food and design.

The exhibition "Tapas - Spanish Design for Food," currently on display at the Moore Building in the Design District, explores and celebrates that confluence, using Spanish tapas as the springboard. Organized by Acción Cultural Española, and curated by Spanish architect Juli Capella, it's a fascinating glimpse into the circular relationship of cuisine, art, design and culture.

The displays are divided into sections - "The Kitchen," "The Table," and "The Food" - with a well-selected compilation of objects created for each. They range from the utterly pragmatic - a set of cookware designed by José Andrés - to the entirely whimsical - a cutting board with a chute for bread crumbs connected to an outdoor bird feeder. Here are just a few of the fun things I saw at a media preview yesterday:

(You can see all my pictures in this Tapas - Spanish Design for Food flickr set).

"Jamón de la Crisis" - designed by Julí Capella, produced by Vinçon - one of the most famous of Spain's culinary icons, but in consideration of the recent economic collapse, rendered in recyclable plastic and "filled with pure, Spanish mountain air." "Cured in 2008, on sale in 2013."

(continued ...)

The Bread Board / Bird Feeder, designed by Curro Claret. (You can see a better picture here).

Foosball Dinner Table, used by José Andrés at Jaleo in Las Vegas.

The "perfect" Olive Oil Cruet, designed in 1961 by Rafael Marquina. Borrowing design elements from chemistry flasks, it sits flat and won't easily be knocked over, it doesn't drip because droplets are returned to the flask via the ridged cone on top, it requires no saucer, and requires no stopper to seal it.

"Dress for Dinner," a paper napkin imprinted with a tie, designed by Hector Serrano.

Repoussé tableware, designed by Luki Huber in collaboration with Ferran Adrià for use at El Bulli (I have a picture of this plate in action here).

"Embedded Drinks," created by Marti Guixé - a series of edible items created as receptacles for different liquors.

Plasticine models, used at El Bulli to record and recreate plate compositions.

Aside from the regular exhibition, which is open now and will be running through December 15, 2013, there are a number of other events taking place in conjunction with the show. On November 12, 2013 it will be hosting "Spain's Great Match," a tasting of Spanish wines and tapas; there will be lectures by chefs José Andrés (Nov. 19), Maricel Presilla (Nov. 20) and Michelle Bernstein (Nov. 26), raw food workchops by Motse Guillén and Augustí Comabella, and more.

If you are a tapas fan, an Iberophile, a design buff, or any type of food geek, you will want to see this.

Tapas - Spanish Design for Food
4040 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida
Nov. 9 - Dec. 15, 2013
(Tu-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat 12pm-7pm; closed Sunday)

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