Culinary CMF

Bringing colour, material and finish trends to life through an edible presentation




Concept Development
Creative Direction
Food & Drink Design
Event Design
Trend Forecasting


Food & Drink



Rethinking team presentations

Having returned from Milan Design Week, my usual course of action would be to share my observations through a series of slides. This time, I wanted to think about how else I could present these insights.


Harmony, a collaborative spatial installation by Koizumiya and Hideki Yoshimoto
Image: Elle Decor


ISKO’s Sound of Denim brings its textiles to life in interactive ways
Image: Vogue Italia


BRIK chocolate slabs resemble colourful terrazzo tiles
Image: BRIK


Caul fat has a lace-like structure and transparency
Image: Alchetron


Colour swatches are a key tool  for colour, material and finish design
Image: The Peak

A multi-course trend showcase

I wanted to use food as a means of bringing trends to life, being able to present findings clearly whilst providing an enjoyable dining experience.

Starting with a sunset

The result was a five-course meal that highlighted different colours, materials and finishes using a mixture of ingredients and tableware. 

We started with a serving of rice balls rolled in red and violet toppings, creating a speckled effect reminiscent of the colours of a sunset.

Sunset Hues,
Electric Blue,

Japonica rice, purple sweet potato crisps, shichimi seasoning, black sesame, shiso leaf

Served on a bright blue ceramic platter

Layering ingredients

Inspired by objects that feature a variety of finishes, the second course comprises many different elements that are brought together to create a multitude of textures.

Textural Detail,
Golden Glow

Daikon, cured trout, red pepper, purple cabbage, courgette, chia seeds, black sesame, dashi

Served in brushed gold dishes

A little bit of family history

The pebble shapes I saw a lot during Milan Design Week made me think of one of my grandmother’s recipes – Hakka abacus beads. Ours was made using purple sweet potato instead of yam.

Cotton Candy Cloud,
Organic Shapes,
Liquid Mirror

Purple sweet potato, 
abalone sauce, pork mince, 
shiitake mushrooms, chives
Served in a polished silver bowl

Letting the light in

The aim for the fourth plate was to create something that was earthy, yet light. We paired tea-smoked duck with thinly-sliced pickled citrus fruit and root vegetables.

Layered Translucence,
Natural Structures

Duck, longjing tea, shallots, roasted peanuts, daikon, pickled orange, kohlrabi
Served on a wooden board

Savoury and sweet

Inspired by a memorable dessert, we wanted to build something around a basil sponge. White chocolate brought a sweetness to balance out the more savoury elements of the dish.

Mint Green,
Pale Lavender

White chocolate, basil sponge, purple sweet potato puree, 
Sichuan peppercorn
Served on a bright orange platter

Material moodboards and Pantone swatches

Each menu consisted of a set of cards inspired by Pantone swatches, with a theme on one side and a list of ingredients or materials with corresponding colour codes on the other.

Blocks of colour visualised the prominence of each element within the dish, whilst project names and owners were included for future reference.

The cards were packaged in a small case made from silver cardstock as a nod towards recent interest in a retro, futuristic sci-fi aesthetic.

A starting point for future presentations

The event was voluntarily hosted for the team at Chris Lefteri Design, giving rise to thoughts on how else we might be able to present ideas in future.

Created with

Ben Pendlebury, Jewel Tai

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