Eat Your Kandinsky

Here they are, side by side, W. Kandinsky’s Painting Number 201 and its edible recreation for the sake of science. The edible Kandinsky is a proof that if it looks good, smells good and arranged artfully, it might even taste good. Or you’d choose to eat this rather than an artless pile of chopped veggies on your plate. Or, if you really into Kandinsky, then you’ll eat it anyway and cry with joy.

The article in Flavour states that after painstaking research (and, perhaps, eating a few celery stalks too many) the researchers came to a groundbreaking conclusion:

 These results support the idea that presenting food in an aesthetically pleasing manner can enhance the experience of a dish. In particular, the use of artistic (visual) influences can enhance a diner’s rating of the flavour of a dish.It’s hard to judge how well the challenge has been met, since we can only observe the images of the “artistic visual presentation of food”.

And here’s an excerpt from the article Make your mealtimes more tasteful by , BioMed Central Update:

We love a challenge, so when Flavour published a paper showing that arranging a salad in the shape of a Kandinsky painting improved its taste, we were keen to have a go at making our own artistic meals. The press release about the paper included these images, and the story was covered by the BBC and CBC. Several major UK newspapers covered the research, including The Independent and The Telegraph, and The Guardian covered it in a news piece as well as their food blog.

The taste of food is impossible to judge by the look of it, but the result of the challenge is worthy of a look:


Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of Dora Maar and edible Dora Maar.

Rene Magritt’s Decalcomania and its scrumptious version.

Edgar Degas’ Danseuse en robe rose and Degas-inspired edible dancer in pink dress.

Mark Rothko’s painting and its meal version.

Oh, my! I’m sure Mark Rothko would’ve chosen beluga caviar for that all-black area of his masterpiece, not a string of what looks like olives. Honestly, caviar or not, I’d prefer edible Rothko to any inedible No 13 any meal of a day.

What can I say, some artists — many artists, actually — depicted food items on their canvasses. You don’t need to be an artist to recreate some of them for your next meal. Mention what inspired you to impress your dinner companions.

Dali's Basket of Bread is easy on ingredients, props and artistry. Substitute white bread for whole grain to give a contemporary touch. Remember, in 1926 whole grain bread was an involuntary choice of lower classes.

Dali’s Basket of Bread is easy on ingredients, props and artistry. Substitute white bread for whole grain to give a contemporary touch. Remember, in 1926 whole grain bread was an involuntary choice of lower classes.


Get your inspiration from Salvador Dali and serve lobster on a top of an old-fashioned telephone. Make sure it’s not a working phone, in case it rings and you’d be compelled to pick up a receiver.

Recreation of Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s (1526 or 1527 – 1593) masterpieces from authentic edible ingredients could easily feed a wedding reception of 300 and, while your guests are chomping on Winter Portrait’s nose, they can get a free lesson in the 16th century Italian art.

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Suggestions for creative serving of eggs, courtesy of the great Salvador:




Dali. Public Outdoor Sculptures in Portlligat Village at Girona, Catalonia, Spain

As the Anna Perman’s article suggests, we all love a challenge. Here’s my take on artfully tasteful mealtime:

To the left, is Kazimir Malevich’s famous Black Suprematic Square (1915). To the right,  is my own highly imaginative Malevich-inspired recreation, Max Square Black Dinner Plate, entree. Serves up to 12 art lovers in one sitting (2014).

She, who’d dare to ask for something to eat, will be served yesterday’s borscht and forever deemed lacking in art appreciation. On the other hand, god knows, my yesterday borscht might as well be inspired by an artwork…


Abstract painting of unknown artist that inspires Ukrainian borscht.

Borscht  (also borsch, bortsch, borstch, borsh, borshch)

Borscht (also borsch, bortsch, borstch, borsh, borshch)


One comment on “Eat Your Kandinsky

  1. While I share the enthusiasm of “Flavor” researchers and BioMed Central for nutritional-aesthetic values of the “abstract food”, some words of caution come to mind. It may not as palatable to all tastes. I could easily imagine Arcimboldo (or Dali) not salivating but vomiting at the “number 201”.

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