How Food and Design Converge at Major Events

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One of the most important events in the design industry concluded in Milan, with over 1,950 exhibitors from 35 countries participating. Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, noted: “The Salone is once again a unique event worldwide, an essential bridge with the new geographies of markets: an intercontinental city open to innovation, where competition accelerates the competitiveness of a key sector for the country’s economy and beyond. A great factory of meaning and lasting value, products and employment, material and immaterial culture.”

One of the highlights was the presence of the biennial EuroCucina / FTK, Technology For the Kitchen. It presented “All You Have Ever Wanted To Know About Food Design in Six Performances,” an interactive and incredibly well-curated immersive series of events at the EuroCucina 2024 pavilions. This event gathered six international food magazines, along with artists, designers, and chefs, to explore food culture through a rich program of tastings, performances, and brief talks.

Among the magazines participating was The Preserve Journal, which presented “Digesting Degrowth.” The Preserve Journal is an independent Austrian print magazine exploring the sustainable, resilient, and responsible side of food culture. Founded in 2018 by Michelle Skelsgaard Sørensen, it aims to engage in the environmental debate through the lens of food, imagining a different and fair food culture.

At the Salone, The Preserve Journal hosted a tasting experience that explored principles of the Degrowth movement: “care,” “nourishment,” “frugal abundance,” and “conviviality.” Together with Belgian artist Grace Gloria Denis, each principle was showcased through a special menu. For instance, the principle of Care was reflected in a menu featuring bread, honey, tahini, and salt. The Community principle included laminated pasta with foraged wild herbs, while the Frugal Abundance menu featured lemon and wild herb posset with drinks of barley water from Carnaroli rice and Piedmontese hazelnuts. Ingredients were sourced from local farmers, and food was served in biodegradable containers.

Another highlight at EuroCucina was the independent Portuguese print magazine Farta, which partnered with Projecto Matéria. Farta celebrates local cuisine and traditional dishes with a creative and autorevioral angle. Projecto Matéria, an initiative emphasizing Portuguese producers and biodiversity, presented widespread Portuguese recipes and gave a talk. Matéria is a non-profit project developed by chef João Rodrigues to promote national producers with good agricultural practices and animal production, integral to Portuguese culture. The project’s scope includes scouting local producers, strengthening networks between producers, chefs, and the community, and promoting producers internationally. During the day, Rodrigues presented a modern version of "Cozido à Portuguesa," calling it "Portugal in one dish."

Outside the Salone, the usual Fuorisalone took place with numerous events and collaborations across the city. One such event was Caffè Populaire, an immersive pop-up café by the Montreal-based lighting firm and Milan-based interior design studio, Lambert & Fils and DWA. The location, a secluded backyard in a former chocolate factory, was a serene sanctuary. The aperitivo was hosted by Los Angeles-based food-art studio Ananas Ananas. Drinks and wine were served in glassware from Sophie Lou Jacobsen, a French-American designer inspired by the rhythmic romance of wildflowers. Ananas Ananas created an interactive culinary experience, encouraging audiences to engage with food in a multi-sensory way, including picking cherry tomatoes from the walls or savoring radicchio wraps and edible Parmigiano accessories clipped to glasses. California-based founders Elena Petrossian and Verónica González led the activations during Milan's 2024 Salone del Mobile.

Ananas Ananas food design

glassware from Sophie Lou Jacobsen

Milan’s star baker and educator Davide Longoni presented his MadreProject at Alcova, a premier Fuorisalone destination at Villa Bagatti Valsecchi. Longoni has made a name for himself with his innovative approach to baking, blending traditional techniques with modernity. Known for his extraordinary sourdough bread made from organic flours sourced from ancient grains, Longoni’s bakeries double as cozy cafes, fostering convivial atmospheres. His six establishments across Milan are at the forefront of a bakery revolution.

During Design Week, Longoni’s collaboration showcased shared values of environmental and social sustainability, highlighting the deep connection to Milan, where both Panificio Longoni and Alcova were launched. In the verdant courtyard of Villa Bagatti Valsecchi, Longoni brought his micro bakery guided by the slogan "Thinking with bread to enchant the world." The pop-up, curated by MadreProject and created by Longoni, Terzo Paesaggio, and Avanzia, aimed to train new bakers in sustainable and ethical bread-making. Respecting Fuorisalone 2024's theme, “Materia Natura,” the micro bakery rethought bread's consumption and production in an urban context. The highlight treat was the Michetta, a bread roll filled with mortadella and gorgonzola or with hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, and arugula.

Davide Longoni

Michetta by Davide Longoni

Secret Milanese Garden Senato hosted a temporary Clicquot Café. Guided by the Solaire Culture and the ideas about new ways to build a brighter future, the spirit of joy and the promise of endless possibilities, Veuve Clicquot Champagne presented "Emotions of the Sun."

For over 250 years Veuve Clicquot represents the “universal symbol of joy and optimism,” and the influence of the sun. To interpret the force and beauty of the Sun, the champagne house has arranged an exclusive traveling photography exhibition at Garden Senato featuring legendary names of Magnum agency: Steve McCurry, Alex Webb, Trent Parke, Olivia Arthur, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, Cristina de Middel, Nanna Heitmann, and Newsha Tavakolian.

For the special temporary experience in Milan, Clicquot Café invited international and Italian Michelin-starred chefs, including Jean Imbert of Plaza Athénée in Paris, Mory Sacko of MoSuke Paris, Valentina Rizzo of Farmacia dei Sani in Ruffano (Lecce), and Karime Lopez, the first Mexican female chef to earn a Michelin star at Gucci Osteria in Florence, who created a solar-inspired menu paired with champagnes from Maison Veuve Clicquot.

Some of the dishes from an ad hoc solar menu included ginger, pepper, coriander, chicken, or beef accompanied by sauces compose the sun, joy, and harmonious light from the French chef Mory Sacko of MoSuke in Paris.

Chef Jean Imbert of Plaza Athénée inspired by the culture of solarity and the timeless traditions of French gastronomy created a culinary experience that transcends time. “My main ingredient is the story of the place to be told, a narrative expressed in the mise en place, dishes, color combinations, textures, and ceramic fabrics.”

Osteria Gucci chef Karime Lopez has imagines the sun in a form of a simple pleasure of a "Yellow Clicquot" burger bun coloured with saffron and egg yolk and filled with manzo e cotechino, salsa verde and balsamic vinegar mayonnaise

a dish from Mory Sacko of MoSuke restauarnt in Paris

"Yellow Clicquot" burger from Karime Lopez of Osteria Gucci

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