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Unimaginable Foods: Disney+ reality show explores works of art made with food

Imagine a person-sized “Star Wars” spaceship, or the main characters of “Toy Story” battling a villain, and the protagonists of “The Lion King” on an adventure across the African savannah. Now imagine all these scenes constructed in real life as sculptures made entirely out of food.

It may sound strange at first, but that’s what the unprecedented culinary competition proposes “unimaginable foods“, original series Disney+ which hits the streaming catalog on December 15th. Unlike traditional culinary realities, which focus entirely on the flavor and presentation of dishes, the new program by Disney enters an underexplored niche in television: the food art, that is, the art with food.

“Most programs are about the taste of food. Our show is not about that, but about art with food. We don’t just take goods, fruits, vegetables and vegetables, but we bring these worlds together to create amazing pieces of art and, of course, add them to Disney’s identity”, he explains in an interview with presenter Keke Palmer, an Emmy Award winner who puts her dash of humor amidst the pressure attendees face.

Challenges beyond time

The first season episodes are composed of three opposing teams with three participants each, who are experts in food art. They have a movie as their theme, in which a mission is given to the groups.

The members must then create food-based sculptures with the Disney’s most iconic characters and, based on it, build the narrative itself. In the end, the team that produces the best work in the eyes of the judges wins – some even use more than 50 types of food in a single sculpture.

“Usually food competitions are just about one play, but Disney is what we’re talking about here. So there must always be a story involved, in which the plot has to be as important as the art itself”, he says. Amirah Kassem, creativity judge of the program and owner of Flour Shop, boutique confectionery in Nova York e The Angels. The team of judges is also composed of Benny Rivera, who judges the technical side of the works and owns the City Cakes, upscale confectionery in New York.

In the large dynamic studio there is a huge pantry available to competitors, who can find everything there: fruits, vegetables, vegetables, sweets, sauces, spices, fondant and even decorative objects such as lights and electrical wiring.

Mini-challenges in the middle of episodes increase the rush and, as a culinary competition dictates, time is one of the teams’ greatest enemies. But the challenges go beyond the clock.

According to Benny, working with food sculptures goes beyond general perception: it’s looking at an ingredient and seeing not just what it is, but what it can be. An apple, for example, is not just an apple in the food art niche, but it can be sculpted, modified, cut, and totally physically re-signified to become something else.

And when it comes to food, remember that it’s a perishable product, which deteriorates while competitors work on their craft.

“I know we talk a lot about the weather, but one of the toughest challenges is that they were creating an identity, making Simba real, making Woody real. They were working on the truest form of the character”, points out Amirah, who points out that getting the proportions, scales and colors right are some of the most important aspects of art with food.

But why is the art of food important? Even with the crazy premise of the program, the food art presents itself as a significant form of expression, also based on the fact that the food is a cultural force globally. “Each country associates some specific type of food, colors and smells to who they are. So you open up a whole new world by using them as art and showcase through the media and social networks”, recognizes Amirah.

According to the judges, it all comes down to possibilities. “It’s the way you look at food. It comes down to using your imagination and how you can transform what you see into something else, what you can create with it. You’d be amazed at all the possibilities you can play around with!” declares Benny.

The results? A large cookie is made entirely from instant noodles; an ant has a head made of coconut, a body of zucchini and a backside of watermelon; a full-scale strawberry is made from rice cereal and topped with modeling paste and pumpkin seeds, to name a few. It is important to note that food not used in the artwork was donated to charity.

Another important point about the competition’s global exhibition is being able to get in touch with food from all over the world. “The competitors are from all over the world and some bring things we’ve never heard of. We are learning these things, it is so important, and we are extending it to art”, concludes the owner of the Flour Shop.

It’s really hard to watch the episodes and not get hungry, a sensation also experienced by the presenter Keke Palmer. “Some things literally smelled like a bakery. They were always making gingerbread cookies as they use them to build the big pieces. When the bread started to smell, I was really hungry”, jokes the actress.

The first season episodes of “unimaginable foods” premiered on Disney+ on December 15th.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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