2022 Year in Review: Taste
Throughout the year, our resident food experts TJ Girard and Bob Spiegel of Pinch Food Design, and later just TJ, have shared what can only be described as food-centric art and all things edible in the Taste column. With the end of the year on the horizon, let’s take a look back and venture through our Taste features from 2022.
Chef Bob and TJ are quite different, but one of their most striking similarities, is the joy that comes from on-the-fly improvisational problem solving in the kitchen. Whether you have every ingredient at your fingertips, or are winging it with whatever you have around… having a well-stocked arsenal of tools, makes all the difference in making something, or a dish, happen! To start 2022 off right, the duo shared 10 off their favorite kitchen gadgets to help inspire more kitchen creativity and more inventive home-cooked meals!
Curious about how salt comes to be? Pinch shared how Studio BOIR brings an interactive experience to table salt. Their SALT project questions everything we know about salt, and lets the user experience the thrill of witnessing the creation of those white crystals, and then offering us the satisfaction of harvesting them for ourselves.
Pinch dove into the world of artist Sam Keller, whose work is sprinkled with humor. From sculptures made of Cheetos to crushed soda cans adorned with Swarovski crystals, it’s impossible not to find yourself laughing or cracking a smile when you come across his works. By throwing in a level of humor, Keller is able to bring light of heavier subjects, like junk food consumption and capitalism’s grip on society.
When April rolls around, Pinch always sets out to reflect on their relationship with the planet and how it has an impact on the climate. Like many companies, they pledged to bring sustainability to the forefront of their business practices through composting, eliminating plastics, and offsetting their carbon footprint. In a search to go beyond composting, they came across the work of Carolina Härdh and Milan-based architecture and design practice Studio.Traccia, both of which bring a resourceful and new approach to turning food waste into viable materials.
While researching for a project, Pinch came across images of sculptural and performative egg racks by London-based Liang-Jung Chen, which were part of an interactive exhibition called The Egg Rack Made a Disclaimer. The interactive installations explored vulnerability, personal boundaries, and the invisible tension between both.
When summer hit and the temperatures were hot… Pinch wanted to share their favorite zero-proof cocktail recipe from Natasha David’s book, Drink Lightly. The drink, inspired by the author’s love of grilled vegetables, balances complexity and conviviality, while offering up something tasty and more satisfying than a ginger spiked lemonade.
Towards the end of 2021, TJ Girard moved to greener pastures… California. Following the increased legalization and the FDA exploring ways to regulate of CBD, cannabis has been destigmatized through the universal language of food. With CBD edibles being all the rage, TJ checked out three companies getting their food + buzz game on, and also marketing + branding design, too.
Inspired by Peruvian farmers using large sheets of mesh strung up on hillsides to harvest water, TJ dove into all the ways we filter or simply divide two ingredients while cooking and the tools we use to do so.
There is nothing quite like making something from scratch, which can take endless amounts of patience and commitment when making it in its purest and most authentic way to share with community. A company doing just that is Kernal of Truth Organics out of Los Angeles, which TJ had the privilege of touring and tasting their delicious tortillas. After trying their tortillas, she couldn’t resist highlighting their beauty with a photoshoot.
TJ had the pleasure of meeting the founders and creative duo behind Coexist Build, Ana Konopitskaya and Drew Oberholtzer, at a dinner party in Brooklyn. After a few glasses of wine, and several anecdotes later, she knew there would be a creative collaboration sometime in the future. 10 years later, a collaboration led to TJ working on a modular food display system built with Hemp Blocks.
For the last Taste post of the year, resident chef + monthly Taste columnist TJ shared 10 gift ideas for the chef, culinary curious, and cook of the family. From growing your own mushrooms to trivets that become art, TJ rounded up a little bit of everything no matter the skill level.