Designing Food with Marta Bocos
Marta Bocos, a cook with an artistic and design background, has created an exclusive recipe inspired by our Jugo collection. We had the opportunity to meet Marta a few years ago, through friends and family. Being exposed to different cultures throughout the years, enhanced the love she have for food but it wasn't until after graduating from university and working on her field across the globe, she realised that she wanted combine both of her passions, food and design.
Tell us about who you are, your background and what you are currently doing.
I started studying design and graphic communication at Central Saint Martins in London. After that I worked as a designer in several design and advertising studios and agencies in New York and Barcelona. I liked what I was doing, but I was never quite happy, always looking for something and didn't know what. Until it occurred to me that I could mix my other great passion with design: food. That's when I started to focus on the new discipline of food design and studied cooking on my own and at the Hofmann School of Hotel Management in Barcelona. Currently my work as a freelance designer has two branches: On the one hand I design and produce creative catering for different brands or events that are looking for alternatives to classic catering and want a more original and personalised solution. The other half of my time is dedicated to designing graphic identities and websites for brands in the gastronomic sector.
When did you start cooking, who or what inspired you to do it?
I've always loved to eat. I started cooking when I was little, but it wasn't until I was living in London and exposed to all that explosive mix of cultures that I really started cooking seriously. I remember walking down the street and smelling new aromas, touching textures and seeing dishes that were unrecognisable to me, it drove me crazy. I started to eat and cook all these new dishes and that at the same time made me learn about the history and customs of each country. It was then that I really got hooked on food and cooking, when I realised that food is much more than something good in the mouth, but also a form of knowledge through the senses.
What relationship do you see/feel between graphic design, cooking and art?
I see cooking as another artistic and communication medium. Through food you can travel, transmit emotions, share history .... even communicate data! We are used to perceive through hearing and sight, but we forget that taste can be another powerful way of feeling and understanding. I am fascinated by exploring language as a means of communication and I also find the table very interesting as a gathering space around which things are always happening. It motivates me to design these experiences and to achieve different and memorable experiences.
What is the process of inventing your dishes and the process of presenting them?
For me, it's a lot like designing a graphic identity for a brand. First I study the brand and identify what makes it different from the rest and what makes it special. Then I look for the best way to translate that essence into flavours and shapes. I spend a lot of time testing and experimenting until I find the right solution, as the end result doesn't just have to look good but also taste good. One of my great sources of inspiration are nature and rare cookbooks from different eras.
What is your favourite dish, your favourite ingredient, your favourite restaurant/cook?
I love rice because of its versatility, it is a product that depending on how you cook it can take you from one end of the world to the other, I generally enjoy restaurants with short menus and seasonal food. I like places that have been open for many years doing the same dishes or the new ones that open with proposals full of passion and energy.
Sweet or salty?
Salty in general.
THE ROMUALDA RECIPE
Granita is one of the things that I love and the most refreshing to eat in summer, it is easy to make and very few ingredients are needed. It is originally from Sicily, where it is traditionally made with coffee or lemon and eaten for breakfast, but it can be made with any fruit. Moreover, it can be eaten in many different ways: over Greek yogurt, as a cocktail if you add alcohol or as it is with chocolate chips, tajine...etc.