If we look back at our past and search among our memories, we can find many that are linked to a food, a meal, or a taste. This was something that Angéla Góg, DLA food designer, who is well known in the national and international scene, also discovered almost 10 years ago. This theme is the focus of her research, which has now culminated in a comprehensive exhibition at the newly reopened Onyx Restaurant.
Angéla became widely known in 2015 with her master’s thesis entitled Confectionary of Memories, where she collected hundreds of memories and designed a collection of five pastries, capturing different memory types (such as a powdered sugar cake made by her grandmother or a summer ice cream on the shores of Lake Balaton). After graduation, she continued her work: thus, the Sunday Lunch was born, where she applied the above methodology, with the difference that the result was a shared experience with themed dishes and participants previously unknown to each other.
In addition to evoking the past, the designer also wondered what we will be eating in 50- or 100-years’ time and what are the dishes that we would like to pass on to future generations. Focusing on the personal, she started a series of dinners in her studio called Memories of the Future, each time hosting different people. The challenge was for each person to bring a dish to the table that was important to them and that they wanted to preserve. Sharing these dishes, we could taste each other’s memories and emotions and inevitably bonded by the end of the meal.
This subjective yet exemplary collection formed the food collection that later became the base of her doctoral thesis. She thought it would be worthwhile to make the flavors of happiness timeless. During The Table of the Future project, she conserved various recipes in powdered forms, such as paprikás krumpli or Túró Rudi, thus making them preserved for any length of time. The basis is oatmeal that can cover a day’s nutritional needs and be mixed with water—added to it, the flavors come to life again. She also validated the work with the help of friends, which, as always, resulted in a short film and, as with her other projects, a book also formed, with the help of Ferenc Forrai, graphic designer and good friend.
Unfortunately, she could not show the collection to the public when defending her doctoral thesis last year, but she could open her large-scale exhibition during this year’s Design Week. The venue itself is special since we can visit the exhibit at the reborn ONYX—Angéla is currently the artistic director of the Onyx Alkotói Közösség (Onyx Creative Community), teamed in a revolutionary new concept. All of Angéla’s previous designs can be seen in the Műhely, which will later also serve as an experimental space, and you can meet her also until 17 October, but during the Design Week, the Confectionery of Memories will reopen on Saturdays, and we can also buy tickets for Sunday Lunch, for the last time.
This exhibition gives us not only a better understanding of what food design is but also a relevant experience of how this world is quite ordinary and is not far away from us. In time, perhaps, the fine dining scene will come closer, too, since Angéla, as a member of the Creative Community, has been given the task of bridging the worlds of design and gastronomy, using methods from design to help invent food and give it a new experience. The team is assisted by food design researcher Márta Merkl, who joined the team as a doctoral student at Corvinus University of Budapest and a fellow of the Cooperative Doctoral Program.
Photos: Balázs Mohai and Milán Rácmolnár