Credit: Courtesy Dan Cretu
7 food magicians who'll melt your mind
If playing with your food is a dining no-no, then these designers are breaking all the rules. Familiar edible materials are turned into works of art by these culinary creatives, often transferring their skills from the worlds of graphic design and architecture.
From wallpaper cakes to breast mold jellies, we meet seven food artists serving up dinner with a side of design.
Francisco Migoya: Anatomically correct chocolate heart cake
Using a silicone mold and replica of a real human heart, chef Francisco Migoya created this unnervingly realistic chocolate heart cake.
Migoya is the head chef at Modernist Cuisine, a Washington-based collective of cooks and scientists who combine scientific techniques and culinary prowess to create extraordinary food concepts.
He is also the author of "The Elements of Dessert," "The Modern Café" and "Frozen Desserts," which offer an insight into how to run a food business and cook some of his tried and tested dishes.
Best pieces: Anatomically accurate chocolate heart, 3D-printed sugar and brioche Palace of Versailles cake for Bastille Day, and purple sweet potato bread
Dan Cretu: Psychedelic carved bananas
Romanian artist Dan Cretu combines two disciplines -- food sculpture and photography -- to create what he calls "eco-art."
Cretu previously worked as an art director for an advertising agency before he discovered his love for food art, and you get the feeling his surreal sculptures are accompanied by a knowing wink.
Bompas & Parr: Breast mold jellies
British food designing duo Sam Bompas and Harry Parr don't just break the mold -- they reinvent it, creating jellies in the shape of everything from breasts to their own faces.
Their latest surreal dining experience is an "alcohol cloud" that allows guests to get drunk just by breathing; currently on show at London's Borough Market. The cocktail cloud is created by combining fine spirits, mixers, and humidifiers.
A dedicated team of cooks, designers and architects help create the works of art with a distinctly rude undertone and an unexpected taste at every turn.
Shaun Hergatt: Foie gras fruit
When is a cherry not a cherry? When it's foie gras. Chef Shaun Hergatt admits he is addicted to the Australian chocolate bar Cherry Ripe -- perhaps the inspiration behind this foie gras cherry dish, aptly named "Cherry Ripe."
The son of a professional chef, Hergatt has said cooking is "in his blood," and is now the executive chef and partner of New York's Michelin-starred restaurant, Juni.
Previously, he worked as an apprentice at Crystal Twig in Cairns, Australia, and opened his restaurant SHO Shaun Hergatt in New York in 2009.
Best pieces: The "Cherry Ripe" and a truffle dish called "The Death Star."
Alana Jones-Mann: Printed wallpaper cake
The sublime exteriors of these cakes almost appear too perfect to be true. In fact, they were created by printing wallpaper designs onto edible paper.
Designer and stylist Alana Jones-Mann had a successful career working at a PR and marketing agency in New York, before deciding to give it up and follow her passion for baking full time.
She now works with clients to create everything from one-of-a-kind wedding cakes to intricate party invitations, and conveniently gives step-by-step instructions on her website.
Best pieces: Wallpaper cakes, and gemstone cupcakes
Tekla Evelina Severin: The meat cube
Tekla Severin is an interior architect based in Stockholm who also works on independent projects around art direction and photography. She is best known for her colorful photographs and when she took over food and culture magazine The Gourmand Journal's Instagram account, food magic was made.
"I take much of my inspiration from the architect world where I've been in the last eight years," says Severin. "Things such as the sharp lines and shapes, composition and material knowledge."
Best pieces: The meat cube, cabbage triangle, and black spaghetti
Iain Graham: UV jelly
As a food stylist, Iain Graham has worked with Harrods, Leon Restaurants and Sainsburys, putting his foodie credentials to work after six years as the executive chef at Urban Caprice.
Now UK-based Graham works as a chef and stylist on a freelance basis, and works with companies across food, fashion and film.
Best pieces: UV jelly, Italian cat food, and pork bourbon biscuits