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The least exciting thing about dining just became the most exciting thing
Naresh Ramdjas, nominated for a Keep an Eye grant for his 'Nareshtaurant', is fascinated with cooking. But he is as much a graphic designer as he is a chef. He did his internship with Sergio Herman at Pure-C, while studying at the Man and Communication design department. What does a restaurant run by a designing chef/a cooking designer look like

"In restaurants, food is the focal point. Tastes, ingredients, combinations; everything has to be perfect. And that’s my passion, too. But menus are often the same wherever you go. Even in Michelin star restaurants. A laminated A4, or a folded menu listing the dishes. And in many restaurants the composition on the plate is reminiscent of a Picasso, organically shaped. As a graphic designer I have always cut my ingredients into specific shapes. Spring onions, for instance, I would cut into straight strips, and curl them by dunking them in some iced water. I have pushed the development of this vocabulary of shapes further and connected it to the menu.

When you go out to dinner at Nareshtaurant, you create your own composition. You pick your ingredients from an iPad or beforehand from your smartphone or computer, where they are arranged by colour and shape. When you actually sit down for your meal and your plate is brought in you will see your own arrangement. Of course you can be sure the taste will be excellent; leave that to me. Ordering your food, normally a less exciting thing to do, now becomes exciting. It adds to the experience of dining out. And it means I don’t have to throw out as much, because groups of twelve can indicate beforehand what they would like to eat. Smarter purchasing, less waste.

If I win the grant I will push my concept even further. Nareshtaurant opens at TAC on 6 September. But now I’m doing the whole thing without a starting capital. I want to design a full eating experience, perhaps in other cities, too. And this idea has scope for so much more. I’d like to continue to surprise my guests, for instance by giving them a password after each meal to gain access to a VIP ingredient for their next visit. I could really use a grant. 


Published: 25-Aug-2014 15:35
  • If Naresh wins a Keep an Eye grant...