Food meets fashion with the recent collaboration between Le 15 Patisserie and designer Nachiket Barve. Created for the festive season, Barve and Le 15 Patisserie's Pooja Dhingra have 'fashioned' a signature line of macarons and cupcakes called the Caravan. The desserts are an interpretation of Barve's Autumn-Winter collection of the same name, which derives inspiration from the silk route.
The limited edition macarons come in six flavours and use spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, cardamom, pepper, fig, pink pepper corn and date combining them with chocolate to create unique treats in a box designed by Barve.
In conversation with Pooja Dhingra and Nachiket Barve:
Fashion and dessert - where did the idea of the collaboration come from?
Pooja Dhingra (PD): I've wanted to do something like this for a long time. These collaborations happen so often in Paris, where chefs tie-up with artists, shoe designers or artists to create something spectacular. Often, the synergy between them works really well. With Nachiket, I found a perfect working synergy. We connected on various things - his background, education and of course his passion for food. When I saw his Caravan collection I loved the idea and wanted to create something around it.
Nachiket Barve (NB): I've always been a foodie. To me food, architecture, design is all a point of view. I was completely taken by Pooja's idea. It was exciting to bring together our creative sensibilities.
From the ramp to the kitchen - what elements translated from the collection to the macarons?
PD: The Caravan collection has beautiful colours. There's a lot of tie-dye, colour blocking and the play with texture and pattern clearly conveys Nachiket's inspiration from the Spice Route. Apart from using the spices for the macarons, I also tried to showcase the brilliant colours.
NB: India is bored of the usual chocolates and mithais for Diwali. Caravan and its spice route inspiration worked well to create macarons that were festive, unusual but still had a sense of India to them. Pooja worked in the spices deliciously well and I used the print from the fabric as a design for the special boxes.
Flavours - what made the cut and what didn't?
PD: When we began there was a long list of flavours that we wanted to try. We experimented with around 25 different ones and picked the six that worked the best. One combination that didn't make it to the final list was olive oil and orange. I liked it, but that wasn't the general consensus. I'm definitely doing something with olive oil soon though. Of the six my favourite is the pink pepper corn macaroon
NB: We had extensive tasting sessions. We wanted to ensure that the concept didn't overshadow the product. So after all the rounds of tasting, the one's that weren't the best were left out. My favourites are the saffron + nutmeg and the pink pepper corn macarons.
Any plans to further this collaboration once the festive season is over?
PD: We are definitely looking at ways in which to take this further. We are considering various ways in which we can bring the kitchen element to fashion. So things like aprons, totes bags etc might be next.
NB: The food and fashion collaboration has been great. We might further this through custom designed prints or specials for weddings. We still have things to work out.
The dessert line will be available in two options - Couture and Pret. The Couture box, of 12 pcs in 6 flavours of either macarons or cupcakes, will be on order only. The Pret box, a box of 4, will be available at the Le 15 Patisserie stores.
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