Rita is the creator of the new culinary discipline VisualFood®, which unities aesthetics and function by transforming food into little works of art without altering the essence, function, or value of the food itself. It has become a huge success in Italy with an evergrowing number of fans. Like in design, the object is not stripped of its function; food that is transformed into VisualFood maintains its properties as FOOD. Unlike other kinds of food decoration, one of the principles of VisualFood is reducing waste. VisualFood isn't just nice to look at, it's meant to be eaten.
From July 6 – 20, Rita will be in Chicago for the first time ever to do live VisualFood® demonstrations and present her book/manifesto "VisualFood: Create. Amaze. Eat."
Rita has always given a lot of care and attention to the aesthetics of the table, continually researching new techniques and types of food art. After years of practicing food carving, she began to feel dissatisfied with certain aspects. She realized that food can no longer be thought of as decoration that get tossed in the trash. We need to rethink how we eat and waste less. This doesn't mean, however, that we have to forget about beauty.
As she published videos demonstrating common carving techniques (cucumber radishes, daikon butterflies, carrot flowers, etc), new ideas gradually started to emerge that used not only fruits and vegetables but cheese, cold cuts, sandwiches, and other kinds of food that were generally not considered suitable for edible artistic compositions.
At this point, she felt the pressing need to coin a new term for this philosophy and its innovative approach to food. That's how VisualFood was born. A term that combines all of the fundamental aspects, from the ethics of food treatment to the beauty of a visual art, all the while allowing you to practice the techniques and have fun from the moment you start.
Examining edible shapes, adding a layer of fantasy, inventing stories, and creating taste and color combinations – those are the secrets of VisualFood, a discipline that anyone can do. Rita describes the discipline in her first book/manifesto VisualFood: Create. Amaze. Eat., published last October by Edizioni VisualFood. It is a manifesto for this innovative culinary discipline
based on ethical principles of respect and appreciation for food. Full of photos and step-by-step tutorials, this volume is composed of two sections and an appendix. In the first section, Rita passionately lays out the origins of the discipline, the reasons behind its creation, how she chose the name, and the principles that inspire her art. The second and more substantial part of the book is dedicated to the tools and practice of VisualFood. Here you can find photo tutorials that clearly explain the ingredients, tools, techniques, and steps for making beautiful and delicious creations. The recipes are divided into four sections "happy hour", "lunch", "buffets", and "recipes for kids".
The book is 160 pages and has the convenient format of 8.5 x 8.5 inches (perfect for laying open on the kitchen counter). It is available in English and Italian.
Become a Visualfoodie / Visualfoodist
VisualFood is a shared discipline, a form of food art that is accessible to everyone. Once you learn the techniques, it's easy to practice. Anyone can do it! You don't need any particular skills or knowledge. It's affordable because it doesn't require special ingredients or expensive supplies. There are a few different ways of following this art and lately it has literally exploded on the web, becoming a movement and a well-nourished community of creative cooking enthusiasts who care about sustainability and respect food.
Rita Loccisano provides dozens of online tutorials on her website www.visualfood.org, on social media, and on the "VisualFood" YouTube Channel . There are also online training plans dedicated to Visualfoodies (VisualFood enthusiasts) with an extensive archive of premium video lessons which can be accessed online in high quality streaming from the comfort of your own home. To become an expert Visualfoodie, you don't need any particular talents, just passion, love of art, and some initial patience while getting started and learning the techniques.
Anyone who wants to turn this passion into a profession can follow our specialist training plan, which provides the basic skills for practicing VisualFood professionally and qualifications for Visualfoodists (specialists who are enrolled in the VisualFood Register).
The Ten Commandments of VisualFood
Rita developed the discipline by following strict ethical principles, which are summarized in the following ten rules:
1. Make creations that are entirely edible and ready to be eaten.
2. Do not use any materials that are not safe for contact with food and try to use natural substances.
3. Use the right tools and handle them with the utmost care (you will be working with sharp objects).
4. Do not limit yourself in terms of techniques and ingredients: anything can become VisualFood! Just make sure to use
ingredients that go well together.
5. Do not waste food! Be mindful of saving the scraps and using the leftovers.
6. Do not sacrifice taste for the sake of form.
7. Be creative! Let yourself be inspired by the shapes, colors, and ingredients.
8. Cultivate your training and growth.
9. Have fun while you work! It's easier to get your creative juices flowing when you are relaxed.
10. Share the results. You must show people your creations before they can be admired!
Information about the book is available at http://www.visualfood.org/index.php/en/libro-manifesto-eng
Images can be downloaded at http://www.visualfood.org/index.php/en/visualfood/media-kit