Designing good spaces and creating an excellent meal start from the same place: fresh ingredients and inspired ideas. Both chefs and designers start with a clean palette and add color and texture layer after layer to create something magical. The ultimate end goal of both pursuits is to create an inimitable experience.
That was the gist of the lunchtime conversation that took place as part of Andreu World's "Eat Well Seated" panel, held at theMART's 1871 co-working space. Coordinated with the launch of the Spanish brand's inaugural restaurant guide Eat Well Seated, the discussion revolved around the intimate link between modern day gastronomy and design. Michelin-starred Chef Doug Psaltis, Gensler Chicago's Co-Managing Director Kristen Conry, and Simeone Deary Design Group's Principal Sara Talleux offered their expert opinions with Interior Design's Managing Editor Helene Oberman moderating their chat. They were also joined by Andreu World's CEO Jesús Llinares.
First, the panel discussed the fundamentals.
"There's always an element of storytelling when creating a restaurant," said Conry. "Sometimes it's much more conceptual, sometimes it's literal. But either way, it's absolutely essential in restaurant design."
"Simplicity is the root of excellent design, whether it be the design of a dish or a chair or a space," noted Psaltis. "People want to feel like they're experiencing something authentic."
Then they looked to the future.
"In terms of innovation, it's hard to have too many new technologies in one dining space—ultimately, eating is pretty simple," said Talleux. "I think the recent developments in POS systems and high-tech kitchen appliances are really incredible and are certainly changing the way we design restaurants."
Green technologies and practices were also part of the discussion. "We see sustainability becoming a larger and larger part of the conversation for the culinary arts and design firms," said Llinares. "It's already an important part of our brand, but we will continue to pursue new processes and materials to be a partner in those conversations."
The idea behind Eat Well Seated is to present a yearly guide to some of the best restaurants around the world that happen to be outfitted with Andreu World seating. This first edition covers 25 restaurants found in cities such as Brisbane, New York, Paris, Singapore, Berlin, London, and Paris. It was written by lifestyle and gastronomy journalist Alvaro Castro and features interviews with Michelin-starred chefs Eneko Atxa, brothers Sergio and Javier Torres, Albert Raurich, and Bernd H. Knöller, among others.
Eat Well Seated is available now.