everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Carving up incr(edible) art.

on May 18, 2012

Chef Jimmy Zhang is a genius. The founder of Art Chef Inc. graduated from the Culinary Arts Institute in China in 1989 and it’s fair to say he’s slightly obsessed with the ancient art of fruit and vegetable carving. After winning many championship titles in fruit carving competitions in China, in the late ’90s, Jimmy took his show on the road and brought his talents to California.

You can choose from private classes with Jimmy (by yourself, or with a group of knife wielding mates), a special intensive week-long course, or a general public course. Dinner parties and school lunch boxes will never be the same again as you learn how to carve up your own fruit and vegies at home.

There are different levels of classes and, to be honest, I expected the Level 1 class to maybe feature some of those apple spirals that are really tricky to cut (without using a machine). Or maybe a star cut into a potato. But no, this bouquet of flowers in a melon bowl is apparently what you can do in the Level 1 class. Uh huh.

The pics from the Level 2 class move to the animal kingdom, featuring a lot of birds and fish (and an incredible giant bloom in half a watermelon). Interestingly, the seahorses seem to be made of a fruit or vegetable that looks very much like cookies & cream icecream, which is something I’ve always dreamed of, but never managed to find. Hats off to you, Chef Jimmy!

And then there are the Level 3 classes, which, quite frankly, make the other classes look as though children had been mucking around on a primary school excursion. The slightly scary bright orange bird on a branch is surely made from the world’s largest carrot. And then there’s the intricately carved dragon. They should really just call the Level 3 classes the ShowOff classes and be done with it. Incredible stuff.

If you are inspired to start hacking into your own groceries, or if you’d like an awesome display for your next family dinner or client function, you might want to have a look at the amazing website of Art Chef Inc for more ideas. Bon appetit!

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15 responses to “Carving up incr(edible) art.

  1. Stuffed Olive says:

    Wow!

  2. Really amazing, If I attempted that the food would have perished by the time I finished!!!

    • Cate says:

      Yep, I was trying to imagine being at the back of the classroom/kitchen and struggling to cut the melon in half, nevermind turn it into a bowl of flowers! :-)

  3. Rather suspect the seahorses are carved out of dragon fruit, Sparks.

    If we get enough interest, we could sponsor Jimmy for a class in Sydney. We could wow all our friends and family at dinner parties and birthdays and Christmas… Imagine a cockatoo carved out of coconut?!?!

  4. In the food biz, this is part of garde manger, but taken to the highest level, and nobody does it better than the Chinese (in my opinion). Some of this, if you know the tricks, is surprisingly easy (level 1) and some seems nearly impossible to me. The frustration is that none of it lasts!

    I’m checking out his website anyway :-)

    • Cate says:

      Thanks – this was the first time I’d seen it on this scale and I was amazed. He also sets up themed displays for functions/events, which would be incredible…but agree, it would be so frustrating (and sad) to throw it in the bin after all that work!

  5. Jm says:

    I seem to be the only one that doesn’t love these. Give me the bubble furniture making class any day. Or an update on the latest in crochet fashion.

  6. Jimmy Zhang says:

    So surprise to see this post here. Thank you for the wonderful description, your guys comments will encourage me to make my work better and better :)

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