Michelin & Me is all about beauty and contradictions.
I tend to spend hours and hours admiring the beauty of natural ingredients and wondering how I could make them even more beautiful. Once we get used to beauty, we simply do not perceive it anymore. As a food designer I try to discover unfamiliar angles to nature.
Herbs and flowers are very delicate and perishable. The freshness of vegetables is measured by their firmness, fragility and crispiness.
Exploring the contrast between the colorful, fresh, natural ingredients against a black, artificial, industrial object -like a car tire- is the main aspect of the project. This contradiction is also part of one of the world’s largest tire manufacturing company’s -Michelin’s- brand. The same company is also highly influential in the global haute cuisine. This story is at least as interesting as the story of tires themselves.
The invention of the wheel is, in fact, one of the turning points in our civilization. The discovery of pneumatic tires a lot later was a paradigm shift for the transportation industry. Tires are amazing. They are carefully fabricated to be tough and durable but at the same time they should be soft and elastic. They are also associated with movement and progression. Having them static in still life photos create a delicate suspension.
The monochromatic tires also have their own aesthetic value. They are uniform sculptures that in the first glance look like boring donuts. But a closer look at their surface reveals a beautiful play of light and shadow.
In the end tires are not that far from nature either, even though we tend to set them against it. In reality, nature has been the main source of inspiration for many technological innovations.
I had been thinking about doing a project with the photographer, Petri Juola, for a while. As a car-lover, his portfolio is full of amazing car-related photos. Working with Petri was a truly enjoyable experience!
The main problem was how to find a few brand new Michelin tires for the photo shooting. Luckily we found Sari Péry, who has a long history in the business. A big thanks to Sari and Suomen Euromaster for providing the tires for the photos!
The social media guru of our team, Juliette Frank de Cuzey, is also a foodie and French by nationality. Without her expertise in media and marketing this project would not be what it is!
Milla Mäkinen, my love, has an indescribable role in my life. Without her I would have quit a long time ago. She gets more focused and determined when things get tough, exactly opposite to me. I love you Milla!
Baba, Maman and Narges: I love you, my life-long worriers. Alireza, thanks for those lovely childhood days!
And -last but not least- thank you Mimis Kotipellon Puutarha for the beautiful edible flowers and micro herbs, Silmusalaatti for the tasty and fresh sprouts, Vihannespörssi for the very inspiring collection of produce and Hotel Jollas89 for having us there.