Chef Jordan Kahn's dishes at Red Medicine are so intricate and labor intensive, that when a customer orders one, it can take twenty minutes of continuous work to complete it. The dish he recently created for Nowness.com, however, took a bit longer.
Kahn conceptualized, cooked and plated the dish featured in "Assiette: Garden of Delight," a stop motion featurette that may have only lasted 45 seconds but took 24 hours of continuous work to film.
As Kahn explained to us as part of an upcoming Q & A, filmmakers Natasha Subramaniam and Alisa Lapidus approached him for the project, and after planning and storyboarding, they then filmed it in one day.
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They begin the video the dish with a bare white plate. Set to minimalist tonal music reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey, a croissant materializes before slowly opening up and decaying. Meanwhile, dots of green sauce appear one by one, green and white balls roll into view and flowers and herbs seem to grow out out of the plate.
Stop motion requires its figures to be moved in incredibly small increments and photographed at each stage, these still images then being combined to create a moving image. We've seen stop motion put to goofy use in Gumby and to witty ends in Fantastic Mr. Fox, but never have we seen it quite like this.
What does it mean? Maybe it's a look into the plating of a dish, Kahn's intricacy brought to the foreground. Maybe it contemplates decay and rebirth, creativity and beauty and the natural order of the world. Maybe it's just pretty to look at.