NIKE X CREATIVE CHEF
After meeting the Nike team in Milan during the Salone Del Mobile 2018. At the end of November, Nike welcomed Creative Chef to the legendary Nike Headquarter in Portland. They invited us to give the Design Community of Nike an inspirational presentation and workshop. After the session they interviewed Jasper about his vision on food, design and the world around him. Read the interview down below.
Do you consider yourself more of a chef or an artist?
Artist. My ultimate goal is to get my work with food into museums. So if I frame myself as a chef, people will look at me as a glorified caterer. But if I frame myself as an artist, then they’ll have no choice but to view my work as artistic, rather than culinary. I’m essentially using the language of a chef to design art and product. I make furniture, I make tableware, I make graphics, I make paintings, I make video art, all the traditional mediums, but the techniques behind them are always those of a chef. It’s the creative language I’m most comfortable with.
How did you get your start?
I always wanted to be an artist when I in school, but I came from a family who is very “university minded” and they wanted me to pursue law school. I tried it for a year and surprise!, it really wasn’t for me. In the end, I started to study art history, but during those studies I started my own business cooking for parties. I got deeper and deeper into the food business and when I finished my art history studies I decided it was time to make a choice between pursuing art history stuff, or cooking. I sortof chose both…
10 years later, I had a business, a cooking school, a chocolate factory, a restaurant, but I didn’t have a gallery. The artist in me still wanted out. So about 4 years ago, I started this business Creative Chef with a single goal: To get food into a museum. That’s my big dream, my audacious goal. It’s one of the reasons why I’m here at Nike.
What’s your personal favorite exhibition/work/project/cake/whatever that you’ve made? Why?
I have a dream of big things, but I’m most proud of Creative Chef Records. Everything I am as a person is inside that project. It has art, ceramics, food, music, my history as a DJ (Jazzalicious Soundsystem), musician, and record collector, it’s all in that one project. It’s a vinyl record sleeve with a ceramic plate inside instead of a record, and the cover is a graphic theme based on the recipe inside. I partnered with various musicians and asked them for their favorite food recipes. The idea is you prepare a favorite food of the specific artist while you listen to their music, which comes as a digital download when you buy the record. You can prepare the dish on the ceramic “record” and learn to cook, listen to good music, and relate senses of sound, taste, and smell in a single experience.
I made it because people are always trying to pigeonhole the definition of a restaurant or an artist into a category, so I thought ‘What if you just combine the two typologies of a record store with a restaurant? What if you could buy food in the same setup and context in which we buy records?’ In that mindset, everything that I am as an artist, musician, and chef came together into one product. I’m hoping to turn the idea into a retail store where people can essentially shop for food and music at the same time.
Following that thread, it’s rare that a single artistic work appeals to all 5 senses at once. What is it like to have all these tools on your artistic palette?
I think a lot of designers focus on one subject, but the main thing about all those senses is they’re all ingredients to a story. If you can create a rich, compelling story first, then all the other pieces fall into place, no matter how many ingredients there are. It follows the recipe model, literally and figuratively. It’s more interesting to create a shoe that’s greater than just a shoe by creating a story along with it. But you guys know all about that.
We would love to thank the amazing people of Nike for this valuable experience!