Seattle chef Tiberio Simone says he was seduced into an exotic/erotic marriage of food and the human form while volunteering to make deserts for a Seattle theater company. Although he’d had private adventures with food and what can happen between consenting adults, his inspiration to cover an entire body with pastry and flowers got him some attention for the sensual pairing. Freelance photographer Matt Freedman, known for his evocative photos of the Burning Man Festival, invited the celebrated chef to make some of his food and body creations in a photo studio.
Of the first photo session, Simone says, “I cut cucumbers into thousands of paper thin slices to create a full body of green scales, and the result was so magical that it gave us the inspiration to create the book.”
The result is La Figa: Visions of Food and Form, a large format photo essay that offers the human body as canvas and food as the medium. The models wear nothing but Simone’s edible inventions – coffee bean necklaces, apple slices and more. Simone calls it an examination of the relationship between food, touch, and “the ingredients that make life delicious.”
Shot over a five-year period, the pair have created a new art form. The synergy of his ephemeral food art with Freedman’s photography is provocative – producing a series of images that tap into primal instincts for flavor and pleasure. Simone says he is a self-styled sensualist who views food and touch as the basic ingredients of life. In the book, he offers advice on how to use food for seduction, tips for selecting a perfect piece of fruit or a vegetable, and twenty of Simone’s favorite recipes. The writing and photography of La Figa will leave you with a new perspective on the relationship between what we eat, and how we connect with each other as sensual beings. Order online. $40 from Amazon.com