Eat the Art: Theo Randall and Amber Locke get creative
Food that’s good enough to frame and art that’s good enough to eat at the InterContinental Park Lane
Theo Randall, chef-in-residence at The InterContinental, has joined forces with the artist Amber Locke for “Eat the Art”, a special tasting menu at the Park Lane hotel.
It is, if you’ll forgive the pun, a natural collaboration. Locke’s work involves the painstaking arrangement of fruit, vegetables and flowers into geometric patterns, which she photographs and shares with her 100,000 Instagram followers. Randall’s work with similar ingredients often ends up on social media too, thanks to the diners snapping away at the elegantly constructed dishes.
His restaurant, with its sage-green banquettes and plentiful plants, provides the perfect backdrop. Even the flooring - part timber and part patterned tile - has a herbaceous air. Against this neutral foil of fauns and taupes, a bright acrylic print of Locke’s contribution is a compelling splash of colour.
Carrots, beets, peas, tomatoes and lemons all leap from the restaurant wall - and from the front of the menu, where the art is reproduced in miniature. It is available to buy, too: a signed acrylic print, framed and limited to a run of just five, is priced at £2,500. Unframed giclee prints are £300.
Open the menu and you see what Randall has accomplished with the same palette. The tomatoes top a deeply flavoured bruschetta; the beets accompany a starter of smoked eel; and the peas grace a plate of voluptuous tagliarini, the fresh pasta stirred in with prosciutto and silky butter.
Lamb from Somerset, tender and rich, comes with a garden-full of vegetables, including sweet delica squash - an autumnal treat. And the lemons end up in a memorable Amalfi tart, served with a glass of Saracco 2017, a light sparkling wine which complements the citrus freshness.
“Gorgeous fruit and vegetables are such an inspiration,” says Locke (below, with Randall). “I absolutely love Theo’s food so it was a delight to take the ingredients used in his menu and turn them into an artistic design.”
Randall repays the complement, describing Locke’s work as an inspiration. “Her love of ingredients is very apparent and ability to make them look so edible and fresh is a very special skill.”
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Eat the Art tasting menu, five courses for £60 at Theo Randallat the InterContinental, London W1