Warm cocktails? Food-inspired designs and creative eats at I Eat Design Festival

It is a feast for the eyes and mouth at festival held by home-grown design retailer Naiise

Tapas such as this one by Canape, with shrimp paste fried chicken, pea shoots, cherry tomato and garlic aioli as ingredients, will be sold at $3 each at I Eat Design.
Tapas such as this one by Canape, with shrimp paste fried chicken, pea shoots, cherry tomato and garlic aioli as ingredients, will be sold at $3 each at I Eat Design. PHOTO: FOOD ON FORK

If you love good food and great design, you will find both at homegrown design retailer Naiise's inaugural I Eat Design festival this weekend.

Local independent food vendors, artists and designers will showcase food with creative designs and culinary-inspired artat Naiise's multi-label flagship store at The Cathay.

Admission to the event, from 1 to 9pm tomorrow and Sunday, is free, but visitors have to pay for workshops.

Naiise founder Dennis Taysays: "Design is everywhere around us and we want to bring everyone closer to it through an accessible and fun medium."

And food, being one of Singaporeans' loves, makes for an apt medium. Ms Cheryl Yong, 30, Naiise's public relations and buying manager, adds: "We want to create a unique collaborative showcase of innovative, design-driven food and highlight the design process in various aspects of food."

Visitors can taste deliciously designed food from 13 food vendors, such as chocolate truffles ($19 or $20) from small batch chocolatier Demochoco and free warm mocktails and tea pairings from a collaboration between The 1872 Clipper Tea Co and candy retailer Jewels by Cheng.



    WHERE: Naiise @ The Cathay, B1-08 The Cathay, 2 Handy Road

    WHEN: Tomorrow and Sunday, 1 to 9pm

    INFO: To sign up for the workshops, go to www.naiise.com/collections/workshops

You can also design and create at six workshops conducted by the vendors at the event. For instance, learn how to whip up granola parfait, blend tea and paint on fondant.

Participants have to pre-register for the workshops, which are limited to 10 people each and costs $18 to $95 a person.

Mr Tay, 31, says the event is part of Naiise's "ongoing efforts to introduce engaging entertainment concepts within our network of stores, thus keeping the shopping experience fresh and interactive for our regular shoppers".

Naiise, which started out as an online retailer, has five other stores at Clarke Quay Central, Katong I12, Orchard Gateway, Suntec City and Westgate Mall.

An example of the shopper interaction that Mr Tay is referring to is when Demochoco ran a crowdsourcing competition for a new truffle flavour via Naiise's Instagram account last month. Instagram users commented on the post to suggest flavours and the most creative one - pistachio and rose, inspired by Turkish Delight - was picked. Truffles in this flavour can be purchased at the festival.

Bobabrew, which makes boba tea, also held a similar competition through Naiise's Instagram last month and will debut a new and exclusive flavour - a spin on Thai milk tea.

Visitors can also feast their eyes on artworks inspired by food, such as a photography print installation by dining and lifestyle blog Food on Fork. There is also a crochet demonstration by Operation Overhaul, a craft studio which focuses on handcrafted products.

Mr John Cheng Chen Long, 34, creator of Jewels by Cheng and owner of Cheng Yew Heng Candy Factory, says: "I Eat Design is a platform to showcase Singaporean brands and products. It allows us to educate through design and show consumers that traditional products can be fun, exciting and inspirational."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2016, with the headline 'Marrying good food and design'. Print Edition | Subscribe