Images courtesy ©Elsa Lambinet | video Sweet Play by Elsa Lambinet on Vimeo
“Assorted filled chocolates”: just this expression takes my memory back to gold tin-foil from at least thirty years ago. And those ribboned boxes, given to me by uninspired boyfriends who hadn’t more creative ideas, when you sometimes got the wrong one and found yourself crying: “No! Not the liquor one!”
Cry of disgust.
Cut to black.
I came across this video, very candid and playful, where chocolate becomes modular, customizable according to your taste, assembling 3 different elements: a base of chocolate (dark, milk and white), a filling of biscuits (simple shortbread hazelnut or caramel and salted butter), to cover with any topping you wish: fruit, honey, flowers, hot peppers … Finally chocolate enters the age of DIY (Do It Yourself) with Sweet Play, a project created by French designer Elsa Lambinet, who presented it as her project for the end of the course at ECAL (School of Applied Arts in Lausanne) and has created it in collaboration with Swiss chocolate maker Blondel.
Hello Elsa, let’s begin with talking about this stop motion video: how did you make it?
I created it completely by myself, next to the window to get all the daylight and a spot. It was all done in just one day! It’s my first video and I enjoyed giving life to chocolate very much. When it was over, me and my roommate just had to eat all the delicious ingredients that were on the table!
By the way, after I saw it, I could not stop listening to the soundtrack …
["Home" by Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zeros]
As for the song, there is a funny story about it: when I lived in Australia for a year, I went to a concert of Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zero, since I’m a fan of their music. The day after, I was on a tram in Melbourne and I found myself in front of two of them. They invited me to go shopping and spend the day with them. I had an amazing experience!
The Home song gives you a good mood every time you listen to it and I immediately thought that it was the right one for my film. And indeed, like magic … it’s just perfect!
What was the original idea for Sweet Play?
I have been focusing on chocolate for a long time, I tried to get away from everything that has already been created. Then I leafed through a book of children games in the hope of finding something more fun about food. I ended up on a photo of Lego and I immediately imagined a blend of flavors!
And then how did you come to the final form?
It took me some time, I hesitated for a long time. At first I thought of a round shape, oval, then I preferred the archetype of a chocolate square which I found much more symbolic.
Tell me the truth, are you a chocolate fan?
Yes, I am completely dependent on chocolate! And thanks to my project I have been able to eat tons of it! For working issues, of course … [laughs]
I like the idea of modularity, the fact that you can freely associate flavors, giving room for imagination, in my opinion, this is the true pleasure of food, isn’t it?
I 100% agree with you! The aim of my project was to give the opportunity to choose, having fun, feeling surprise, but also creating an interaction between people: actually testing it, I must say that people, even they didn’t know each other, wuold give advices each other about the combinations, about what they liked the most … and this is the exchange that interests me the most about food!
How was your project welcomed?
Chocolate producer Blondel loved it very much, they immediately accepted to help me but unfortunately the project does not correspond to its range of handmade chocolates. For the time being, therefore, I’m still looking for a chocolatier. I also received several proposals for different events, but now I can not answer the request!
You also designed some glasses for the anniversary of Baccarat, a tool to mix coffee without losing its precious foam and finally Sweet Play. What is the meaning of design related to food in your opinion?
Food and design are my biggest passions, so the desire to combine them is very natural! Food is a moment for sharing things and I like creating objects which are dedicated to this moment.
Give me at least 3 flavors of unusual associations for the three chocolates, involving them in a mood:
esprit énergique: dark chocolate + ginger + mint cookie
esprit cocooning: white chocolate + honey + caramel
esprit tendresse: milk chocolate + hazelnut + nougat
Recipe by Elsa Lambinet
Feuilleté with salmon
1 large salmon fillet, 1 carrot, 1 leek finely chopped into julienne strips, 15 large spinach leaves, 1 or 2 egg yolks for the browning, puff pastry, salt and pepper.
Cook in oil for a couple of minutes the chopped leek and the carrot seasoned with salt and pepper, making sure it stays crunchy. Let cool for a moment.
Roll out the puff on the baking dish. Place the vegetables on it, then add the salmon and cover with spinach leaves. Moisten the edges with egg yolk and cover with a second layer of pastry, sealing the edges.
Brush the top with the egg and leave in refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking. Then bake for 25 minutes in oven at 185°.
When the fish is browning, c’est prêt!