Mit Essen spielt man

September 12, 2012

It’s so interesting to see what people are doing in the world of food photography, cooking events and food packaging. This whole world of food is something that I love to follow because it ties in closely to what I do and I find a ton of crossover between styling interiors and styling food. So many things that work for interiors also work for food and vice versa. Do you find this too?

Mit Essen spielt man

I learned this first hand when I was lecturing at a Food Styling & Photography class this past summer in Weimar, Germany. I was able to apply my knowledge of interiors to food styling and the students definitely enjoyed my take as my personal experiences and overall perspective felt very fresh to them. Like anything, if you are only getting advice from peers, you can quickly dry up or become bored. You may begin to notice too much repetition or “inspired” work and after awhile this can be very draining and frustrating. Everyone tries to be different in the exact same way! This is precisely why I like to learn from those in other creative professions in addition to my own because then your mind stays open and your ideas are always being challenged and therefore, freshened. Do you feel the same way?

Mit Essen spielt man

I would like to share something with you today that I fell upon while doing some random Googling and was surprised to learn that this fascinating company called Mit Essen spielt man (this is German and means Play With Food) belongs to a creative lady from Hannover, Germany who lives in a nearby district called Linden. I also live in Hannover (in the List) and love finding other creatives who live here and share my passions – it is very exciting! The talented lady behind Mit Essen spielt man is Lina Meyer who runs a small design and cooking studio out of a small building behind her apartment and enjoys, through her concepts and workshops, teaching others to really taste food when they are eating – to pull it apart and have fun, to be in the moment and to savor it.

Mit Essen spielt man

Lina says, “Food is a very exciting process, it is a very sensual and intimate experience. What we eat has a cultural value for us, supporting us in our identity and our way of life, tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.” Wonderful!

Mit Essen spielt man

Mit Essen spielt man

Mit Essen spielt man

Mit Essen spielt man

Mit Essen spielt man

Mit Essen spielt man

Mit Essen spielt man

Mit Essen spielt man

Mit Essen spielt man

Mit Essen spielt man

I love her recent Playing With Food dinner party that she had out of her studio space in Hannover – I hope she’ll have another because I would love to attend!

This is such an inspiration to see. Wow!

(images: Mit Essen spielt man and Nona Schmidt – the illustrations were done by Hannover-based artist, Pamela Rama.)


  • Reply Callie Grayson September 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Looks like fun! I n
    Have never thought of styling food, i have styled photo shoots but never with food.
    I did have a boyfriend once, comment that I spend to much time arrange food on a plate prior to eating a nd that it was a waste of time for him, he’d scarf all the food down without a thought.

  • Reply Juliette September 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    How fun! You should totally go! Things like this are also great places to practice a language. When we first moved here I ended up taking a ton of herbal nutrition cooking classes and it was a rewarding (and yummy!) way to build my vocab, especially b/c I don’t usually talk about cooking for lengths of time, I just cook at home, y’know?

  • Reply Sandra September 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    I LOVE what the Europeans are doing with food photography. You are right, after a while it all starts to look the same over here. Martha and Donna Hay have had such an influence on food photography (and rightfully so) and so you either have that style OR you have the washed out, slightly over-exposed Polaraid-style. All good but too similar.

    What I enjoy about the Europeans too is how they stretch the limits on composition and food styling. They take the conventions and then turn them on their heads. Brilliant!

    • Reply decor8 September 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      @Sandra – Thank you so much for commenting. I think what Martha and Donna have done, along with Jamie, is phenomenal in that they gave people the green light to passionately explore food beyond simply cooking it – why not experiment with presentation and themes, too? This has built an entire culture that has spread globally and so you have continental Europeans and others looking at it all and thinking “How can we do something like it without compromising our values and culture, without looking American or Australian or British?” This is where the real fun begins I think – the idea of taking what is established and rebelling a bit.

      Europe as a whole isn’t really doing this though. Despite the many countries sharing this continent, there are still loads of differences between cultures in how they view food and the presentation and the packaging of it. You can see this the moment you step into a grocery store in London vs. one in Iceland or Italy. Traditional packaging vs. hip illustrated boxes, for instance.

      In my opinion, I must comment that these food trends and styling trends for food are coming out of places like the US, UK and Australia primarily – at least at first – but now you have Germany, England, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and France doing some pretty fantastic stuff. England really leads over here with packaging design for food along with the French and Danish and London has some of the best cafes and restaurants ever.Then you have more experimental takes on food and presentation coming from Denmark and Germany. In the Netherlands and France, you have more of the “let’s take what grandmother made and reinvent it” mentality – they love to play with their past and turn tradition into something very fresh and modern. You have the Swiss and the Italians and Portuguese into this foodie culture too, in pockets, but northern Europeans tend to be really keen on this whole trend right now – the cookbooks and cookery magazines here right now are amazing – I see new cooking mags in Germany constantly, for instance, and they are really strong.

  • Reply Ariana {And Here We Are...} September 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Wow, I love what Lina is doing! Food is such a universal, and never, ever gets old or dry. I love that she is helping people explore it more, and I especially loved this “tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.” So true!

  • Reply Joana Gomes September 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Oh wow, this is just amazing. Her classes look so fun and interesting!

  • Reply Mnêmosunê September 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    This seem interesting and the pictures are really beautiful !

  • Reply Laurie September 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    What type of cook top are they using?

  • Reply Four Fresh Peas September 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Holly, I like your comprehensive reply comment to Sandra – you seem to have a grasp on visual food trends around the globe. Really enjoyed this post, as I, myself, am playing with food on both a visual and philosophical level. So glad you’re back from your sabbatical!

  • Reply fenny setiawan September 13, 2012 at 6:25 am

    Food is one of my passion that I share with my hubby. These activity and images is very inspiring. Love them.

  • Reply how2home September 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    This is so creative!!

  • Reply Sandra September 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    @decor8: Thanks SOOO much for your response – as you can see, I am just dipping my toes into the waters of the Europeans and love love love to hear your take by country/region.

    Hoping to travel on an extended vacation next summer to Europe and am beginning to nail down which countries. And just finished 6 days at the Toronto International Film Festival where I “gorged” on Scandinavian film – you can see where I MAY end up travelling to…

  • Reply Lykkelig September 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Oh, I would really love too! What a great Idea – and i love the way she’s doing it*

  • Reply Anna September 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    I just wanted to note that “Mit Essen spielt man” stems from the expression “Mit Essen spielt man nicht”, which is a thing every German kid has heard sometime, meaning: you mustn’t play with food. So she breaks a convention with this name, making it an adventurous and “naughty-exciting” thing to do to play with food :-)

  • Reply Shayna SteelPetalPress September 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I want to respond to the comment about looking outside your own field to other creative professionals for inspiration and ideas. I really couldn’t agree more!

    I found this in art school, if I only made art based on what I learned in art history it lost it’s human appeal. I had to look to, and really LIVE life (not just study books) to create meaningful work.

    I am now a printer and stationery designer. If I only looked to other stationery trends as inspiration the work would become repetitive and bland. Instead I look to fashion and design blogs (like yours!), packaging and newspapers and more.

    Of course it’s always important to know what’s going in the field around you, but it’s variety that makes the world so diverse fascinating.

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