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‘Dessert Graffiti’ Is A Sweet ‘Charcuterie’ of Food And Art

Dessert Graffiti at The Bazaar by José Andrés is a sweet experience where food and art intertwine leaving a memorable impression of this whimsical restaurant.

The restaurant itself is located in the The SLS, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The white exterior of the hotel opposes the aura of this hidden gem, where within reveals three sections all designated to a theme and ambiance corresponding to the course of the meal.

José Andrés, the eclectic and acclaimed chef of the restaurant, developed this concept to curate an experience for the guests. The whimsical and wonderland feel mirrors André’s food, famously indicative of a child-like element to his creations, the best example of which is the cotton candy foie gras. It is playful and untraditional, emphasizing how fine-dining is not so serious and should be fun.

The final step of The Bazaar experience is quite grand and definitely enjoyable. It closes with The Patisserie where Dessert Graffiti, essentially a live painting, ensues making one feel like a kid again.

Initially, it is painted with a chocolate, caramel syrup and a passion fruit jam, looking Pollock-esque at that point. Then, they really nail down the bee theme throughout the dessert: A bee-shaped honey ganache and lemon jam macaron, a lavender-almond honeycomb whip, a dulce hive mousse cake, a blackberry pate de fruit, a raspberry-rose hibiscus candy, and a citrus and honey bonbon. And if it gets too sweet, there are chamomile tea pipettes to cleanse your palate in between each sweet bite.

To top it all off, liquid nitrogen is poured over the decadent display, completing the avant garde vibes of the grand dessert.

Their newest Dessert Graffiti theme is “Bee My Honey,” intended to celebrate National Honey Bee Day on August 18th and National Honey Month in September. The Executive Chef and novice Beekeeper, Hussain Zouhbi, explained how the absence of bees would eliminate 1/3rd of our crops, think strawberries, broccoli, coffee and palm oil.

As each mirrored platter, or empty canvas, is carefully curated table-side by a pastry chef, they explain each element and emphasize the importance of the honey bee to the environment.

Besides educating foodies and high-class folks on saving the bees, they intend to resurface heart-warming memories through each cute creation.

The Pop Rocks (mixed with actual pollen), the chocolate Rice Krispies and the milk and honey mousse cake all withhold one aspect: familiarity. The recognizable ingredients possibly remind people of their childhood. Like a glass of warm milk, or one-too-many packs of Pop Rocks that must be eaten in a very particular way (eating all of them at once and keeping your mouth open so you can hear them crackle… then aggressively chewing, completely disregarding manners).

The familiarity of the ingredients scream childhood and add onto their bee theme. All of the ingredients used are flowers or fruit that bees pollinate. So without the bees, we will not have all these vital ingredients in the majority of these unreal desserts.

It was quite the process, and an entertaining struggle to sit and watch it come to life. But, the pastry chef’s leisured-pace and careful curation emphasizes their main intent with the experience: To encourage camaraderie and pause, take a few moments, and observe food and art become one as a group.

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#foodbeast Features Hit-Or-Miss Opinion Video

‘Free Juice Day’ Is The Stealing Food Movement That Has People On The Fence

Would you steal food in order to feed the less fortunate? Depending on where you live, it might be illegal to feed the homeless, however, one graffiti artist has sparked a new philanthropic movement that is catching a lot of attention on Instagram called “Free Juice Day.”

Known simply as, “GUNS,” the artist has become a veritable modern day Robin Hood, and uses his Instagram story feature to give a firsthand perspective of his exploits into casual daytime street tagging, t-shirt making, and performing acts of humanity.

Today, Instagram has become a peephole into the lives of more than 800 million people. Whether it be to try out the app’s latest face filters, air out grievances, rant on your latest peeves, to even posting the latest food porn in your latest meal. For graffiti artists, it’s a platform to show off their craft — regardless of the legality.

Photo/Chris Abouabdo, Foodbeast

If you consider the classic tale of Robin Hood, the heroic renegade who stole from the rich to give to the poor — risking his own freedom for the well-being of others, “Free Juice Day” has similar shades of altruistic traits.

Using only the phrase “Free Juice Day,” GUNS records himself stealing bottles of juice from establishments like Starbucks, and gifting it to the less fortunate individuals he finds on the streets.

This kleptomania is usually a daily occurrence for his 75,000+ Instagram followers.

When posting a news video about it, “Free Juice Day” caused a stir on our YouTube Channel, sparking one-side responses reiterating how wrong stealing was and that GUNS should find a day job in order to contribute to the less fortunate. Perhaps, the general public wants GUNS to adopt a less rigid approach to his kind-hearted acts.

Martin Schoeller presumably could serve as an example for GUNS. Schoeller (@MartinScholler), works with the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, and posts the images on his Instagram page, which usually consist of “clients of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition.” Schoeller spends time interviewing the homeless individuals, photographs and includes their stories of life on the streets within the caption.

In a recent Instagram post, Schoeller explained he created this project with the intention of giving those using the coalition’s services, “a face and a voice,” according to the post. It’s on the other side of the spectrum than the “Free Juice Day” movement, yet what Schoeller does still raises awareness and draws attention to the plight of the homeless.

Albiet illegal, in some respect, “Free Juice Day” spotlights common societal issues that seldom become the focus of Instagram content. Images of homelessness and poverty are reoccurring norms within GUNS’ digital storytelling. For graffiti writers, obscure regions of public space become the ideal environments to produce art, yet, these dark fringes of society enable drug addiction, homelessness and untreated mental illnesses to thrive.

For most of us, it’s easier to ignore these unfortunate occurrences when it is out of sight. Still, Free Juice Day might actually be forcing people to see the real picture. GUNS is stealing. He’s also giving. Regardless of the consequences or legal morality, he’s doing it.

Free Juice Day

Not much is known about GUNS beyond graffiti art and his Free Juice Day movement, however, despite the unidentified artist’s significant Instagram following.

While Starbucks locations seem to be the main target of Free Juice Day, GUNS’ digital escapades also showcase the spray-happy artist stealing pet food and other supplies, which he hand delivers to the less fortunate and their pets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you think of Robin Hood, what do you envision? If he were alive today (or ever) do you think he would steal from spots like Starbucks? Would Robin Hood even be down with Free Juice Day in the first place? Would Robin Hood paint graffiti as a means to beautify his surroundings?

In the true sense of an outlaw, why wouldn’t he?

I asked my Facebook network how they felt about stealing to feed the less fortunate, and though the well-intentioned act expectedly received some merit, there were some mixed responses.

Free Juice Day

Foodbeast staff writer Costa Spyrou said he could see why someone would be willing to risk their freedom for others.

Free Juice Day

Foodbeast’s Co-Founder Elie Ayrouth said he might not have the juevos,  and stated he’s basically against stealing in general, which makes sense.

Free Juice Day

James Delgado replied that he wouldn’t risk his freedom.

Free Juice Day

While it’s safe to say that Starbucks won’t go out of business due to “Free Juice Day,” it’s obviously going to piss some people off, although it’s unclear if  GUNS even cares. It’s also unclear if there’s an endgame to Free Juice Day — or why it’s even a thing.

For graffiti purists, stealing is part of game. Some will argue that graffiti can only be considered graffiti if it is performed illegally. Meaning, everything from supplies and location are taken without permission — all times.

In that respect, GUNS is truly a purist. It became clear that in order to understand “Free Juice Day,” I needed to let go of any conventional set of rules or moral compass, which is a difficult concept to grasp — but it’s through that unconventional mindset that makes Free Juice Day possible.

After months of watching GUNS stories, it became clear that normal rules didn’t apply.

Working on this story, I had sparse interactions with GUNS through Instagram direct messages. While he allowed me to tell this story, not much else transpired.  My day consisted of taking screen recordings of his Insta Stories, sending him messages and hoping for a reply. I became eager to see new material, up late at night with my cellphone glowing, rewatching his Instagram story dozens of times before they disappeared. It became like tracking wild game.

While people are upset that stealing is a primary characteristic of Free Juice Day, helping or giving to others shouldn’t be judged by a monetary amount.

Whatever the world thinks of the Free Juice Day movement, hopefully this story will make people more inclined to give a helping hand to the drug addicted, homeless and poverty-stricken masses that survive on the streets — and not crucify the artist for his contributions, regardless of morality.