Home Editors Picks Timely 12-Year Birthday Salute for Studio H to “Pop-Up” in April
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Timely 12-Year Birthday Salute for Studio H to “Pop-Up” in April

Tick Tock: this April, as the Studio H clock strikes 12 – years, that is – the culinary-minded design studio will celebrate one dozen years of creatively pushing the boundaries of understanding and interacting with food, with two intimate and bespoke pop-up dinners in Cape Town. The dinners will be prepared by Chef Jenny Ward and other Studio H collaborators, with ‘Time’ as the main ingredient and the number ’12’ featuring prominently. They will take place at a secret location in the Cape Town CBD on 17 and 18 April, with the second dinner open to the public. Tickets are available for purchase on Quicket, and there are only 12 seats available.

For the past 12 years, Studio H has pushed the boundaries of food engagement, branding and marketing with pioneering fresh and engaging projects across the globe. Experiential marketing is the Studio H signature, with notable projects such as the Moët & Chandon Golden Tree Project, which involved the construction of several 10-meter-high trees out of 1680 empty champagne bottles collected from across the country, displayed in Johannesburg and Cape Town during the festive season. For Nando’s introduction of two new flavours to its Bag & Bake range, Studio H took the lead in collaboration with other local talent to create a PERiTricks Pop-Up in Braamfontein, where visitors could engage with branded recipes in unexpected ways: like making amakipkip treats in a tumble dryer. And in partnership with Visa, Eat Out and other key brands, Studio H conceived of and ran the highly successful Street Food Festival in Cape Town and Johannesburg, the first in South Africa to showcase the culture of local street food.

“We experience and learn more when we’re engaged, relaxed and having fun, which is why we do things differently at Studio H,” says Studio H founder and Director Hannerie Visser. “Our identity as a design team is based on our more considered approach, passion for sustainability and intense drive to preserve and showcase local ingredients and heritage – and we never repeat a design or event. “As Studio H tunes into its twelfth year, we continue to harmonise the realms of food, design and experience. Our journey has been a testament to the power of creativity in reshaping how we understand and interact with food. With each project, we strive to not only push boundaries but also inspire a deeper connection to the culinary world. Here’s to another year of pushing the envelope and creating experiences that linger in the memory long after the last bite”.

Studio H’s list of awards and accolades is long, including Loeries Finalist, Interior Design, Temporary Structure (2023); Finalist Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, UK (2023), and Lead Curator V & A Waterfront Makers Landing (2021). In addition, Studio H is leading the way in South Africa and beyond in food research and education. It publishes the annual Future Food Trend Report, an in-depth, carefully curated forecast of the gastronomic landscape that lies ahead, as well as other industry reports, such as the Millets Report, and it is the creative force behind the Kids Food Studio worksheets.

The first to own and operate a 3-D printer in Africa, it is amplifying a food-forward future in which the problems of hunger and malnutrition could be alleviated by 3D food printing. In 2017, Studio H addressed the drought in the Western Cape with a speculative project imagining the food system in a world with only seawater, a project which was named by Dezeen as one of 10 most sustainable future foods at DDW 2017 in the Netherlands. Following the installation, Studio H hosted a series of waterless dinners, which imagined the future of food if the water used for agriculture, was seawater. In 2018, Studio H founded FOOD XX, a movement dedicated to empowering and celebrating women in the food and drinks industry. From this platform has stemmed the biennial FOOD XX Awards, city guides featuring women-led businesses and FOOD XX Week. In 2023, Studio H published the 100+ Flavours Report, a comprehensive report on South Africa’s diverse culinary landscape.

Happy Birthday Pop-Up

The mastermind behind the Pop-Up is Studio H partner and chef, consultant, caterer, and kitchen designer Jenny Ward, who has more than 12 years (15 to be exact) of dynamic experience in the food space. Highlights include running two Eat Out Top 10 restaurants, being the head chef for two years at Outstanding in the Field (and the first to oversee this global long table event on the African continent) and designing and running the Makers Landing commercial kitchen and incubator programme.

Also partnering with Studio H is designer and cake maker extraordinaire Nikki Symons of Sweet LionHeart, who is art directing and styling the event. The general aesthetic will be steeped in nostalgia and local culture, both cornerstones of the Studio H approach.

“We work to build a bridge between the real world – which is often quite a serious problematic place – and the fantasy world, where our minds are more open and can calmly entertain important issues like sustainability and food scarcity,” explains Visser. “Nostalgia is one tool for comfortably stepping into this new world, and the emotional response it evokes is activated by our five senses, which is why it’s an important trigger for us when we are designing events. We also operate by embracing the so-called imperfections of living in the South versus the North… we live in Cape Town, not Paris, so you can always expect freshness, colour, simplicity and excitement from any Studio H production.”

For more information about the event, contact JC Landman at jc@studio-h.co.za. To purchase tickets to the event on 18 April, visit https://qkt.io/StudioHPopup

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