VisualFood at Eataly Chicago
I did expect it. Everyone told me, “you’ll see, Americans will go crazy for VisualFood!” and I imagined as much. However, to actually see it happen was incredibly exciting.
I was a guest at Eataly, Chicago last week. I went to do a VisualFood demo and present our first book, which we had translated and printed in English. My tables were in the “Piazza” on the second floor. There wasn’t a single person who walked by that wasn’t interested in the creations displayed on the tables.
It was so much fun to see the surprised expressions of those who were seeing VF creations for the first time – that moment in which they realized they were looking at food and their faces lit up with a huge smile. “That’s adorable!” “Oh, I love it!” “What amazing ideas!” … and then they immediately took photos.
Lots of people asked me, “How did you come up with this?”, which I’m often asked in Italy as well. And many more bought the book. In just a few hours, we sold out the 30 copies that Eataly had purchased for the store! “Could you sign it for me?” With pleasure! So among the creations I wrote dedications and signed the books.
I had the pleasure of meeting people from Canada, Hawaii, and many other states in the US. I wanted to take a photo with the Hawaiian family because they were so sweet. Actually, I could say this about everyone I met. Americans are more open to people and new things. They are friendly and smiley and everyone I met was happy. A happiness that was contagious.
The VisualFood creations were transformed overseas to adapt to the local produce. More proof that VisualFood is international – we give you the ideas and you modify them with the local products, depending on your creativity and where you live. That’s how our vegan lamb got a purple head (using a purple potato, which you can also find in Italy). The orchids acquired a colorful orange pistil. The cattails took on the flavor of hot dogs and mustard. This might have been the idea that had the biggest impact. Americans love hot dogs so much that in the supermarkets (at least here in Chicago) there are entire refrigerator aisles full of different kinds of hot dogs. Not even in Germany did I see so many kinds of sausages!
I’d like to extend a special thank you to Emily and Margherita, the two Eataly representatives who believed in VisualFood even before meeting me or Albert (my associate who lives here in Chicago and who organized all of this). It really could not have gone better!