Avocado art is set to be the new latte art in London

Fri 06 2017  |  admin

If you thought we’d reached peak avocado, think again. Certainly, smashing it and serving it slathered on sourdough no longer feels revolutionary. However, restaurants haven’t given up on the fruit’s power to wow: now they are exploring its visual potential.

It makes pouring fancy patterned lattes look entry-level. One café is serving avocado whittled into stars and elaborate scenes on top of its toast, while others are “pixelating” their avocados or carving intricate floral designs into the flesh. “It takes a little fiddling around,” explains Ellen Gould, a waitress at Grill Market in Chelsea, where she serves avocado stars, hearts and other shapes with scrambled eggs. She was inspired by avocado art videos which she watched on YouTube and “vegan Instagrammers”.

Then she started “playing around at work”, where she found the tools to make a success of her new hobby. She says avocado carving requires impressive dexterity — and there’s a race against the clock before the flesh turns brown. “It’s all about getting the perfect avocado,” Gould explains. “You have to find the ones that work with you.”

Gould is a make-up artist by trade, and her go-to design is the avocado rose, a sophisticated swirling floral design. “Everyone seems to love it,” she says. “It gets a lot of our customers taking photos of their food.”

The hashtag #avocadoart on Instagram pulls up more than 2,000 results. One of the most popular designs is the pixelated avocado, created by Australian chef Kylie Millar, a former MasterChef contestant. In this form, the fruit’s insides are sliced into tiny squares to create a cubic effect. Others, such as Irish artist Jan Campbell, carve the stones and use them to create pendants. Then there’s the wild and imaginative — like the interior designer @saynotomagnolia, who created a tropical scene on top of a halved avocado, complete with a miniature palm tree, boat and holidaymakers.

Twenty-six-year-old Italian Daniele Barresi, whose elaborate floral patterns have been featured by Amsterdam restaurant The Avocado Show, is one of the most popular artists on Instagram, with more than 48,000 followers.

He started carving fruit at the age of seven, so he’s had almost two decades to finesse his craft, and says his intricate designs can take as little as an hour to create. “When I touch my knife, my mind gives up to the heart and it transmits directly, to the hands, giving different forms to the decorations,” says Barresi, who lives in Sydney. “It’s like magic.” Indeed.

However, avocado carving has a practical application, too. It’s also being used by supermarkets in a bid to go green. This week M&S announced it plans to tattoo the fruit’s labels and best before dates on to the skin with lasers, in a bid to reduce waste. The text is inscribed by shining an intense light on to the avocado’s skin, which discolours the top layer without damaging the fruit underneath. M&S’s Charlie Curtis calls the idea “very exciting” and a “brilliant way to cut packaging and energy use”.

Finally, it’s an excuse to play with your food — avo go yourself.

Via Evening Standard