I’m in Monterrey, Mexico, on my way to meet Diego Bolson Ruzzarin, a Brazilian food designer who has just launched a new food concept, ‘Out of Home Made’, together with two partners. Over the phone, he told me that he has teamed up with a psychoanalyst and a financial strategist to found Foodlosofia, a food design centre dedicated to understanding the future of food through design, marketing, strategy and psychoanalysis. I can’t say I immediately understood how that might work, but it sounds like a pretty interesting combination, so I’m curious to see what this trio has come up with.
As we sit down on a terrace in Calzada del Valle with two fresh juices, Diego points to a small stall across the street where people are queuing to order Tostadas, baked tortillas topped with seafood. Others are sitting at low tables and benches arranged on the sidewalk enjoying their meal in the autumn sunshine.
“You see that?” he asks. “That’s exactly what we’re talking about.”
“What do you mean?” I ask, a bit confused.
“This is the perfect illustration of our concept ‘Out of Home Made’: good food, freshly made, right from the streets. Much better than that frozen stuff you eat at home.”
Still confused, I say: “I don’t eat frozen stuff at home. And anyway, what happened to good home cooking?”
Diego smiles. “I’m not saying you eat frozen meals, but many people do. The world is changing as are eating patterns, yet we are still stuck in a series of mythical beliefs about the home and the kitchen.”
“For example that the food your mum cooks is better, that eating at home is healthier and cheaper than going out for a meal, and, perhaps most importantly, the idea that anyone can cook.”
“Whereas in fact?” I ask. “What’s the real situation?”
“The reality here in Latin America is very different,” says Diego. “There are many single-parent households, where the parent is struggling in several jobs to cover expenses. They don’t have time to cook and so they end up buying cheap, bad-quality deep-frozen food in supermarkets.”
“What’s more, most of them don’t know how to cook: in many households, especially lower- and middle-class ones, the cooking tradition has been lost because people left home early or did not care to learn. And now, the celebrity cooking shows that are on television are increasingly giving an air of glamour to cooking, alienating the everyday cook from the process.
“Ok, so you’re saying that the idea of ‘home made’ is an empty phrase, not much more than a memory from the past.”
“Exactly. Today consumers buy home made in the form of pre-packaged goods and in expensive restaurants, there’s nothing authentic about it. Obesity rates are rising, especially among children. Child obesity is the biggest red flag, meaning that good food teachings from home are no longer a trustable foundation.”
“And what does the ‘Out of Home Made’ concept propose to do about this?”
“We want to stimulate a new food culture, where the focus is shifted away from quantity and towards quality, and, more importantly where the idea of quality is not associated with luxury but with affordability. Around Latin America there are more and more small restaurants, where people can enjoy a freshly prepared meal with good-quality ingredients at affordable prices.
“We are currently working with a local company called ‘Capital Natural’ to create a new food experience based on community. This of course reflects perfectly the Out of Home Made trend for the future of public spaces. As a teaser, I can say that our vision is to transform and reshape the meaning of the idea of community through food.”
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