Final Project

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Eat Design: An Edible Design Tasting Experience
Team 4: Heidi Woelfle & Laura Haines

In teams of two, come up with creative experiential tapas for 50+ guests. The guests will need to be able to eat the food standing up or walk away with it.

ideas list.jpg We started brainstorming a list of possible ideas in class. The two ideas that we liked the best were the savory whipped creams with toppings and the bacon sushi idea. We storyboarded both of these ideas during class. Our initial idea for the bacon sushi was to prep the sushi ingredients ahead of time, and then roll the sushi in front of the guests to create an experience.

bacon storyboard 1.jpgbacon storyboard.jpg
whipped cream storyboard.jpg The initial idea for the savory whipped creams was to have a fro yo type set up, where the whipped creams would be different savory flavors, and toppings would include bacon bits and other things. Guests would pick their own flavors and toppings similar to self serve frozen yogurt. We received feedback on both ideas during an in-class critique. The comments on both ideas were good, but after hearing how many others in the class had ideas for savory "desserts", we decided to go with the idea for a bacon sushi.
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turkey bacon.jpgOur first version of the bacon sushi substituted the seaweed with bacon, the rice with orzo, and the fish with egg. We purchased cheap turkey bacon for experimentation purposes, because we anticipated many trials in attempting to roll the bacon into a sushi shape. We cooked the orzo, made an egg omelet, and cooked the bacon. When all ingredients were done, we put the orzo and egg pieces onto the bacon and rolled it. The bacon wouldn't hold naturally, so a toothpick was required. The orzo fell out of the roll pretty easily, and it didn't look much like sushi anyway. The orzo also didn't make much sense with the bacon and eggs, and so we decided to go a different route with our sushi idea. Rather than calling it bacon sushi, we decided to try and do a breakfast sushi.
First sushi.jpg

Since neither of us were big sushi eaters, we decided to do more research before doing any more experimentation. When researching different types of sushi we found one called Tamagoyaki, which included egg. Since the sushi had egg in it already, we felt it wouldn't be too difficult to substitute the rest of the components. We did some sketching and came up with the next idea that we wanted to try.

egg and hashbrowns together.jpgomelet and hashbrowns cooking.jpgWe went forward and tried out our idea with egg, bacon, and hashbrowns. We made the hashbrowns fresh, hoping that we could get them to stick together. We made a two-egg omelet for the egg portion of the sushi, and then attempted to mold the hashbrowns into a compact shape and pair it with a piece of the omelet. We then wrapped it with raw bacon and fried the entire piece together. Frying the sushi while the bacon was raw allowed the bacon to stick to itself and the sushi to keep its shape. However, the hashbrowns didn't look very appetizing and did not hold their shape.
egg, hashbrowns, raw bacon.jpgHeidi cooking.jpgFinal with hashbrowns.jpg
We wanted to continue working on this idea, but to try it a couple of other different ways. We wanted to try the same idea with frozen hashbrowns instead of fresh, and also to try Steven Brown's suggestion of using tator tots instead of hashbrowns. We tried both at the same time and found that even the frozen hashbrowns wouldn't keep their shape. The tator tots, however, kept their shape wonderfully, and the taste of the final product was excellent.
tator tots and hashbrowns.jpgraw bacon tator tot.jpgtator tots hashbrowns sushi cooking.jpg

Eat Design
Very few photos were taken during the Eat Design event because of how busy we both were doing prep. We prepped a large amount of our breakfast sushi ahead of time, and then cooked more as the event went on to ensure that each guest was getting them fresh.
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To give the guests a sushi experience, we set up the table with rectangular sushi plates and a sushi mat. We had chopsticks for guests to use to eat the breakfast sushi. For dipping, we had maple syrup and sriracha available as well as mini dipping cups.

Table set up.jpg

The experience turned out great. All of the guests seemed to really enjoy the food, and many enjoyed mixing the syrup and sriracha together. They also enjoyed using the chopsticks. Many of the guests also thanked us for providing napkins at our table. Overall, the event was a succeess!

Product Design Assignment

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Problem Definition
The objective of this assignment was to design a wooden vessel or utensil to be used in
some manner for thanksgiving dinner. We were given two weeks to complete the assignment and were not allowed to design sets of dishes.

We started brainstorming for this project in class in groups of 4 or 5. The task was to sketch ideas on post it notes and to come up with as many ideas as possible in 15 minutes. We were encouraged to come up with ideas off of other people's ideas, and to not limit ourselves in our brainstorming. The majority of ideas I came up with were pretty silly, and I didn't end up using any of them for my final product.
I then began to do some brainstorming on my own. I tried to think of the problems encountered most often at my family's thanksgiving dinners, and tried to think of solutions to those problems. This was a little bit hard for me because I have worked the last three thanksgivings and haven't been to thanksgiving dinner in about 4 years. I was able to come up with a few issues from memory, and felt the issue most important to address was the difficulty of passing dishes around the table. My family always has all of the food laid out on the table during dinner, and some of the dishes are difficult to pass across the table. I remember the mashed potatoes dish always being quite heavy, and the butter dish being slippery and hard to hold. I felt it would be easiest to come up with a solution for the butter dish rather than for the mashed potato dish.

After deciding to design a butter dish, I sketched some ideas until I came up with the idea I would eventually construct. I wanted to focus on making the butter dish easier to hold and pass across the table while still making sure that the dish can function as a butter dish. I initially thought that putting handles on the dish would be a good idea, but decided that adding handles would make the dish too clumsy and give it too much surface area for a simple butter dish. Without handles, the dish would need some type of edge that would be easy to grip, and so I decided to use that design, keeping in mind that the dish would also be thick so that it would be easy to hold. I decided to make rounded corners to eliminate the possibility of having potentially sharp corners.

butter-dish (1).jpgButterDish.jpgbutter-dish.jpg I did some research on other types of butter dishes that are already out there and looked at their dimensions to get an idea of what the sizing would be for my product. Some butter dishes were a little bit fancy, but the majority were very simple in design. All of the dishes were higher at the edges than in the center and weren't much larger than a stick of butter. Common dimensions were 8" by 4.25".

I started the construction process of my dish by creating a template of the dish in Adobe Illustrator. I used the dimensions of 8" by 4.25" to create a rounded rectangle. I made another rectangle 1/4" inside to show where the lip of the dish would be. I did not make a template for the height, because I wanted the height to be similar to the height of the wood I purchased, and so I planned on controlling that when sanding. I printed out the template and taped it to the wood, then cut the rough shape out with the bandsaw.
IMG_8863.JPGIMG_8865.JPGIMG_8867.JPG When I took the template off to do machine sanding, I noticed that I had made an error with the bandsaw. This would take a lot of sanding to correct, but I was able to cover it up. The shape of my dish, however, ended up being slightly uneven due to this. The corner where the mistake happened was sanded much more than the rest, and I didn't want to sand the rest down anymore for fear of losing the shape of the dish. I believed the mistake to be small enough to continue working on the dish. After machine sanding I had to do quite a bit of hand sanding on the edges of the dish to try to smooth out the corners and edges.

After sanding on the outside was finished, I used a hand router to create the lip on the dish. What this was really doing was taking wood out of the middle of the wood, so that there was a lip on the edge of the dish. I needed help from one of the woodshop guys to set up the hand router, as I was unfamiliar with how to use one. After learning how to use it, I started to use one on my dish. It turns out that the bit on the hand router was not the right kind for the type of wood I was using, so this created a jagged edge and burned the wood in several places. Me and the guys in the woodshop were able to catch the problem and change the bit, but not before it had caused some damage to my project.
IMG_8873.JPG oil finish.JPGI used a chisel on the inside edge to even it out and make it rounder. I then hand sanded the entire dish to try to even out all of the imperfections, and was able to do so to a limited extent. I was not able to completely fix the unevenness of the edge of the dish, but was able to make it much better than it originally was. Sanding the surface of the dish eliminated many of the burn marks caused by the router, and created an all over smoother surface. I chose to finish the dish with mineral oil because it was a relatively inexpensive finish that would also be safe for food. I applied the mineral oil to the dish in two steps. I first applied it and let it dry for 2 hours. I then applied a second coat and allowed that to dry for 24 hours.

Final Product
Final Product.JPG

Plating Assignment

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Problem Definition

The objective of this assignment was to design a plating for a given cake base. We were given a recipe for a Honey Spice cake to work with. We were allowed to alter the shape of the cake but not change the form of the cake into another material. The cake had to be the main component of the dish, though other ingredients should also be present. We were to provide our own ingredients and own plate of our choosing.

In addition to the general criteria that was given to us, I developed some more design criteria of my own to help guide me in my ideation. They were as follows:
- There should be strong contrast in the plating
- There should be some type of balance in the plating
- There should be movement on the plate
- There should be a specific color scheme


img003.jpgI started my ideation by brainstorming possible toppings and ingredients that would go well with the honey spice cake. Of the ideas I came up with I first eliminated the ones that were too typical, such as frosting and icing. I tried to think of which ingredients could be placed into certain color schemes. It seemed that a lot of my ingredients seemed to be monochromatic, in either the yellow family or red family. I also had several achromatic colors (white), and didn't really have any colors that were complementery. Because I couldn't use a complementery color scheme, I would have to create contrast on the plate some other way. I continued brainstorming, this time thinking of ways I could apply my design criteria to my plating. I tried sketching an idea but found it difficult to come up with anything without actually having my ingredients or food in my hands. design criteria.jpg sketch 1.jpg


I chose to work with several of the ingredients I had come up with. I wanted all of the ingredients to be in a monochromatic color scheme, should I end up using all of them. I decided to make a creme anglaise, a white chocolate sauce, a sugar glaze, and powdered sugar. I also purchased cherries to that I could create some contrast with them. I had never cooked with any of these before, and so I had to do some research on how to make them.

I found the recipe for my creme anglaise from food and wine.creme recipe.JPG

I found the recipe for my chocolate sauce at
epicurious. chocolate recipe.JPG

I found the recipe for the sugar glaze on
glaze recipe.JPG

I purchased a black rectangular plate to contrast with my light colored ingredients.

IMG_8766.JPGIMG_8768.JPGIMG_8772.JPG I prepared my sauces and glaze and decided to start experimenting with the cake and the ingredients. As a clothing designer, I'm used to working hands on with materials, and so this type of experimentation would benefit me in coming up with my final idea. After each idea, I would evaluate it to see if it fit with my design criteria. I worked on a smaller scale to preserve the cake as well as the ingredients.
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None of my ideas were achieving as much movement on the plate as I wanted. They were also lacking in contrast. However, one of my ideas inspired me to go back to the ideation stage. I liked the way that dots created movement on the plate, and thought of a way that I could use dots to achieve movement while also creating a fun, creative plating.

Ideation (2)
img004.jpgIf I could find a way to incorporate a pac man theme into my plating, I could achieve movement and contrast while also representing my own design style. I felt that this idea would be much more true to my own design style because it was much more fun and silly than the rest. I would continue experimentation with the same ingredients, but try plating with this concept.

Experimentation (2)
in class.JPGI started experimenting with my pac man idea during class in the open lab. I was without my ingredients, and so I had to improvise and used cake as a placeholder for the other ingredients. The idea I come up with ultimately too literal, and wouldn't be respected as a nice plating. I discussed with several people how to take my idea further and make it recognizable, but less literal. After getting feedback from my peers and instructors, I continued experimenting at home.

IMG_8770.JPGIMG_8769.JPG I used a cookie cutter to cut the cake into a perfect circle which I would later cut a wedge out of. I coated the cake in powdered sugar so that it would stand out against the plate.
I was happy with this plating for the most part. I liked the arrangement on the plate but disliked the sloppiness of the powdered sugar. I would continue working with this idea.

I turned to my peers for feedback once again, and received advice from one on a potential solution to my problem with the powdered sugar. My friend suggested that I try draping Marzipan over the cake. He told me that the flavor should work nicely with the rest of the ingredients and was relatively easy to work with. Again working on a smaller scale, I used a rolling pin to create a very thin layer of marzipan. I then draped it over a small, circular piece of cake and attempted to fold it without tearing it. This took several tries. The marzipan did indeed go well with the rest of my flavors and looked much neater than the powdered sugar while having a similar contrast. I decided to incorporate the marzipan into my final plating. IMG_8776(2).JPGIMG_8777.JPG

The Final Plating
The final plate created during class followed all of the general criteria given to us as well as the additional criteria I developed on my own. The pac man concept was obvious without being extremely literal, and the plate looked nice enough to be served in a restaurant. The ingredients on the final plate included the honey spice cake, marzipan, creme anglaise, white chocolate, and cherries.


Flavor and Texture Pairing assignment

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The objective of this assignment was to create a single, bite-sized hors d'œuvre. The dish was required to feature one fruit or vegetable that is currently in season. When creating the dish we had to find an interesting and novel flavor combination and transform at least one ingredient into a different texture.

41Vt9BpmU1L._SY300_.jpgI started my process by coming up with several flavor combination possibilities to try out. Using The Flavor Bible as a reference, I did many flavor bouncing activities around the fruits or vegetables I thought I might want to use. I used The Flavor Bible to select one ingredient that would go with the fruit or vegetable I started with. I would then look for another ingredient that went well with both of the other ingredients. I tried to choose ingredients that went together but that I had never had together. I continued this process until my map had 4-5 different ingredients/flavors.

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I initially chose to work with butternut squash because I felt that I had come up with some unique flavor combinations to work with around it. The ingredients I included with the squash were yogurt, mint, parsley, and IMG_8595.JPG IMG_8592.JPG garlic. I was unsure of how I wanted to manipulate the texture of the ingredients and how I would want to present them, and so I decided to experiment with making different gelatins and plating things differently. I started by cutting the squash IMG_8597.JPGinto large chunks. I diced some of the squash and then shredded the rest. I boiled the shredded and diced squash to make a sort of stock that I would use for a gelatin. Most of the shredded squash dissolved in the water, but the diced squash remained as is. It had become softer due to boiling and I was planning on including it in the gelatin as well. I prepared several different types of gelatins so that I could experiment with pairing the flavor together. I made three gelatins with plain yogurt and mint, three gelatins with orange juice and the squash stock, four gelatins of just the squash stock, two gelatins with plain yogurt and the squash stock, two gelatins with the squash stock and chopped garlic, and three gelatins with plain yogurt and chopped garlic. I had to make myself a chart to remember all of my different gelatins.

I let the gelatins set for 30 minutes and then experimented with putting them on the spoons with the remaining ingredients. All of the spoons I created included squash, garlic, yogurt, mint, and parsley. I already knew that I had modified the textures and picked a unique flavor combination, but these ideas would only be valuable if they tasted good.

I didn't like the flavors in any of these. I found that no matter what amount of garlic I used, it overpowered the rest of the ingredients. I also didn't feel that the flavor combinations were creative enough. They were unique, but they were all ingredients that I have cooked with before, and so it was hard to get really out of the box with them. For this reason, I decided to try working with a different ingredient combination.

IMG_8585.JPG Prior to this assignment I had never eaten or cooked a pear before. Because of this I figured it would allow me to be more creative. I had no preconceived notions of how a pear is supposed to be prepared. I started going off one of my ingredient combinations involving coffee, hazelnuts, honey, orange, and pears. I started by making the coffee regularly (with water) and then tried to form it into a gelatin. While the coffee gelatin was setting, I tried to fry the pears in some butter and honey to soften them up a little bit (They weren't quite ripe). After about 45 minutes I figured my coffee gelatin should have set, IMG_8586.JPGso I took it out of the fridge and began to prepare my spoon. The coffee gelatin didn't set all the way, and so it ended up with more of an applesauce consistency. I put the pears on the spoon, IMG_8588.JPG then the coffee gelatin, added a little bit more honey and sprinkled chopped hazelnuts, and then squeezed some orange juice on top. This spoon ended up being way too sweet, and so I tried a second with shavings of the orange peel instead. The second spoon definitely had an interesting taste, but I wasn't happy that the coffee gelatin didn't turn out. Rather than trying the gelatin again, I decided to work with a different flavor combination involving pears.

IMG_8589.JPGIMG_8590.JPGThe next ingredient combination I tried included pears, chocolate, ricotta, honey, and ginger. I melted the chocolate and diced the pears. From this, I made a chocolate gelatin with the diced pears inside. I spread the ricotta on top and added honey, then shaved the ginger on top. This ingredient combination tasted great! But the texture was off. I decided to add hazelnuts so that there would be a crunchy texture present. But the diced pears in the gelatin was also off. I wanted to change the texture of the pears in some way so that I could have a combination of textures.

IMG_8600.JPGIMG_8609.JPGI made a chocolate panna cotta by this time melting the chocolate in boiling milk and water. I then added gelatin and put it in the fridge to set. I tried to change the pear into a puree (Without a blender) by boiling the pears to make them softer. I boiled the pears for 1 hour hoping that they would soften up enough to mash them, but after an hour they were still very firm. While I was doing this, I shredded the rest of the pear and molded the shreds into a shape and froze it. IMG_8610.JPG I prepared the next spoon with the chocolate panna cotta on bottom, then the ricotta, honey, ginger, and the pear and hazelnuts on top. These textures went much better together, but the frozen pear shape was cold! Anyone with sensitive teeth would not be able to eat this. I shredded another pear and put the shreds in the freezer as is for IMG_8608.JPG about 45 minutes. When I took them out they were like a crunchy topping that was a perfect compliment to the rest of the textures. I was still having one problem with my spoon though. The hazelnuts were falling off of the spoon frequently, and it was very important for them to stay on for texture. The final adjustment I made to my dish was to add the hazelnuts directly to the panna cotta. This gave the panna cotta a nicer texture and kept the hazelnuts on the spoon!

The Final Dish
IMG_8628.JPG The final preparation for my dish involved several steps.
1. I prepared the panna cotta by melting chocolate chips in 1 cup of boiling water and 2/3 cup milk. I added the chocolate chips to taste. I then added 1 packet of knox gelatin to the mixture and poured it into a small muffin tray. I sprinkled the hazelnuts on top and put it in the fridge for 45 minutes to set.
2. I shredded the pear and covered it in a bowl and put them in the freezer for 45 minutes.
3. I put the panna cotta on the spoon first, then spread ricotta over the top, added a dab of honey on top of the ricotta, added a slice of ginger, some shreds of the pear, and a chocolate chip on top.

Dish Innovation Challenge

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For this assignment we were challenged to innovate a dish with either rice or orzo. I chose to work with orzo. I started the assignment by brainstorming other ingredients I could use with the orzo. I did several flavor bouncing activities and used The Flavor Bible as a reference.
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The third flavor bouncing activity I did ended up being the most useful in my ingredient selection. I chose to work with truffle oil so that my dish would have a very strong flavor. I didn't go in the direction of innovating flavor with orzo, and so I chose to innovate in the the presentation of the dish. I chose to work with Modify and Rearrange from the SCAMPER model to come up with a creative way to present my dish.

My initial idea was to incorporate the orzo and other ingredients into a dish they wouldn't traditionally be found in. I researched dishes from my Ukranian heritage and chose to make cabbage rolls. Though my family has made them, I've never eaten cabbage rolls because I don't like most of the ingredients for the filling.

IMG_8536 (1).JPG I mixed the cooked orzo with truffle oil, chives, tarragon, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. I then boiled savoy cabbage leaves for about three minutes to soften them enough for wrapping. I then put the filling into the cabbage leaves and folded them up into a wrap. This dish had quite a few problems, the biggest being the taste and the texture. The orzo filling of the wraps tasted wonderful, but did not go well with the bitter taste of the cabbage. The textures were too similar, resulting in an unpleasant eating experience. While this idea was certainly new and feasible, it was not very valuable.

I decided to move away from the idea of using the mixture as a filling and instead try try to mold the orzo into something other than pasta. My next idea was to try and cook the orzo into a pancake. I boiled the orzo, mixed it with the chives and tarragon and then compressed the mixture into a pancake shape and froze it, hoping that it would stick together. IMG_8539.JPG IMG_8548.JPG When I removed the mixture from the freezer (after about 30 minutes) I found that the compression and freezing did help the mixture stick together. However, frying the pancake in butter caused it to fall apart. This idea was new and valuable, but not feasible.

Because I really liked the unique preparation in this idea, I decided to stick with it and work to make it feasible. To cook the orzo like a pancake, I realized I might have to make a batter similar to that of a pancake. I used the orzo as the grain component in the batter and added egg and flour to get the orzo to stick together. It took me a few trials to get the right ratio of egg to flour, but eventually it stuck! I used my hands to mold the batter into a pancake shape, then fried it in olive oil (Rather than butter). The pancake stuck together this time throughout frying, but it still took me several tries to get a pancake with the perfect shape and right amount of crispiness.

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As is the case with every design process, this one was not finished when I thought it would be. I plated my orzo pancake, dribbled truffle oil on top and sprinkled parmesan cheese on it. It looked perfect, but when I tasted it I discovered that it was bland in the middle. To fix this, I had to add seasoning to the batter before it was even fried to ensure that it would be flavorful throughout the cake. Adding garlic powder and parmesan to the batter fixed the problem, and I ended up with a dish that was novel, valuable, feasible, and tasty!

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Final Recipe for Orzo Pancakes

By Heidi Woelfle

1 Cup cooked orzo
1 egg
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped chives
1 Teaspoon tarragon
2 Tablespoons salt
Pepper (To Taste)
Garlic Powder (To Taste)
Grated Parmesan Cheese (To Taste, about 1/2 cup)
Truffle Oil (To Taste)
Olive Oil

Boil the orzo with 1 tablespoon of salt for 7 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the orzo, egg, flour, chives, tarragon, and remaining tablespoon of salt. Add as much garlic powder and Parmesan cheese as desired. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.

Coat a skillet with olive oil and and heat on medium heat. Spoon the orzo mixture onto a plate and form into a pancake with hands. Fry the orzo for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove the pancake from the pan and dribble truffle oil on the pancake (Only a little is needed!). Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and serve.

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