This year, the luxury German home appliances brand Gaggenau turns 333 years old. The brand has centuries of heritage to draw on, and throughout its existence has prized slow and considered design and development. The brand’s contemporary products are the result of decades of hard earned experience and expertise, built upon a design ethos that values experimentation and innovation. Gaggenau’s present day identity is inseparable from its history – Gaggenau is its 333-year past.
A case in point is the brand’s new EB 333 oven, an upgrade of Gaggenau’s classic EB 300 from 1986. Rather than overhaul the existing design, the EB 333 sensitively twists the material choices, aesthetic and functionality of the original, introducing new elements while retaining the character of the old. It is a product of refinement rather than revolution.
This way in which Gaggenau has shaped itself over time served as the inspiration for Food and Time, a conceptual food project devised by the food designer Francesca Sarti to celebrate and reflect Gaggenau’s 333-year anniversary. To mark the occasion, Disegno asked Sarti and her studio Arabeschi di Latte to reflect on the way in which food culture is shaped by time.
Sarti devised a series of recipes in which the passage of time is a fundamental element of the dish. Arabeschi di Latte selected five key processes – melting, slow cooking, maturation, fermenting and ripening – in which time alters and improves the taste, look and quality of the raw ingredients that go into creating the finished dish. Central to all five recipes is the idea of process – Sarti's final creations are essential to the project, but so too are the various stages that they have gone through in order to reach completion.
In this way, Food and Time transports Gaggenau’s design ethos onto food – the development of any new product or recipe ought to be the result of careful deliberation. A new design should move things forward, but in a way that is sensitive to process and which still pays homage to the past.
Central to Gaggenau and the food that we eat is the notion of origins and their importance for shaping what comes next. Baacke captures the point well: “You can’t create something timeless, because everything is created in time. But you can create something with longevity.”