Laila Gohar, an artist, and food designer, turns cooking into abstract art and consuming food into a subtle immersive experience.
Designer Simon Rocha, jewelry house Tiffany & Co., the team of the Japanese brand Comme des Garçons and the management of the Parisian department stores Galeries Lafayette turn to her for picturesque culinary installations. Photos of cone-shaped fresh radish trees, sausage columns, and marshmallow fountains can be found on Instagram account @lailacooks.
She likens her experiments with culinary products to sculpture. For sculptural and gastronomic installations, she casts of hands and feet from butter, similar to those used in art schools.
In January 2020, as part of a joint project with the artist Sam Stewart, she created an object of almost industrial design. It was an armchair of real size from toasted loaves of bread.
In ordinary, non-quarantine life, Laila Gohar works in a studio in New York’s Chinatown, where she commutes by bike every morning. Here, together with a small group of assistants, she prepares new projects and tests ideas for those already in work. They work on each project from two to six months. During this time, Laila’s team has been collecting mood boards and practicing new gastronomic techniques. Trial and failure, the designer admits, is an integral part of her professional routine.
Laila Gohar, 32, was born in Cairo. When she was18, she moved to Paris, and from there to New York, where she eventually settled. Here she found an incredible spirit of individualism and the freedom to be who she wants and live the way she wants.
Laila learned to cook out of necessity – to feed herself in a new place. She’s going to write a book, but definitely not a cookbook. The artist promised herself to decide on the theme of the first literary work at the beginning of the spring lockdown. But she has not yet found an answer to the internal request.
But she knows how to tell stories using food and products. First of all, the artist is interested in the emotions and feelings that they cause, but not the taste qualities of culinary delights. Laila works with food as a performance artist – the artist is occupied with spatial and semantic constructions that can be created using cones paved with king prawns or small kohlrabi mosaics.