Meet Chloé Rutzerveld: she’s a food designer from Eindhoven and did a TEDx talk in Calgary about a month ago. She loves to combine food with aspects of science, technology and culture to create new ways to make our food more efficient, sustainable and healthy. In the following months, she’s approaching a whole new challenge: she is joining the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy for two months in Maine.
What do you what to learn in the coming months at the academy and why?
I have a background in design and not so much in gastronomy. So now I want to focus more on the gastronomy part and sensory experience. During the Matthew Kenney Culinary summer school I want to learn about local, organic produce, knife techniques, new techniques for food preparation and conservation, flavors, menu planning and plating.
What do you want to change in the world?
The thing I want to bring across as food designer is that we can use new technologies for food production in a good way if we use these technologies as a tool to enhance nature. We should look more closely to what our planet has to offer – and learn from nature. And combining this knowledge with technological knowledge to create new ways to improve our food system.
I want people to be more conscious about the way they live, the food they consume and what impact their choices have on our planet. So through my work I try to create this awareness and show possible future scenarios.
Do you think living in Eindhoven has had extra value to your career as a food entrepreneur?
So far, I’m not quite sure whether it was of extra value or not. But I definitely think that people got more aware of my work and activities after last years Dutch Design Week. So Eindhoven was definitely the starting place of my succes.
What do you think is your biggest achievement so far?
I recently gave a TEDx presentation for an audience of 1700 people in Calgary, Canada. So that was a pretty big achievement, and a giant fear to overcome.
But other than that, I am amazed of how much publicity the Edible Growth project receives in international publications, exhibitions, broadcasts etc.
From all the projects you have done until now, which one is your favorite?
I think that’ll be ‘The Other Dinner’. It was a project I did during my internship at the Waag society in Amsterdam during my second year at university. I organized a dinner about the past, present and future of our meat. To show the bizar way we go around meat and to introduce the idea of cultured meat hands-on. It was very successful and one of the most exiting and memorizable days in my life. It took so much preparation and I devoted three full time months to this event.
Together with 50 participants we cooked nose-to-tail style (to broaden their scope of eating meat), I challenged them to prepare and try eating animals they were not used to like mice and muskrat, and the last stage was the DIY in vitro meat workshop. In between there were presentations and demonstrations of artists, chefs, scientists, philosophers and hunters. You should definitely check out the video:
What is the biggest lesson you learned so far?
That you need to do whatever it is that makes you happy. Don’t go for the money or for what other people want you to do and don’t bother to much what other people do. Stay true to yourself and your passion and never give up – everyone struggles even though their Facebook doesn’t show that.
‘Stay true to yourself and your passion and never give up – everyone struggles even though their Facebook doesn’t show that.’
What will you be doing in a year?
The last year has been very intense with many ups and downs, amazing opportunities and incredible experiences. I honestly have no idea what life will bring this year. I do know that I will be very busy.
For now I’m focussing on the gastronomy and sensory experience part, I’m continuing the ‘Anders Eten’ workshop at the museum Boerhaave and I’m the organizer of the Next Nature Network Fellow program. But next year this time, I think I’ll be preparing for an experimental interactive pop-up restaurant for DDW 2016.
Finally, if you could give one advice to other entrepreneurs, what would that be?
I don’t think I’m the best person to talk to about being an entrepreneur… I actually don’t focus so much on the monetary aspects or the creation of a business at this point. I find it more important to find out what I want to do, what I like most, and putting much effort and time in meeting interesting people that could be of help sometime in the future. I’ve noticed that creating a network and gaining experience is far more important and valuable for me at this point than finding paid jobs that don’t really suite my vision.
Interview: Geert Bukkems (Eindhoven Startup Foundation Blog)