In a world of Instagram food brags, hashtag sandwiches and pink drinks it’s easy to think of food fashions as being a contemporary phenomenon. But just like fashion, techniques float in and out of style.

African Fashion International Fashion Week showcased last week in Cape Town, and the collections were electric  – much like the food scene in the Mother City.

Call it a slow simmer, if you will, but fashion’s fixation with food runs far deeper than an alliterative appeal. One of the most interesting aspects is how food and fashion influence and filter through society in similar ways.

Think of fashion’s recent predilection for using neoprene and scuba materials as related to the food industry’s obsession with nitrogen – it’s all about the latest in fashion and food technology, respectively.

A recent trip to one of Cape Town’s elite restaurants, La Colombe had me not only tasting the colours, but each plate was like viewing a different fashion range, each displaying magnificent technique and complete different tastes that leaves you longing for more.

Just like in fashion, we don’t have to wait too long for the next range, as menus are changed up seasonally.

Food, like fashion, is driven by trends, seasonality and the occasional gust of hype. Both tell a story, of a labour of love and connect the consumer to an artisan and tradition.

Through the decades of fashion, there are foods synonymous with looks. The more futuristic our fashion becomes, the more explorative chefs get in the kitchen. Living parallel and very similar lives, food and fashion have always influenced each other.

Trends of black ice-cream, intricately woven net over wedding cakes or mendhi patterned biscuits, it was all fashionable first and food second.

What Chef Proprietor Scot Kirton and Head Chef James Gaag have created on every plate is genius. You can visually taste your food before consuming it.

La Colombe’s menu is a sensory explosion. Course after course, each sense is stimulated, fortunately for food you get to taste the style and taste we did. Similar to that of African Fashion International Fashion Week – we had some fun matching fashion with food.

Expect the unexpected

The Tuna ‘La Colombe’ is their signature, legendary dish served in a can. All the elements work hand-in-hand to give you a most unexpected flavour profile. Much like any fashionable wear – all the elements work together to bring you one glorious garment.

Colour is important

Colours play an important role on any palette or palate, too much and it’s overwhelmingly busy. Too little colour and everything looks drabs and listless. Balance is everything.

There must be drama

What’s any dish or dress without some drama? This is played out exquisitely in the bread course at La Colombe, the interactive experience is not only captivating, but also enhances the taste of the elements on the plate. If you’re looking for dramatic food, you’ve come to the right place.

Touch and taste are connected

Textures are no different, whether you are touching or tasting, your senses need to be awoken from their slumber and mesmerised or what would the point be?

Source: Fashion and Food – same same but different | CapeTown ETC

Random sensory quotes

“Between the covers of the books that no one had ever read again, in the old parchments damaged by dampness, a livid flower had prospered, and in the air that had been the purest and brightest in the house an unbearable smell of rotten memories floated.”

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez