Food & Art: A Feast for the Eyes

From as early as the Stone Age, Ancient Egypt or the Renaissance, food has always played a key role in art. But what about art playing a role in food? At Rocket, our team is constantly inspired by venues, artists, and exhibitions to create delicious masterpieces that perfectly accompany their backdrop.

Each client comes with a different vision but when it comes to exhibitions, our creatives and kitchen team build menus and inspiring food presentations that reflect the art around them. There is a great amount of planning ahead of each event and nothing is left out to bring about an unforgettable display.

David Hockney Preview Party at Tate Britain

We have been throwing parties at Tate Britain for over a decade now and have hosted many memorable events that bring out an artistic flare, including one of our own private views of a comprehensive David Hockney exhibition.

The styling for the canapé trays were inspired by David Hockney’s most famous works that resulted in creating stunning, bold and bright trays. Having spent his life on both sides of the Atlantic where he resides in both London and California, David Hockney’s multi-cultural background had inspired us to encompass a blend of both British and American cuisines.

The New Black Vanguard at Saatchi Gallery

The merging of art and food is not a new concept, but the ability to create a food experience that so effectively complements the artwork on display is something that Rocket has been perfecting over the years.

The private exhibition preview of “The New Black Vanguard” at Saatchi Gallery was one of Rocket’s most memorable events in 2022. The artworks were displayed in a visually stunning environment, with expertly created food stations adding another layer of depth to the exhibition. Rocket’s culinary expertise and attention to detail made this event an exceptional example of how food and art can be combined to create an immersive and unforgettable experience.

Rachel Warren, our Head of Creative, describes the exhibition as presenting artists whose vibrant portraits and conceptual images fuse the genres of art and fashion photography in ways that breakdown long-established boundaries, opening up conversations around the representation of the Black body and Black lives as subject matter. She explains that she wanted to encourage those conversations amongst guests by creating different food stations located amid the exhibition’s artwork, which was hung on electric blue and pink walls, creating an eye-catching and immersive environment.

One of the highlights was the hanging Smoked Salmon Stall, where freshly carved smoked salmon was served alongside bowl food. “The shock of the bright pink wall was the inspiration for the curing processes for the hanging smoked salmons, creating a spectrum of pinks and orange.  The clashing hues were hung as a trio on a bespoke stainless steel stand and were particularly impactful in the gallery. Simple props and slabs of marble create the look of a light touch allowing the food to sing!” says  Rachel.

"It's always a joy to see the artwork peeking behind the installation and for the food stall to complement its environment." - Rachel Warren, Head of Creative at Rocket

Another popular stall was the charcuterie station, which had an expert jamon carver slicing the meat. A vegetable-forward food station also showcased the most seasonal produce, featuring Middle Eastern dips, vegetable crudités, and salads that tantalized guests’ taste buds.

In another room, long tables, styled by florist Simon Lycett, were set up against bold, bright red and yellow walls, with a fresh vegetable décor that matched the colours. Throughout the evening, the guests were treated to an exceptional culinary experience that was intertwined with the exhibition, creating a unique and memorable event.

Read the case study here.


Impressionists in London at Tate Britain

Our creative team were in their element planning this series of events for the title sponsors of the much anticipated ‘Impressionists in London’ exhibition at the Tate Britain. For the opening night event, Gallery 9 was transformed into a central London park complete with Autumnal trees, park benches and a spectacular bandstand. As guests arrived, the waiting staff, dressed as characters from the era, circulated with canapés and seasonal cocktails.

Our chefs designed a bespoke menu for the event recreating classic French dishes into contemporary British versions including lobster bon bon and bisque purée (bouillabaisse), scallop croquette with roe powder (Coquille St Jacques) and bouché of slow cooked beef with pickled shallots (boeuf bourguignon).

Later in the evening, our pastry chef created a work of art of her own Paris-Brest, which was served alongside gem-like pastries from the bandstand and autumnal ice creams from the Perambulator.

Summer Exhibition Preview Parties at the Royal Academy

The Summer Exhibition Preview Party at the Royal Academy is on everybody’s mind at Rocket each year. Regarded as “the event to kick off the society summer calendar” (Grazia Magazine), the Summer Exhibition Preview Party is the Royal Academy’s most glamorous and high-profile fundraising event.

As an example, Rocket’s inspiration for the SEPP represented below was very much in line with the exhibition’s key theme of “Art Made Now”, which celebrated the colours of the summer. That year, English Contemporary Artist Grayson Perry said they were turquoise, sky blue and day-glo yellow. The three colourful food stations showcased a feast of seafood, Vietnamese summer rolls, zingy Mexican tacos and smoked roast chicken amongst others. The party menu featured “here and now” food such as lobster and shrimp rolls, signature Rocket burgers and a decadent truffle mac ‘n’ cheese deluxe.

We love surprises at Rocket. The big reveal for this event was a 10-foot tall ferris wheel that highlighted trays with the most delicious and colourful eclairs, a tribute to Grayson’s female alter-ego: Claire.

Read the case study here.

Summer Exhibition Preview Party 2023

This year, we are proud to announce that we will once again be catering for the Summer Exhibition Preview Party. The 2023 theme ‘Only Connect’ emphasises the importance of connection and mutual understanding post-pandemic, which has inspired our team to draw the parallel between the chef and the artist where special relationships exist.

Louisa Moule, Rocket’s Acting Head of Events, explains this special relationship: “For the cook who connects with ingredients to create classic combinations of flavours and for the artist, who connects with colour, where a special kind of alchemy occurs, and the union of the whole is far greater than the sum of its individual parts. Just like the mixing of primary colours on an artist’s palette, there are some classic combinations of ingredients that are just meant to go together. Our menu for the Summer Exhibition Preview Party celebrates the connection that exists between classic produce”.


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