When does one ever imagine a dinner completely concocted in black and white? Food is supposed to be colourful to the eye and the palette, so they say. In a carefully concocted setting in INKED’s space in Alserkal Avenue, an evening entirely in tones of black and white ensued. From Tinkah’s sleek tableware to a variety of succulent dishes void of colour, Grey Area challenged the way we perceived form.
A view of the setup at the dinner at INKED Dubai
“It was a mutual challenge for Tinkah and INKED to create an experience in which design meets food,” said founder of INKED Kenza Jarjour. “It wasn’t just about the visual appearance of the food, but also about the flavors and the ways in which guests would interact with each dish. We worked together on every step of the journey, to cohesively merge the design aspect and the food aspect, experimenting with ways in which to differentiate foods from each other with the elements of contrasts and layers, without the depth of colours.”
Grey is often known as the “colour without colour” – presenting values that can shift between light and dark. In Grey Area, guests discovered form without the awareness of colour contrast. Each evening 40 diners sat down in an intimate setting flanked by white folding screens, while servers dressed in simple grey robes began the silent procession of presenting each of the six courses to guests.
First two of the six courses at the dinner in customised tableware by Tinkah
“We leveraged the intensity of shades - in the menu, tableware, lighting and ambiance - to gradually move across a gradient of white to black throughout the evening, with the outcome in mind of a truly achromatic dining experience,” added Jarjour.
Each customised tableware item was specially designed by Tinkah in collaboration with C37 Material Design Studio, a Mexican design firm specialised in research and development of alternative materials connecting industrial design with science and engineering fields. The pieces were made according to a spectrum tonal palette, so that each course witnessed the gradient increase towards the black tone with each consecutive course.
Customised tableware by Tinkah
Moreover, the shapes of the tableware struck a balance between aesthetically pleasing organic forms and those that fulfilled a clear function. The Tinkah tableware reflected six descriptive terms: flat, transparent, layered, transition, merged and infinite, with each piece defining grey in its own way. They were made in materials of Magma 04, ceramic, Parian and glass.
Like a film noir, this enigmatic “grey dinner” allowed guests to temporarily exist in a world without colour. The mysterious yet elegant setting whisked diners into an otherworldly existence, one heightened by the lack of colour where sights, tastes and sounds became more and more intense so that each guest also became part of the intoxicating and creative ordeal – all were shades of grey.
Last two of the six courses at the dinner in customised tableware by Tinkah