Together, Appetite and Cosentino have come together for a harmonious fusion of innovation in material design and culinary artistry. Cosentino, a global leader in producing cutting-edge architectural surfaces like Dekton, brings its expertise in creating sophisticated and sustainable materials to the table. In tandem, Ivan Brehm, an acclaimed chef known for his inventive culinary philosophy, elevates the dining experience to new heights with his imaginative and culturally inspired dishes.
They craft spaces and gastronomic creations that not only stimulate the senses but also celebrate the interplay between aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability, resulting in a unique and immersive culinary journey.
Popspoken: How did the collaboration between you and Cosentino come about? What inspired you to work together?
Ivan Brehm: The collaboration came about through the recognition of alignment. Our brands are very centred on design and innovation and Cosentino’s brands speak to the heart of those considerations. Our project for Appetite, required a level of finesse that would have made it impossible for us to work with anyone else, and the wonderful talents of our principal interior designer Akira Kita, could be put to their best use.
Popspoken: Can you elaborate on how the concept of “Crossroads Cooking” aligns with the innovative and creative spirit of Cosentino?
Ivan Brehm: “Crossroads Cooking” is, simply put, innovation as the result of research. We pride ourselves of having an unparalleled understanding of how people have developed their cultural traditions, and how linked these traditions are. At the heart of the matter lies humanity’s ability to transform and evolve problem solving into culture and tradition.
Our alignment with Cosentino as a brand stems from this understanding. I see a brand whose approach to functionality and durability (problem solving), is expressed in the most beautiful designs and solutions (culture). We create and understand our products in a very similar way.
Popspoken: Cosentino is known for its innovative materials in architecture and design. How did you incorporate these materials into the restaurant space to enhance the dining experience?
Ivan Brehm: Mostly as table tops, countertops and wall surfaces. The thin profile of some of their stones allowed Akira and the team the opportunity to clad entire walls without adding too big a load to the structure, and obtaining a durable finish that is easy to clean and maintain.
Popspoken: Both of your fields involve a deep appreciation for aesthetics. How did you balance the visual appeal of the space with the flavors and experiences you wanted to create through your new menu?
Ivan Brehm: We wanted the space to be as close to a beautiful home as we could. In my mind most food experiences that aim to not only entice guests, but also inspire and potentially excite them, come from providing them with a sense of comfort and security through design. Guests need to feel cared for and relaxed to be able to engage all their senses.
Popspoken: In what ways did the partnership with Cosentino influence the design and functionality of the new Nouri space? Were there any specific challenges you had to overcome?
Ivan Brehm: Material selection was slightly harder for Nouri, given the organic look of the space, with sandy walls, and polished concrete floors. Akira nailed the spirit of the brief and selected table tops in a dark gray tone, clad in metal, that brought a modern and understated look to the dining room, acting as balance to the earth and terracotta tones found everywhere.
Popspoken: The idea of storytelling being in the background of the dining experience is intriguing. How did you work with Cosentino to ensure that the physical elements of the space supported this concept and tell us more about your latest partnership with an art curator?
Ivan Brehm: We didn’t have to work hard. Cosentino’s portfolio provided us with materials that fit smoothly into our needs.
Art lead and curator Siu Li, is the newest addition to our team. Her years of experience in the field, and shared understanding of the core ideas governing everything Appetite, bring an unparalleled level of synergy in our place. Our latest show, Short Stories has attracted great attention and I look forward to the many good things this partnership will bring us.
Popspoken: Can you provide examples of how the use of space as an ingredient enhances the connection between diners, your culinary philosophy, and the “Crossroads Cooking” concept?
Ivan Brehm: When designing a restaurant or concept like Appetite, my main preoccupation is that the space behaves in agreement with the concept. Many fine dining establishments spend money in cookie cutter Pinterest style designs, that quickly become inane and dated but I believe that if spaces are conceived for their function, if they are considered symbolically, culturally, historically, the design decisions we make are akin to adding salt to soup, lemon zest to pasta and more.
When you imagine design, you are ultimately thinking of architecture, spaces to be populated by people. All of it is about the human experience, not the looks, but how the looks interact with the human. When you create from that standpoint, a dish or a living room, the spaces feel truly inhabitable.
Popspoken: How did you collaborate with Cosentino to create a balance between the modern and innovative materials they provide and the historical and cultural elements of your dishes?
Ivan Brehm: Akira and I set ourselves the task of exploring the range of materials available considering the their symbolic “weight” as well as their aesthetics. The work was already done, our job was to look at things at agreed to our intent.
We opted for a more regal marble look upstairs, and a more primitive flint/slatey look to our tables downstairs. Nouri was thought-out as an earth mound, a space where things emerge from, raw rock evokes that. Appetite, in turn, a space of erudition and culture, further promoted through the judicious use of polished marble.
Popspoken: Cosentino’s materials often emphasize durability and functionality. Did these considerations play a role in the redesign of the restaurant? If so, how did they influence your choices?
First and foremost, the spaces blend service and guest areas, durability and functionality were the cornerstone of our decisions.
Popspoken: What do you hope diners will take away from their experience at the new Nouri that reflects the essence of both your culinary approach and the collaboration with Cosentino?
Ivan Brehm: That beauty, deliciousness and many other human related values and experiences are shared across humanity and can serve as a great unifier.
Popspoken: Looking ahead, how do you envision your ongoing collaboration with Cosentino evolving and influencing the future of Nouri’s dining experience?
Ivan Brehm: Every new project is, in my mind, a new opportunity to work with friends and collaborators that share in spirit what we are about.
Crafted by Cosentino, a global leader in surface solutions, Dekton redefines the boundaries of what’s possible.