Jell-O Molds Come Back into Fashion in Gowanus

Friday, June 24, 2011

Shell Sabel's 'Aspic Ascension--Tastes Like Heaven' won the grand prize of the 2010 Jell-O Mold Competition. Shell Sabel's "Aspic Ascension--Tastes Like Heaven" won the grand prize of the 2010 Jell-O Mold Competition. (Emilie Baltz/Joe Perez)

Those who take playing with their food seriously can compete for the most impressive-looking and best-tasting gelatinous delight in the third annual Jell-O Mold Competition on Saturday from 6 to 10 P.M. at the Gowanus Studio Space in Brooklyn. Molds will be judged on their structural and sculptural ingenuity, as well as taste and their overall creativity.

This year, contestant Catarina Moto and three other electrical engineers will be entering a mold in the shape of a toy piano.

"The case of the piano and all the keys are made of Jell-O and you can actually play it as you eat," she said.

The winner or winning team will walk away with a $400 cash prize and loads of glory. Others will win a year membership to the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, a candy sculpture from Papabubble, a $50 gift certificate for Holstee, a slice of pie and coffee from Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie shop and a signed copy of The Secret Life of Food.

Entry to the contest is free. To see Jell-O sculptures from last year's competition — click on the slideshow below.

Nicole Stowe's
Emilie Baltz/flickr
Nicole Stowe's "Temporary Gulf Oysters" got the second most points for "Creativity" in the 2010 Jell-O Mold Contest. Her mold made the trip -- and held up -- from her home in Jackson, Mississippi!

"In light of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I thought it would be a good idea to construct a temporary alternative in case of Gulf oyster shortages, unavailability or high prices," said Stowe. "Hopefully, the real Gulf oysters will prove to be as resilient as my Jell-O oysters – making it through several states on planes, trains and automobiles." Mold: Silicone Plastique. Flavors: White miso flavored shells with beer-flavored oysters.

Emilie Baltz/flickr
"The Way We See the World" was a team effort by Monica Bhatia, Leigh Ann Tucker, Chelsea Briganti, and Ingrid Zweife. It was runner-up for the 2010 Structural/Sculptural Integrity prize.

Mold: 2-part, food safe, silicone mold made by casting a faceted crystalglass. Flavors: Basil Lemonade in a Basil Cup; Ginger-Mint Iced Tea in a Ginger-Mint Cup; and Sparkling Beet in a Rosemary-Beet Cup

Ben Light, Dave Gould, and Ben Walmer won the Special Jury's Meat Lovers' Honorable Mention in 2010 for
Emilie Baltz/flickr
Ben Light, Dave Gould, and Ben Walmer won the Special Jury's Meat Lovers' Honorable Mention in 2010 for "The Trophy Room."

Mold: baking tray, candy molds for judges. Flavors: beef consomme with horseradish and pork consomme infused with ginger, lemongrass, garlic, star anise

2010 People's Choice: Louie Comfort's Jiggly Bits
Emilie Baltz/flickr
"Louie Comfort's Jiggly Bits" by Julia Greene, Melissa Zook, and Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn won the 2010 People's Choice award. (Yes, audience participation is encouraged!)

"Jell-O and glass have a lot in common in their ability to refract and play with light," reported the team of its entry. "We wanted to flaunt Jell-O's incredible capacity for luminescence. The Tiffany dragonfly lamp that we chose to replicate is an icon of great American glass design that has certainly withstood the test of time as a collector’s item. The fleeting nature of edible art is amplified by the inherent dichotomy between historical reference and consumable art. Above all else, we wanted to make Jell-O beautiful." Mold: food-safe plastic, fondant, gum paste. Flavors: ginger-lime-cucumber, apple-cardamom, kiwi-honey, and plum-black pepper.

David Steinvurzel and Paul Steinvurzel submitted this entry in 2010 called
Emilie Baltz/flickr
David Steinvurzel and Paul Steinvurzel submitted this entry in 2010 called "Apakuki Orchards, Summer Harvest."

Mold: food-safe silicone. Flavors: Sea Breeze (grapefruit, cranberry, lime) + Mango Salsa (mango, pineapple, pickled jalapeño) + Patriot Special (strawberry, blueberry, white).

Another entry in the 2010 Jello Mold Competition was
Emilie Baltz/flickr
Another entry in the 2010 Jello Mold Competition was "Wallpaper Kaleidoscope," by Emily Fischer, Maciej Kaczynski and Jennifer Harmon.

"Inspired by childhood toys and the colors of Jell-O, this single unit of Jell-O wallpaper was created using a simple graphic tile from Zapf Dingbats," the team said. "The design was processed through a generative computational model to make patterned variations, emulating the shifting colored volumes and fragments of toy kaleidoscopes and the summery fruity treat of Jell-O." Mold: 1/16" vacuum-formed styrene. Flavors: coconut rainbow.

Michael Liu and Butsarin (Jenny) Sereeyothin's
Emilie Baltz
Michael Liu and Butsarin (Jenny) Sereeyothin's "Toy Dispenser."

Mold: polypropylene. Flavors: peach-coconut, green tea, almond, raspberry/blueberry, mango.


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