LA SOPA BOBA | UNI—FORMS
Although the menu at La Sopa Boba, may seem unorthodox for its location in the mountains of Madrid—when you consider that it is less than fifty kilometers from the students’ residence where Surrealist, Salvador Dalí, met with Pepín Bello, Luis Buñuel, and Federico García Lorca—it becomes clear that it this restaurant is firmly grounded in its Spanish roots.
Owner and creator, Fernando Limón, is a fearless inventor whose abstract dégustation subverts the traditions of French haute cuisine and Japanese kaiseki, creating dishes that exist outside our current understanding of food. His diverse referential palate provides an amalgamation of different cultures and their culinary techniques, acquired through both travel and text. Limón’s unlikely pairing of ingredients creates a stark juxtaposition in which squid ink pudding, eel-crusted shrimp and pork tripe kimchi, play the lead roles in an act of phantasmagorical theatre. His ability to recontextualise everyday objects, confuse the senses and skew your perception of reality; results in the repurposing of an Italian coffee maker to infuse salmon with soy sauce, or a garden dessert with herbs sprouting from chocolate soil in a plant pot and a watering can to serve. Limón’s use of deceptive whimsy heightens the dining experience and delineates a lateral perspective.
A shared likeness for the creation of abstract forms through unconventional processes impelled the collaborative venture between La Sopa Boba and Parallel Dimensions. A reinterpretation of the traditional chef’s uniform was created with respect to Japanese aesthetic ideals. Kimono shapes were conceived in a flame-resistant, anti-stain technical fabrication that easily conforms to the body with the use of adjustable rope ties. The work is inspired by the ceramic art, kintsugi, which translates to ‘golden joinery’: the act of mending broken ceramics with gold-dusted lacquer that highlights the joints and acknowledges the passage of time as a badge of honour (Gopnik, 2009). This technique has been applied to clothing in which the intersection of seams are sutured with white threads to emphasise that the garment’s form is completely reliant on the process by which it is created.
Within a field obsessed with the appearance of the final product, Parallel Dimensions rejects contrived construction for a Process Art methodology that “emphasises the process of making, rather than any predetermined composition or plan” (Guggenheim, 2016). This concept of the incomplete or transient directly relates to the Japanese aesthetic notions of wabi-sabi, which Andrew Juniper (2003) describes as “an object or expression that can bring bout, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing”. Parallel Dimensions challenges the foundations of an industry primarily focused on idealised perfection, creating a new vantage point from which to explore. As the outliers of their respective fields, La Sopa Boba and Parallel Dimensions create semblances that balance inherent function and aesthetic composition for the mutual experience of both the dining clientele and the cuisine’s creators.