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The Favorite Series #3: Lalena Dolby

Tricia Martin | Eating is Art

Featured Author:
Tricia Martin

Tricia Martin is an eating designer, writer, and founder of Taste Matters, an eating design studio. As a designer, she uses food to communicate stories, ideas, or messages. The tastes and textures in your mouth, the act of chewing or feeding, the sights, sounds, smells and colors of the foods we eat are all integral to what she considers and plays upon in her designs. It is through these sensory experiences that she weaves a story or a message into what it is we are eating and how we are eating it.

Tricia has a B.A. in urban planning from The University of Cincinnati’s school of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning (DAAP) and an M.F.A. from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). When she is not thinking about, talking about, or creating food concepts, she spends her time riding her bike, blogging at Eating is Art, and teaching yoga. She also recently published a book Eating Design; you can find out more about her book in our store.

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This is the third in a series of articles by Tricia Martin about her “Favorite Dinners” that Chef’s Blade will be featuring. At Chef’s Blade, we believe that Tricia’s creative and holistic approach will be a useful examples for all our culinary audiences.

“The Favorite” is a series of meals Tricia is doing with an individual and a person of his or her choice choice. Tricia takes the design challenge to create a full sensory (all five senses are activated) experience for the participant and their “Favorite” who may or may not be present at the meal.

I did my third Favorite meal with Lalena Dolby. She chose her favorite to be the artist and personality-extraordinaire Florence Broadhurst. Florence was Australian by birth. In her early twenties, she was known as Miss Bobby Broadhurst, traveling from Asia to India to Western Europe. In 1926, she opened the Broadhurst Academy, a finishing school for girls in Shanghi. In 1933, she moved to London under the name Madame Pellier, a fashionista who opened a dress shop on the infamous New Bond Street. She had married London aristocracy, but by 1949 she was divorced, re-attached, had a child, and moved back to Australia under the guise as British aristocracy.

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Lalena found this dress for the meal!

In 1959, she opened her wallpaper company. It wasn’t until later in life (she was at this point in her early 60’s) that she went the path of design. In a 2007 issue of Vanity Fair, A.M. Homes writes: “There is debate as to whether she actually drew any of the patterns herself, but clearly she had an eye for talented people—hired many, paid them very little, took full credit.” She was a shrewd business woman although it was said that her factory was incredibly hip for its day. Artists, designers, and craftsmen working side by side, a radio always blaring, parties springing up intermittently in the evenings, and celebrities popping in to see the infamous warehouse space. She was a force, energetic and magnetic, that, despite her low wages and hard-nosed work ethic, people gravitated towards her because she exuded her energy all around and somehow made it fun. I could go on and on about this woman; she is absolutely fascinating!

Next Page: Find out how Tricia decided to craft her meal! >>