Bompas & Parr Q&A
April 30, 2021
Founded by Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, London-based, globally-reaching design innovators, Bompas & Parr has taken degustation to mind-bending, multi-sensory heights. Like a modern-day Willy Wonka, Bompas & Parr thrives on curiosity, fun, and experimentation. Now a fully-fledged creative studio, the team has ambitiously served joyous jellies – bright, wobbly, and delicious delights shaped like towers, airports, and a map of the U.S. – invented ‘Space Coffee’ by blasting coffee beans into the stratosphere, masterminded a ‘breathable cocktail’ in the form of a walk-in cloud of gin and tonic, and wowed the world with the first multi-sensory fireworks display, which included consumable banana confetti and Seville orange-flavored smoke. Below, the self-defined “architects of taste” and Artpothecary collaborator explains the ethos and Mexico’s influence on The Fruit Chemist, and the wonderfully ripe relationship between art, fruit, and of course tequila.
Why are you excited to work with Maestro Dobel? And what values or shared interests can you draw between Bompas & Parr and Maestro Dobel?
Bompas & Parr: Bompas & Parr has a passion for working with brands with a rich and historic heritage, where we can leverage ideas from a strong identity and fascinating stories from the past and translate them into fresh, exciting experiences. We are excited to be partnering with Maestro Dobel in their sponsorship of Frieze as it brings together our expertise in food and drinks marketing, our in-depth knowledge of the world of art and culture, and Maestro Dobel’s exciting range of tequilas, in what will be a riotous taste experience.
What can we expect to see and experience from The Fruit Chemist?
Bompas & Parr: The Fruit Chemist will provide visual and gustatory remedies that are a perfect pairing for Maestro Dobel. At our bar experience at Frieze Fair in New York and LA, guests will receive a fruity prescription tailored to their needs by our Fruit Chemist. Each prescribed pairing will provide kaleidoscopic rejuvenation, immersing the drinker in the world of Mexican art and hospitality.
What were your inspirations and ideas behind the concept of the Fruit Chemist?
Bompas & Parr: Fruit is a glorious subject that provides a bridge between both art and tequila. It is traditional in Mexico to drink tequila neat, but with a side of sangrita, made from a mix of fruits and chilli, or jalapeno. With art, fruit has, for centuries, been at the forefront of the conversation around symbolism, often drawing parallels with life, sex, and death. Our inspiration has been celebrating Mexico’s wondrous fruits and their connection with the art world while perfectly pairing with Maestro Dobel for a unique taste experience. In the execution of the experience, we have been inspired by the soda fountains of the golden age of soda – from the 1830s to the 1920s. These machines, installed in chemists, were designed to make refreshment a truly multi-sensory experience by making the brewing and selling of fizzy drinks easy and accessible. Central to The Fruit Chemist installation will be a grand soda fountain, borrowing from the visual cues of the original machines and providing the base for our sangrita pairings.
What elements of Mexican culture have influenced your ideas for the Fruit Chemist?
Bompas & Parr: Mexico is known for its cornucopia of wondrous fruits. From the Zapote Negro, which tastes like chocolate, to the spiky Pitaya, its native fruits are packed full of tropical inspiration. The Ceriman (Monstera Deliciosa) of southern Mexico has one of our favorite stories – eat it too early, and it will burn your throat, but eat it when ripe, and it will taste like a tropical medley. We are inspired by the works of many Mexican artists through the medium of food and fruit. The refreshing colors found within cleanse and detoxify the viewer, promoting the message that fruits and vegetables belong to nature as we as humans do.
What do our experiences with art have in common with our experiences with fruit?
Bompas & Parr: The Fruit Chemist aims to reflect upon the stimulus of visual arts and its positive effects on the mind. Mexican fruit and its extreme visual qualities (their vibrant colors, intriguing textures, and delicious yet unusual tastes) act as a visual remedy for the minds of those at Frieze. The Fruit Chemist gives a dose of visual splendor and sensory stimulus through the medium of exotic fruits. The Fruit Chemist uses fruits to question our relationship between our perception and enjoyment of art, alongside fruit as a medium. As fruits have evolved, and as we are exposed to increasing numbers of exotic fruits discovered across the world, have our minds gained increasing stimulus, and therefore a greater appreciation of the arts? Is our current enjoyment of art evolutionary to fruit?
What do you hope people will take from their experience with the Fruit Chemist?
Bompas & Parr: We hope people will take from the Fruit Chemist a newfound understanding and appreciation of Mexican fruit, art, and hospitality. Whether it’s through a live consultation with our Fruit Chemist and bespoke prescription pairing or our interactive virtual content, guests will take a multi-sensory journey through the wonders of unusual and inspiring flavors resulting in the perfect serve of Maestro Dobel Tequila.