Playing with your food

The Little Prince.

The Little Prince.

Amateur food photos rarely gain more than a few Facebook likes, or perhaps a retweet or two. However, Norwegian-born Ida Skivenes’s amateur photos of food have garnered her 49 000 Instagram followers, a popular blog and coverage in Norway’s two biggest newspapers, a magazine and a radio station — all in the space of seven months.

The difference is that, instead of taking photos of other people’s food, Skivenes invents reasons every morning to take photos of ­her own.

She uses fresh, healthy ingredients to make her breakfast into “food art”. After making the dish, she takes a photo, uploads it to Instagram, and then (naturally) eats the food.

An Instagram devotee, Skivenes began posting photos of her food art in June 2012 under the handle @idafrosk.

Her decision to become a vegetarian two years ago helped prompt the idea. “It made me reconsider what I ate and [to] experiment with new ingredients,” she told the Mail & Guardian. She tries to keep her dishes quick and easy to make, so she generally doesn’t spend more than five to 15 minutes on each one. At the weekend, though, she takes more time.

Her rendition of The Little Prince — a dish inspired by the original cover of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s book — took her about 45 minutes from start to finish, because she had to make pancakes for the dish. “Plus it was a lot of detailed work,” she said.

Skivenes writes on her blog that the reason she does food art is “because it’s fun” and because she likes to inspire others. There are more than 100 #idafrosk-inspired photos on Instagram: users who have created their own food art, photographed it and tagged Skivenes as their inspiration.

Skivenes proves your mother wrong. Her motto? “Don’t be afraid to play with your food!”

Thalia Holmes

Thalia Holmes

Thalia is a freelance business reporter for the Mail & Guardian. She grew up in Swaziland and lived in the US before returning to South Africa.She got a cum laude degree in marketing and followed it with another in English literature and psychology before further confusing things by becoming a black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) consultant.After spending five years hearing the surprised exclamation, "But you're white!", she decided to pursue her latent passion for journalism, and joined the M&G in 2012. The next year, she won the Brandhouse Journalist of the Year Award, the Brandhouse Best Online Award and was chosen as one of five finalists from Africa for the German Media Development Award. In 2014, she and a colleague won the Standard Bank Sivukile Multimedia Award. She now writes and edits for various publications, but her heart still belongs to the M&G.      Read more from Thalia Holmes

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