The penny dropped when organising a nurse for his 87-year-old much-loved mother, Pina. The nurse, Kent, asked Pina what her son did for a living and her proud response was: “My son is a designer.” Designer of books. Designer of food. Designer of spaces and events. Guy Mirabella loves to take a pin prick of an idea and push it out into the ether as an immersive full-blown concept. It is this designing nature that has brought him to work with the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery to plate up the perfect sensory encounter for the lucky few who are part of The Cook, the Artist, their Work and Paper experience being held on September 8 at the gallery.
Guy chats. “I’d never really thought of myself as a designer until Mum let that one loose. Yes, I’ve had a designing life. I was a freelance designer of academic and illustrated books, had a stint as creative director at Belle Magazine, and have authored a few cookbooks too. There’s been some awards from the Australian Book Publishing Association. With books, it’s much more of a slow burn. You get up in the middle of the night and go back time and time again. Food’s much more immediate. When the response is good, all your troubles melt away. We had a Thai-styled soup in Shop Ate today and the reaction was incredibly positive. I love that. It’s about feeding the community with ideas, flavour and design. It’s what I’ve always done.”
Guy’s love of food has led others to tastebud nirvana and is delivered with a slightly left of centre gastronomical grunt. His tucker is so visual and soul-satisfying and presented in a straddling the equator — yes, you could be in Mount Eliza, New York or Paris — kinda way that you may feel especially special. He continues. “The 2018 National Works on Paper exhibition at MPRG is the perfect setting for my food.” Think liquorice ice cream with black nori seafood paper and delicious parcels offered on arrival to tie in with the paper theme. Guy is currently poring through his art books for inspiration. “Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Tony Tuckson and Jackson Pollock are some of my motivations. There will be four chefs on the night. This will be a sit-down formal four-course dinner plus famous Peninsula wine night to remember. Renowned figurative artist and 2018 NWOP finalist Godwin Bradbeer will sketch a lucky diner during the evening who will then get to take home their signed portrait too.”
Book now (essential), view art and dine later. Go to eventbrite.com.au/e/the-cook-the-artist-their-work-and-paper-tickets-47249196619?aff=erelexpmlt
And yes, Pina, your son IS a designer.