The celebrated chef behind one of London’s essential restaurants has teamed up with an Italian pasta brand to produce the world’s first ingredients kit designed specifically with Instagram in mind. Hello Fresh and Gousto, watch out.
Skye Gyngell, who opened Spring in Somerset House in 2014, has worked with pasta company La Famiglia Rana to develop (correction: curate) the kits, which are said to be “filled to the brim with everything foodies need for the ultimate Instagram-worthy content,” including premium ingredients, “restaurant-quality plating instructions,” and “a hand-painted artisanal wooden spoon.”
The kits will come in six variants — each of them containing a different kind of tortelloni and the high-end produce required to create “a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.” Customers can look forward to flavour combinations like spinach and ricotta tortelloni with datterini, mint, and olives; chicken and smoked pancetta tortelloni with radicchio and Parmigiano Reggiano; and prosciutto cotto and mozzarella tortelloni with girolles and marjoram.
This is just the latest development in Instagram’s gradual conquest of the food and drink market in the UK. New restaurants are already designed with ease of photography in mind; menus are written to highlight their most Instagram-friendly dishes; new product launches (like Gordon’s pink gin) are pitched specifically in a way that highlights their social media prettiness.
There is a risk, in all of this, that surface-level style — rather than more substantial considerations like quality and taste — becomes the dominant consideration for consumers. Certainly, the tagline used to promote the kits (“Snap. Share. Eat!”) suggests some conflicted priorities. Gyngell, though, sees things differently:
The world’s obsession with photographing our food has fuelled a rise in all sorts of odd-but-edible inventions, turned humble vegetables into mega-trends, transformed restaurant diners into paparazzi and inspired home chefs to spread their wings. I personally think what Instagram has done for food is great. Anything that puts beautiful ingredients on a pedestal, or inspires people to be adventurous and creative – and proud of what they’ve prepared – is a wonderful thing.
Londoners can assess just how wonderful the results of this particular collaboration are at an “Instagram-inspired” La Famiglia Rana store opening in the capital next month. Keen would-be-grammers can pre-register their interest here, but those who simply cannot wait for the launch will be relieved to learn that individual packs of La Famiglia Rana pasta are currently available at several national supermarket chains — hand-painted artisanal wooden spoons sold separately.