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Whatever Parisian pastry chef extraordinaire, Philippe Conticini, does gets noticed. His talent for creating desserts that are art in all meanings of the word has found yet another expression this September when he unveiled his latest creation, La Pâtisserie des Rêves (the patisserie of dreams), in the chic 7th arrondissement in Paris. Nothing in the design of the sleek 29 square-meter boutique is reminiscent of a traditional European konditorei. Most strikingly, the stars of the space — the desserts, cakes and pastries — are displayed on a round platform in the center. Each of the 15 culinary masterpieces is presented under its own temperature-controlled glass bell suspended from the ceiling. Customers order their selection from the staff, after which each order appears directly from the kitchen. Both ideas evoke the feel of a meticulous laboratory where precious specimens are handled. Conticini has been in the culinary limelight for more than two decades with his own TV show, several books, restaurants and awards. - Tuija Seipell
We like the fresh, unpretentious and happy look of the temporary Movement Café and performance space built next to the DLR station in Greenwich, South East London. It was constructed in 16 days to be ready for the opening of the Olympics.
It is located at the gateway to the Olympic borough, on Greenwich Industrial Estate, currently being redeveloped by the Cathedral Group. The Café was designed by British designer and artist Morag Myerscough and he collaborated with poet and tweeter Len Sissay.
Sissay's poem of tweets is now on the hoarding on the site, but it will be eventually set into the road as a permanent ode to the site. - Bill Tikos
Tobias Rehberger won the best artist Golden Lion this summer at the 53rd International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. This year’s Exhibition is titled Making Worlds (Fare Mondi).Rehberger won the prize for the cafeteria of the Palazzo delle Exposizioni della Biennale, formerly known as the Italian Pavilion. The cafeteria is open to the public at least till the end of the Biennale Art Exhibition (November 22).
Rehberger calls his cafeteria “Was du liebst, bringt dich auch zum Weinen” (Whatever you love, will bring you to wines). It is a crazy, retro-inspired space, juxtaposed with a jumble of forms and colors with black and white as the combining theme. He collaborated with the Finnish furniture house Artek that created custom furniture for the space.
The Art Exhibition is part of the venerable Venice Biennale, established in 1895. The Biennale promotes new artistic trends and organizes events, including the International Film Festival, the International Art Exhibition, the International Architecture Exhibition, the Festival of Contemporary Music, the Theatre Festival and the Festival of Contemporary Dance. - Tuija Seipell
New Yorkers love their Mediterranean delicacies and they certainly love their coffee. Connect those two in a West Village café and you’ll have Maza Café.
Located at 30 Carmine St, between Bleecker and Bedford streets, Maza offers more than the familiar, off-the-grocery-shelf Greek yogurt, honey and phyllo pastries. In particular, the yogurt menu is extensive and imaginative and gives the guests many reasons to return to try it in new ways. .
But we customers, of course, pay attention to the entire experience and Maza does not disappoint in the visual surroundings department either. Greek-born, London-educated and now Athens-based architect Eleftherios Ambatzis appreciates his Greek heritage and its visual sensibilities. He used the Hestia, the centre of the ancient Greek home, (Hestia is the Greek Goddess of the hearth), as the theme around which Maza was designed.
Also a sculptor, artist and furniture designer, the 32-year-old Ambatzis turned the traditional wood-fired oven into a sculptural space in which the guests enjoy their coffee and yogurt.
The cafe is not a big hearth, but more of a comfortably homey but decidedly funky atmosphere created of the elements of the Greek hearth: The vaulted form, the materials – wood, copper and iron – and the light. - Tuija Seipell.