Food + Concepts + Experiences at Hey!Pulp

A chat with ‘Hey!Pulp’ founder Sunayna S on creativity, the impact of design on food, and what Shakespeare ate for breakfast.

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Hey! Pulp is such an unusual name. What does it refer to?

Well yeah. I’ve always loved the word ‘pulp’ and have been trying to use it in some form or the other. When the talks of starting something with our brand mentor Bal Dighent began, it was a natural progression to bring it up. He liked the sound of it too. From there we kind of picked up on other words that would complement it.

Pulp stands for the best part of the (fruit, wood, whatever) and hey for us connotes conversations: hence the name now means the best part of conversations. And that’s what we want to do, make products, do popups, present concepts that people would happily and infectiously talk about.

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Have you always been interested in food and design? Do you have a background in either?

Food came naturally to Bal, who has definitely found and given home to many at Cafe Di Ghent and quickly followed it up with InnerChef. As for me, I’ve always been interested in art, even though I worked as a writer when I was in advertising. I did paint and make Zen tangle art for a bit before Bal and I worked on starting this. I think we both liked what the other got in terms of aesthetics and experience.

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How was Hey! Pulp born? How did you think of forming a connection between design and eating?

Hey Pulp is a brand born out of dreams and conversations. The very idea that design can change how someone tastes food is what started this whole journey. Imagine eating a steak on a steel plate. Would it taste the same if it were served on china? And what about music, company and ambience? These conversations and discussions made us want to dive into bringing influences of art, music, theatre, books, poetry, philosophy into food and see where it takes it. We’re still on very experimental grounds, but it’s been a wonderful exploration.

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What sort of events can one look forward to from Hey! Pulp?

Our concepts dabble with many areas of the creative field. Plus we don’t repeat any concept once executed. In the coming months we’ll move towards music, philosophy and theatre (fingers crossed) as we did with poetry, art and puns. Our concepts aren’t larger than life, rather simple thoughts with simple yet experimental food. So dramatics are usually on a low when it comes to a Hey Pulp concept. What we do enjoy is an unraveling of an easy thought matched with non-complicated presentations.

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Your pop-up on ‘Shakespeare’s Favourite Breakfast’ was such a hit – what do you think was Shakespeare’s favourite meal?

We did a take on Shakespeare’s favourite breakfast, which was bread and ale. He’s written so much about food that it’ll be tough to point out what exactly his favourite meal would be, but I would assume he’d have a loved good wine and and something cinnamon-y.

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Why do you think short term events like pop-ups appeal to diners? Pop-ups always seem to draw in crowds . . .

FOMO, at least in our case. Our concepts happen only once. Plus the idea of pop-ups is nice as it almost implies that the event is come and go, something new, something they haven’t tried before. The appeal for impermanence is what I feel pulls the crowd.

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Do you think there’s a change in how we eat thanks to the influence of art and media?

Oh, I would hope so. People are so aware of what food goes with what wine, what music should be played in the background, each their very own Master Chef judges, now whether that’s conscious or sub-conscious, that is something debatable. But look at how many fantastic food experiences we’re surrounded by. It’s a change that’s bound to happen.

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How do you draw inspiration for ideas at Hey! Pulp?

I read a lot. Like, A LOT! Most of the stuff comes from something I’ve read about, or heard about and then we research it and see if it makes a good concept. Bal is the king of community, so he interacts with many interesting folk and those conversations also lead to many influences.

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Who is the one chef you would love to work with for Hey! Pulp?

Anyone who loves to experiment and explore better ways to eat and consume. Variety in experience and cuisine could be lovely to have in our mix of things.

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A local restaurant that always brings the creativity in your opinion?

There are many: Di Ghent (because that’s the place we started from), I do enjoy the ambience at Perch, Fig and Maple, Diva and Townhall too. I think any space that is inclusive and non-intrusive, and yet serve delicious stuff that makes you think gets a huge tick from us.

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Get the latest from Hey!Pulp and catch their experience ‘An Ode to Tea’  this weekend, 18-20 August 2017, at Cafe Di Ghent, Crosspoint Mall, Gurgaon.

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