While traditionally known as a retro pudding served at children’s' parties, “Jellyologist” Jessica Mentis is out to prove that jelly has a place in the high art world.
Mentis has turned her two passions, architecture and food, into an exciting food design business which “has evolved into a jelly test kitchen delivering jellies across Auckland as well as a bespoke jelly making service that can deliver a bit of wobbling wonder to your next event.”
Mentis says a “Jellyologist” has to be a bit of a mad scientist, who is willing to try and experiment and mix different things up.
She says she was inspired while living in London when working on a project with the company Bompas and Parr.
“Who are these amazing dudes in London who create these events that kind of merge theatrics with food.
“And that for me what the moment when I thought “oh my god that’s what I want to do’.”
When she moved back to New Zealand she decided I wanted to merge her architectural discipline with her other interests including theatre and set design, events and experiences.
So she embarked on the100 Days of Jelly project to showcase her work.
It was an Instagram project where, every day for 100 days, she made a jelly mould from a 3D printer, set it with some experimental jelly flavour, photographed it and posted them.
And things kicked off from there.
She talks to Kathryn Ryan about what it means to be a "Jellyologist" and her upcoming exhibition of jelly curiosities forms part of the Wellington on a Plate food festival.