Cultured in the Kitchen People

Ananas Ananas Turns Grandma’s Cooking Into Experimental Dining

Eléna Petrossian and Verónica González are the masterminds behind food-art studio Ananas Ananas. The duo’s name emphasizes the universal language of foodananas translates to “pineapple” in multiple languages. Operating between Los Angeles and Mexico City, the studio focuses on storytelling—creating edible installations and dining experiences for artists, brands, and galleries to encourage audience interaction with food in a multisensory, experimental way. The pair achieves this by withholding utensils and napkins from their get-togethers, as well as tables and seating. Instead, guests are encouraged to eat with their hands: standing and interacting with the meal, and those around them, in new and meaningful ways.

Ananas Ananas dishes

For the food itself, Petrossian, 32, and González, 29, draw inspiration from the recipes of their grandmothers. They derive techniques and flavors from the past, tweaking each to create dishes that might seem recognizable to guests, but are presented in different forms. Themes of Northwestern Mexico and the coast are present in González’s work, while Armenian and Iranian ingredients like pistachio, rosewater, and saffron loom large in Petrossian’s palate. When combined—and they often are—the flavors are almost as unique as their presentations.

For the form and structure of these holistic food experiences, Ananas Ananas looks to architecture, as well as nature’s textures like terracotta—mediums that are not edible, but that surely would be transcendent if they were. At their core, Petrossian and González are creating comfort food in the form of an experimental party. When it is all over, only bits of tortilla, crumbs, and smeared sauces remain. That, they say, is their favorite part of all.