Various Ways Jello Can Scare You: Jello Takes New York

by Paddy Johnson on June 27, 2011 Events

What's a jello show without jello shots? These weren't produced by contestants. Very tasty.

What’s more disgusting than warm jello? Rapists, but they weren’t around, so I paid the eight dollar entrance fee at Gowanus Studio Space in Brooklyn for the privilege of looking at and eating multicolored goo cups. Dubbed “Jello Takes New York”, the event was a convergence of food and gelatin innovators from across the city, proving that jello is just as expressive a medium as vaseline.

The results were a bit like a science fair re-do — lots of bad ideas and mediocre execution — but that's the charm of it all. While I didn't *need* to see a lifelike roasted bird made of jello, I'm glad someone took the time to make it. My horizons are just that much bigger now.

Judges included Core 77 partner Allan Chochinov, Emily Elsen, founder of the pie shop Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Josee LePage, founder of Bondtoo, and last but not least, Makerbot’s marketing and event coordinator Keith Ozar. I like Ozar’s participation — the next step after uploading 3D models of people’s heads is clearly making jello molds of them. There’s an Obama bust in this show that looks very 3-D printer friendly!

I’m posting a few images below from the event, but it’s worth mentioning that the participating high school students were the star performers (and award winners) of this contest. In fact, in my opinion, they made the show.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Jelly Fishin' Peter Pracilio Fishing lures made of Jell-O, tested on the Williamsburg waterfront.

No idea why this won the grand prize, though presumably it has something to do with functionality. That jello may taste good to fish, but as a human, I had the misfortune of eating one of those jello worms in cocoa. That’s two flavors and textures that do not need to be combined.

Winner for Creativity (TIE): Team Urban Legend Colleen Whiteley, Eric Whiteley, Matthew Keegan, and Brandon Hodges Perpetuating the legend of Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen head, in Jell-O.

What does Jurassic Park have to do with Walt Disney’s head? I’m not sure, but here’s the two next to each other. Team Urban Legend were offering slivers of it to visitors, and it was probably best-tasting jello I had. Kudos to the team for remembering that the dessert is best served cold – each slice was kept extra-frosty by liquid nitrogen.

Winner for Creativity (TIE): The Resistor Jeltone NYC Resistor: Ranjit Bhatnagar, Astrida Valijorsky, Mimi Hui, and Catarina Mota. An edible, working, gelatin-based toy piano.

Regular readers may remember contestant Ranjit Bhatnagar for his contribution to the Sound of Art record last year. This year he’s still at it, this time collaborating with Astrida Valijorsky, Mimi Hui, and Catarina Mota. I have no idea how the jello tastes (yes, I’m a bad reporter) but it sounded good.

Winner for Structural Integrity and The People's Choice: Dentures Kyla Blakney and Suzan Akpinar (Cooper-Hewitt Design Scholars and Jell-O Mold Workshop participants)

High school students Kyla Blakney and Suzan Akpinar produced one of my favorite pieces of the night, in part, by not demanding that I also eat it. Good job guys.

Winner for Aesthetics: Esprell-O Leslie Finnie, Makayla Rodriguez, and Priscilla Acevedo (Cooper-Hewitt Design Scholars and Jell-O Mold Workshop participants)

These high school kids actually had waiters offering the jello to visitors AND it was good. This comes from someone who doesn’t even like coffee.

Why yes, that is a jello goose with melting jello eggs in the background. Special Jury's Bad-Ass Award: Edible Taxidermy: Where Do Eggs Come From? Hugh Hayden. A jello exploration of the chicken and egg conundrum.

By far the most disgusting jello mold of the night. I’m not entirely convinced the goose is made exclusively of jello, but the judges indicated it was. In any event, yuck.

Winner for Culinary Appeal: Jell-O Dogs Julia Samuels's Jell-O hot dogs and all the fixins'

A slow, painful look crept over the face of the eight-year-old in front of me as he bit into the jello hot dog. “Does it taste like hot dog?” I asked him. The boy nodded. That was enough for me, so I tried the potato salad/ jello banana mush. I lived.

The Obama campaign launches in Jello. Matt Micar, Jell-Obama

What does one do with a jello mold bust of Obama?

Ta Da!

Problem solved.

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