INTERVIEW II The Edible Entrepreneur

On Sunday May 25, UK2 will be sponsoring a never-been-done before event, as part of our commitment to supporting emerging talent. Here, we speak to Chloé Morris, one of the magic makers behind the UK’s First Edible Book Launch…

As the founder of Edible Stories, Chloé Morris doesn’t have a desk job. Some nights her work takes her down rabbit holes and others it brings her into the paths of starcrossed lovers. The tools of her trade are pretty out-of-the-ordinary, too. Think sugar roses, wasabi snow and edible egg shells.

For the past couple of years, Chloé has been creating edible dining experiences in London, themed around famous stories like Alice in Wonderland and Romeo and Juliet.

On May 25, she’ll be working to create the UK’s First Ever Edible Book Launch, sponsored by UK2, for Love and Eskimo Snow, by emerging author Sarah Holt.

Working with chef Francoise Cozzolino, Chloé will be telling the story of Sarah’s novel through 6-courses of interactive cuisine, shapeshifting cocktails, and sense-provoking set design.

But how did she become the edible imagineer that she is today? And what advice does she have for other entrepreneurs?

Where Did Edible Stories Start?

I have a BA in Interior Architecture and Product Design and a MA in Narrative Environments. During my MA we concentrated on telling stories in physical space, but I decided to challenge this and do it through food.

Coming out my masters, I discovered that I had created something that appealed to many. I had done about 10 events and they were still small scale: for groups of 5 people. I was then put in touch with the founder of ‘Future of Storytelling’ and this is when the question of scaling hit me. After attending the conference I returned to London and set on to build a team and allow for bigger capacity events. This is when I got my head chef, Francoise Cozzolino.

The model that we are working with today is that every two month for two days we have events for 80 people over the two days in secret locations around London. We invite different chefs and culinary designers to interpret a story and bring it to life in their own unique style.

Where do you Have Your Best Ideas?

Everywhere! But probably, on the tube mostly. I almost never have my headphones in, this allows me to have a free mind and observe my surroundings. See how people interact or don’t, habits, etc. The narrative is obviously the main element of Edible Stories, but I do it for the people. So understanding them, is crucial. I’ve done an extensive amount of research on how to trigger the behavior and more specifically within the dining experience. So people-watching, in cafes, restaurants, etc. are all great case studies.

Where does the Inspiration for the Food Come From?

I am always researching, but my head chef is extremely creative! We do look at recipe books, images, latest techniques and flavor combinations for inspiration. But we always put our own spin on everything we do. And more importantly, make sure that the menu tells the story. This means that the foods should be local to where the story is based, colors, certain ingredients, ways of cooking, flavors should all be present.

Have you Always been Passionate About Food and Drink?

Yes! My mother is an amazing home chef; she is French and loves to cook. Everyday I would have incredible dishes served. So from an early age I was immersed in that environment. But I think it also came from all the traveling that I’ve done over the years, and been so inspired by all the flavors, spices, herbs, and varied cooking techniques. So I would say, I don’t have a classic French approach to cooking at all, I like to test and use food as a material that, at the end of the day, can be manipulated to fulfill us so much more than just fill us up!

Do you have Any Advice For Other Entrepreneurs?

It’s not easy! I’ve been working on Edible Stories for about two-plus years now, and I am only, since January, able to keep my head above the water. But I have loved every minute of it! I am not a business or numbers person at all! But this has taught me so much, and the best thing is making mistakes early on is so much better, because at the end of the day, they are small mistakes. And I am a very fast learner. You fall down and you have to get right up again! Don’t get yourself down, mistakes are where we learn, and we all make them!

The biggest piece of advice I can offer is; don’t forget that even the people that seem to be genuinely interested in helping you, some may very well have an ulterior motive, so always always protect yourself with a contract of some kind. Even if you work with friends, actually maybe even more so when you work with friends. If you don’t, then it can very well destroy a friendship.

And, to finish, and this is a hard one; believe in yourself!

UK2 are sponsoring the UK’s First Ever Edible Book Launch as part of our campaign to support emerging talent alongside entrepreneurs and small businesses. A few tickets for this event are still available, and you can follow live tweeting at this event by following @EdibleLaunch on twitter.

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