The Fashion and Design World Can’t Get Enough of Ananas Ananas, the Food-art Studio

Elena Petrossian moved to Mexico City for a sense of adventure.

“I needed to go expand my horizons and my environment,” says the California native, who was raised in Glendale.

It was in 2019, before the Mexican capital saw waves of expats amid the pandemic. Just a month in, she met Verónica González through a mutual friend.

“We made dinner together,” Petrossian goes on. They clicked right away and began to think of ways to collaborate. “We were talking about working in food, but not knowing exactly what it is, and kind of having these ideas and inspirations.”

An initial inspiration was Sunday Suppers, Karen Mordechai’s Brooklyn-based food collective that invites followers to join its global dinner series. Being new to the city, Petrossian was seeking community, she says. Meanwhile González, who grew up Tijuana, was in the midst of doing a business masters and craving creativity. Together they hosted a dinner party in the spirit of Sunday Suppers — selling tickets, with proceeds going toward food and production. Little did they know that that marked the birth of Ananas Ananas, their food-art studio that now attracts clients across art and fashion.

Elena Petrossian and Verónica González of Ananas Ananas

Elena Petrossian and Verónica González

Sela Shiloni/WWD

“We worked really well together,” Petrossian says of the dinner, which was held in her apartment. They tapped a woodworker, a friend of González’s, to build the table with seating for 30. “It was a little party.”

“It was just such a great success,” adds González. “People were just so amazed at it.”


The tablescape showcased food as design — creating textures, striking colors and unexpected shapes, with baguettes hanging from the ceiling — while inviting guests to use their hands.

A month earlier in December 2019, as a test of sorts, they had invited friends to discover their first work together, also created in Petrossian’s apartment: “Frutas y Verduras.” Fruits and vegetables in various cuts, with charcuterie, hung like art on more than 40 fishing wires on her patio. Visitors interacted with the food using their hands and mouths.


“Frutas y Verduras” by Ananas Ananas.

Courtesy of Ananas Ananas

“It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely effortless,” Petrossian says of the first installation. “It was a lot of hard work. Like, we were sweating, dying, my back was breaking, but we were having such a good time.”

They were embraced by Mexico City, she says: “Nobody said ‘no.’ That’s how we built our portfolio.”

The first to say “yes” were Carlos H. Matos and Lucas Cantú of art and architecture studio Tezontle. It was for a project during Zona Maco, the Mexico City art fair.

“We had sent them an email,” Petrossian explains. “At that time we had done one food installation at my house. It’s the only photos we had. We were like, ‘How do you feel if you pay for groceries and we’ll execute this thing?’”

Tezontle takes its name from a type of volcanic rock commonly used in construction in parts of Mexico. In that spirit, Petrossian and González went out looking for a rock of their own, created a silicone mold of it and turned it into chocolate. “We found it on the side of the street,” Petrossian laughs. It was among the display, with a hammer available to break it open.

That was in February 2020, right before the pandemic kicked off. As the world took a pause, so did their work. But when life resumed they were back, and in July of that year they unveiled an exhibition on water and food waste titled “Extraños,” followed by a series of collaborative dinners and shows in galleries. While Petrossian manages “front of house,” González handles logistics and production.

“Lucky for us, and I feel so grateful, we picked up where we left off and started doing client work and client collaborations,” Petrossian continues.

Clients have included Simkhai, The Elder Statesman, Cartier, The Frankie Shop and beauty brand Saie. In L.A., they’ve shown at the Hammer Museum, in partnership with Montalba Architects, displayed at Platform for furniture brand Atrio and hosted a picnic at the Eames House in collaboration with Herman Miller and Hay.

In early 2022, they released a book of their work and exhibited at Dries Van Noten’s gallery space in L.A as part of its launch. A year later, in the summer of 2023, they introduced tableware, designing a collection of seven objects that are true to their DNA. Handmade in Baja California, among them is a $950 serving dish of skewers on stainless steel balls. It’s their collective imagination coming to life — and what attracted Saie, their first brand partner of 2024.

“We discovered Ananas Ananas through the gorgeous food installations that they became known for, but what really caught our eye was when they launched a collection of metalware for experiential dining,” says Saie’s director of creative Erin Starkweather. “We thought this kind of design would be the perfect thing to bring that chic dinner party feeling to our masterclass experience.”

“We love collaborating with female artists across all mediums,” Saie founder Laney Crowell says in a statement to WWD. “Working with Ananas Ananas on their first beauty partnership infuses our bespoke Saie masterclasses with a unique design and platform to showcase our products in a never-seen-before tray that is both shareable and covetable, just like Saie.”


Makeup displayed as food for Ananas Ananas’ first client project of 2024, creating beauty trays for Saie masterclasses.

For Ananas Ananas, food is art. But it’s also deeper — it’s a universal language.

“Culturally, I’m Armenian and Veronica is Mexican, and we both grew up in, essentially, the kitchen,” Petrossian says, noting they don’t have professional training. “Moms, aunts, grandmas, everyone is always in the kitchen.”

“The kitchen is the place where you actually share things that are important,” adds González. It’s shared meals, shared conversations.

“The storytelling element is important to us. When you bring forward unexpected things, whether it’s hanging things from the ceiling or building an installation, it makes people pay attention to what they’re doing and how they’re eating and how they’re sharing. It forces you to be present and in the moment,” Petrossian says.


A food installation for Panthère de Cartier in Mexico City.

The duo — both based in California — has been in Milan for Salone del Mobile, tapped to create a café experience by local architectural firm DWA, after heading to Coachella Valley for activations around the music festival.

“These installations are meant to be temporary,” Petrossian adds of their work. “They’re meant to be enjoyed in the present moment and then that’s it. Whether you take photos of it or you don’t, that’s the beauty of it.”

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top