Who said food is just for eating? Szimonetta Zombori shows people every day numerous artworks that, instead of taking form in clay or on a canvas, are made in food…
Intending to inspire others, Hungarian-born food sculptor Szimonetta “Sisi” Zombori wants to make her pretty-unknown job more popular. So that more people can appreciate this delicate art. To achieve that, she is getting ready for her busiest time of the year: Halloween!
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN BASED IN BOURNEMOUTH?
No — I lived for 2 years in Aberdeen. Then we wanted to move down to one of the warmer places in England. So, we chose Bournemouth.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME A FOOD SCULPTOR? HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I first started in the profession in 2015. One day, a family friend came back from holiday in Germany, and he was telling us all about these fascinating food carvings he saw there. I got quickly interested in the subject and started researching a little bit more… the next thing I knew, I was doing a food carving course! And from there, I taught myself.
The biggest change happened when we moved down to Bournemouth. Because I realized so many opportunities in London. I started to work on my social media and on my marketing. By 2016, I started to get big orders from London.
DO YOU WORK AS A FOOD SCULPTOR FULL-TIME?
I always have a full-time job, and I do everything with the food sculpting after work. But my goal is to be a food sculptor as my main and only job. Because being a food sculptor is not really common, I have to say it’s really hard to go ahead. But on the other hand, it’s easy because there are only a few people in the profession. More and more people and companies are becoming interested in my work, so I think I am on the right way.
HOW DO YOU GET INSPIRED FOR EACH JOB?
I follow a few sculptors from the USA and a couple from Italy. Ray Villafane from Arizona is among my favourites. They are the best and I want to be good or better than they are. I am really competitive, and this gives me the power to do more and more. I always get inspiration from them, and it drives me to get better and better each year. One day I want to inspire others too.
HAVE YOU MADE ANY INNOVATIONS IN YOUR BUSINESS?
Recently, I started to carve a different material — soap. Then an idea came to my mind: gift boxes. So I created flower gift boxes with hand-carved soaps. I wanted to create something that lasts forever! It’s really girly and I love it so much! It’s so close to me.
HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR SCULPTURES?
My business is based on people’s needs, so I can’t really plan ahead. Anything can come in — birthdays, weddings, business meetings, workshops… And, of course, the busiest time of the year for me: Halloween.
DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF FOOD SCULPTING AND VALUE IT?
Most people don’t know how much time it takes to carve out a pumpkin or a watermelon or soap. Of course, it depends on the design, but it takes hours. I have to say there is a group of people who really appreciate my work and they can imagine how much work and effort I put into each carving. This gives me so much power. I can’t be happier when I got positive feedback.
OUT OF ALL THE CARVINGS YOU’VE DONE AS A FOOD SCULPTOR, DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE?
If I have to choose my favourite one, last year I got an enquiry from one of the big supermarkets. They wanted to make an online game pull. So I had to carve four famous singers out and the people had to guess who was in the carvings. I know I still have to improve, but I was proud to myself.
DO YOU HAVE ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT?
Just a few weeks ago, I came back from Hungary where my talented videographer friend made a promo video for my soap carving. So I can’t wait to share this video with my followers. Also we are filming a pumpkin carving video soon, which I am really excited about.
WHAT IS THE DREAM OR THE END GOAL FOR YOU?
I am still looking for a way to go to compete and win international competitions. Also, I want to create my own brand of carving knives. To be honest, I have so many plans that I am working on! I want to teach more and more people, and I hope one day, millions of people will know and like my artwork.
Check out more of Sisi’s work on her Food Sculptor Facebook page. For more local Art, Design and Photography stories, click here. And you can also follow HQB Media on all our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.