This artist’s intricate food art is carving out a spot in the crowded world of global social media sensations.
Daniele Barresi, 32, transforms tasty fruits and veggies into exquisite sculptures with his bare hands. His organically ornate pieces have ap-peel-ed to foodies and art lovers the world over, helping him attract more than 88,500 followers on Instagram.
The Italian-trained chef, who is now based in Sydney, can carve out detailed sculptures of animals and embroidery from fruit in just a few hours. He receives commissions from brands to do custom carvings, although he loves to carve birds, flowers and patterns.
Barresi started carving fruit 11 years ago after noticing some intricately carved pumpkins at a wedding. As soon as he got home, he began practicing carving — he went through over 1,000 pumpkins a year while learning. His wife has been his “harshest critic” since “she won’t just tell me she likes it until she thinks it’s perfect.”
Barresi now prefers to work on watermelons, but the dad of one claims that he can carve a strawberry in just 30 minutes, while larger pieces take between six to eight hours.
“Watermelons will always be my favorite things to carve because they are bigger, so they offer you more room to work with,” Barresi told Mercury Press. “But they are also the fruit of my home nation — with the colors red, white and green.”
Barresi has recently used avocados as a medium for his carvings of birds, embroidery and even skulls. He has transformed broccoli into legendary creatures, zucchini into flowers, and potatoes into people.
The two-time world champion carver — he earned the World Association of Chefs’ Societies honor in both 2013 and 2014 — opened a culinary school to teach 300 students every year in Italy. He then relocated to Australia to share his skills with the rest of the world.
He also frequently uses soap for his carvings of fish, jewelry and floral displays.
In addition to his fruit carvings, Barresi runs DB Resin Products, a company that produces powders, paste, glitter and silicone to “help other artists.”
Barresi is not the only parent who has used food as an artistic medium. A Japanese nursery schoolteacher devised a creative way to get her finicky daughters to eat her food by mimicking pop culture with her meals. Some of her meticulously molded meals include a chocolate Chewbacca, an avocado Jabba the Hutt and a mouthwatering Winnie the Pooh comprised of egg yolks.
In January 2020, the Whitney also paid homage to fruit with Darren Bader’s exhibition consisting of 40 wooden pedestals that each held a different fruit or vegetable.