Then, five weeks ago, we asked Invitational readers to put away their keyboards — and open their cupboards — for a contest to portray people or events from the 21st century using only food as materials. With a few exceptions, the winning entries from Week 945 aren’t elaborately crafted works of culinary sculpture; in fact, our winner is darned minimalist. But they certainly reflect the Style Invitational’s renowned mix of highbrow and lowbrow humor, not to mention those groaner puns.
See photos of the winners and runners-up in the photo gallery on this page; more details about them are below.
THE WINNER OF THE INKER
“Bin Laden 2011: That’s a Wrap” by Alethea and Kevin Dopart, Washington
When we asked for edible art depicting events of the 21st century — and remember, we were asking Style Invitational contestants, a group not exactly known for excessive good taste — we feared we’d be seeing fondant planes flying into cream-wafer Twin Towers, or little pretzel-stick people washed away in a meringue tsunami. Or some horribly gory diorama of a gingerbread house in Pakistan visited by SEAL Team 6.
Kevin Dopart — a traffic safety expert for the nonprofit consulting company Noblis and, more important, the Style Invitational’s top ink-scorer for each of the past five years — typically didn’t shy from bold material. But he and his daughter Alethea, a recent Wellesley international-relations graduate who just started a job with the World Bank (“this contest was the end of her fun employment,” Kevin says), managed to depict the disposal of an evil man’s corpse with a humorously minimalist, themed elegance: a burrito slipping through a sea of blue tortilla chips.
“Hard to Swallow: The GOP Field” by Alethea and Kevin Dopart
Featuring Prawn Paul, Herman Cane, Fig Newt, Mitt Rameny, M’shell Bokmann and Rick Pear-y. Notable among the materials: potato lecterns; “Bokmann’s” head of bok choy and pasta-shell mouth; and Pear-y’s eyebrows of, ahem, Nutella.
The Dopart daughter-father team scores again with the groaner puns for which the Invite is renowned, not to mention especially fetching depictions of the Republican presidential candidates (Herman Cain had not yet dropped out). If anything, they all look a little too dignified.
“MalloMars Rover: Search for S’more Data” by Abigail Fraeman, St. Louis
Abigail, a grad student at Washington University, is a collaborating scientist on NASA’s Mars rover missions, and here she applies her technical expertise to a vehicle made with a graham cracker body; Famous Amos wheels; antennas and instruments of pretzels and marshmallows; a Hershey-bar solar array; and a terrain (martain?) of, duh, Mallomars. Abigail is the daughter of veteran Invitational Loser Kathy Hardis Fraeman, but she’s a First Offender herself.