Empty Calories

Jessica Dance’s fiber-rich foods

Jessica Dance’s favorite tool is not the cutting board, but a good pair of scissors when it comes to preparing scrumptious and mouthwatering meals. There is one little caveat to many of her dishes: although not calorie-dense, they’re heavy on the fiber--specifically 100 percent UK-sourced lambs wool.

Her fashion major in college, which she decided was not right for her, veered her to the world of creating her own sets and props. Dance first started getting numerous commissions to make paper props, but with an affection for sewing, she decided to mix it up a bit and incorporate fabric into her projects. She discovered  that it was, “tricky to find fabrics that I liked and in the right composition, in the right colors, etc., so I decided if I learnt to knit I could create my own fabrics.”

Like many knitters who were taught by a family member, Danced learned to hand-knit through her grandmother, admitting she wasn't very good at it. Instead, she began to teach herself how to use a knit machine.  “I haven’t ever knitted anything useful like hats/scarves and jumpers, I went straight to knitting food and animals!” She said in an email.

Dance draws her inspiration from the animal kingdom and vintage craft books. Her process from the bright spark of an idea to the actual design of the food or animals she creates depends mostly on the commission or whether it’s a personal project. Typically it’s starts with an idea and then roughly sketched out. “Quite often things change when you go from a sketch to 3-d form so sometimes it takes sometimes it takes a couple of rounds of prototyping!”

Collaborating with food photographer David Sykes, Dance’s fast food series explores a series of dishes favored by British palates. Meals on the menu, include a typical English breakfast of beans on toast. For those on Paleo diets and who prefer more protein to start the day, Dance serves up a hearty and heart-clogging breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage with a side of toast and coffee.

If you decide to skip breakfast and want something on the go, Dance's fast-food will be greeted with enthusiasm by New Yorkers who love a plump hot dog smothered in mustard or a burger with fries. For cheese connoisseurs, there’s a mouth-watering display of Swiss cheese, chevre with herbs, camembert, cheddar, and Stilton. If you need some inspiration for the upcoming holidays, Dance has cooked up a juicy turkey with all the fixings. And, sweet lovers don't despair!  Your sugar craving will be met. The dessert tray includes a tasty pink frosted doughnut or a Cadbury bar.

The best part of Dance's wooly foods? You'll never gain a pound. 

For more information, please www.jessicadance.com.

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