Amorette Dye is a mom and ex-medical student who maintains a transparently honest blog about living with cancer, losing a child, and navigating the labyrinths of health insurance and long-term care. But under her artist name of Sakurako Kitsa, she's also a crafty edible-art creator who fashions bento boxes (compartmentalized lunch boxes that are a staple of Japanese food culture) into portraits of people, animals, and even posters for the deceased writer, Ken Kesey. Her work appears in a trailer for bestselling author Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes and in two books on food art.
Check out five more creations entirely made out of rice, cold cuts, vegetables, eggs, and other lunchtime media after the cut.
Dye practices a form of bento box art known as oekakiben, in which original images are created, as opposed to kyaraben,
which features anime characters. "I originally made bentos to
take to work, and it was just something I did to amuse myself," she
says. "I saw curves and textures in food that reminded me of other
things, the same way you'd sort of see a face in a linoleum pattern or
Though some of her designs use food coloring, Dye tries to use vegetable-based colorants over synthetic dyes as much as possible. And yes, she eats her creations once done.
Chicken salad with toasted almonds, wheat crackers, tangerine wedges, cucumbers, cauliflower, rice, bits of Fruit Roll-Ups, and fondant over Okinawa sweet potato (naturally that purple!)
4. Canadian Geese
Yellow pear tomato, rice, portobello mushrooms, sesame seeds (as eyes), couscous, pear puree, green beans, and soba noodles.
3. Acid Test
Modeled after the famous '60s poster inspired by Ken Kesey and made with fruit, cheese, crackers, hard-boiled egg whites, and rice.
Rice, cilantro, skins of yellow pear tomatoes, roma tomatoes, whole cloves (as eyes), and egg yolk and mustard-based sauce.
1. Eiffel Tower
Rice, kumquat, white cheddar, colby-jack cheese, broccoli, and grape-nuts.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.