Santiago-born Chef Marcelo Henriquez has worked in some of the most exclusive private dining rooms across Europe and America, and for concierge services such as Quintessentially. He was inspired to create ONA, a Chilean pop up dining experience in different London-based venues each month, to introduce Chilean food with a truly distinctive modern slant to the British table. ONA is named after the now extinct indigenous people of the Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) islands in the Patagonia region of Southern Chile, who respected their food from source to plate. As hunter-gatherers they asked permission to shamans and the spirit of the earth before collecting, preparing, and cooking what they ate.
Of course the food must take centre stage during the pop up dining experience, with its robust flavours and contemporary styling that results in artfully bold, deliciously light food. But ONA’s identity and the entire brand experience needed to complement the food, reflecting Chef Marcelo’s lively but deceptively simple aesthetic and drawing inspiration from the deeply spiritual people for whom ONA is named.
The hand-painted logo exudes a rawness of execution. It’s a nod to a dinner plate, and reminiscent of the Ona people’s own use of patterns and prints. The identity’s black and white look and feel is all about Chef Marcelo’s own love of simplicity, and is the perfect foil against the food’s flavours and colourful presentation. Whilst dining, there’s a backdrop of monochromatic artwork by both ourselves and by Jaime Poblete Aravena that illustrates different aspects of the Ona tribe, projections, and a soundscape of Chilean music. The monochrome look continues across the entire experience, from a black and white dress code and black crockery through to website design. Plus diners bring home a little bit of ONA via postcards of the artwork displayed at the event and branded bottles of Merken, a traditional Chilean seasoning.
• The first two months of pop up events sold out within days
• Finalist: The Drum Design Awards
• Finalist: Brand Impact Awards